June 8, 2017 UPDATE – Pirate Joe’s is shutting down for good

Any fan of those tasty trail mixes, dark chocolate bars, kettle corn, and other awesome Trader Joe’s goodies should read this.

Especially those that have taken advantage of Mike Hallatt’s efforts to bring these glorious treats up to our fine neighbourhood. Sure, there’s a 30% mark-up on the products he sells at his Pirate Joe’s on West 10th Ave, but that barely covers the costs of doing business, let alone enough for a decent profit.

Pirate Joe’s is looking at yet another lawsuit, this time one with serious implications that could potentially affect a lot of us – “we’re defending the right for people and businesses to re-sell products they have lawfully purchased. If I can’t re-sell Trader Joe’s products because I’m not Trader Joe’s, this could mean you can’t sell your used Ford because you’re not Ford, or you can’t sell your used IKEA desk because you’re not IKEA. You get the idea”, says Hallatt. His plea has even landed him an article in the British newspaper The Guardian.

It’s a classic tale of David versus Goliath, the giant being Trader Joe’s which in turn is owned by German-owned Aldi, a large chain of discount grocery stores across Europe. And the little guy is the small business owner Mike Hallatt, a very likeable family man whom many of you have gotten to know over the years (he’s the Benny’s Bagels man, after all!).

Now here’s how you can help.

There’s a crowdfunding effort to raise money for Pirate Joe’s legal defense at crowdjustice.com and 100% of what Hallatt raises at Crowd Justice goes toward his legal costs. He’s got less than a month to reach his funding goal of $50,000 and you can give as little as $10. Otherwise, it’s back to driving to Bellingham, crossing the “friendly” borders along the way, to get your hands on those tubs of melt-in-your-mouth French vanilla meringues…

Pirate Joe’s Under Attack from Mike Hallatt on Vimeo.

Last modified: June 8, 2017

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