Starbucks is the world’s largest multinational chain of coffee shops. Founded in 1971 as a coffee bean retailer, it was only moderately succesful, until acquired in 1987 by Howard Schultz. Starbucks is formulated on italian coffe culture, with strong emphasis on espresso based drinks – in addition to drip brewed coffee and espresso beverages, Starbucks shops also serve tea and bottled beverages, pastries, and ready-to-eat sandwiches. Some Starbucks stores are inside other retail locations such as supermarkets and bookstores.
History of Starbucks
The first Starbucks was opened in Seattle, Washington in 1971 by three partners—English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegel, and writer Gordon Bowker. Their first store was situated in Pike Place Market to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment. The original Starbucks location was at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971 to 1976. That store then moved to 1912 Pike Place. During their first year of operation, they purchased green coffee beans from Peet’s, then began buying directly from growers.
Entrepreneur Howard Schultz joined the company in 1982, and, after a trip to Milan, suggested that the company sell coffee and espresso drinks as well as beans. The owners rejected this idea, believing that getting into the beverage business would distract the company from its focus. To them, coffee was something to be prepared in the home. Certain there was much money to be made selling drinks to on-the-go Americans, Schultz started the Il Giornale coffee bar chain in 1985.
In 1984, the original owners of Starbucks, led by Baldwin, took the opportunity to purchase Peet’s. (Baldwin still works there today.) In 1987 they sold the Starbucks chain to Schultz’s Il Giornale, which rebranded the Il Giornale outlets as Starbucks and quickly began to expand. Starbucks opened its first locations outside Seattle in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (at Waterfront Station) and Chicago, Illinois, United States that same year. At the time of its initial public offering on the stock market in 1992, Starbucks had grown to 165 outlets.
Now it has more that 23 000 stores worldwide – both owned and licensed.