History of Starbucks
Starbucks started in 1971 when three academics opened a store called Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice in Pike Place Market in Seattle. The three academics, writer Gordon Bowker, English teacher Jerry Baldwin, and History teacher Zev Siegel, shared a passion of exotic teas and fine coffees and believed that in Seattle, they would be able to build a clientele. Each academic invested $1,350 and borrowed $5,000 from a bank to open the original Starbucks. Baldwin, Siegel and Bowker chose the name Starbucks in honor of Starbuck—the coffee-loving first mate in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. At least, that is what the legends are. They believed the name evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders. The company’s logo was designed by an artist—a two-tailed mermaid encircled by the store’s name.
The original store in Pike Place featured modest, handbuilt nautical fixtures, one devoted to whole-bean coffees; another had shelves of coffee products. At the time, the store did not offer fresh-brewed coffee by the cub, but samples were sometimes available for tasting. However, the store was an immediate success, with sales exceeding expectations. The only paid employee was Siegel, initially. He wore a grocer’s apron, scooped out beans for customers, extolled the virtues of fine, dark roasted coffees and functioned as the partnership’s retail expert. The three academics also had a mentor who helped them throughout the years of expanding their knowledge on coffee and tea, Alfred Peet – the founder of Peet’s Coffee and Tea. They also ordered their tea and coffee from Peet’s, but then the partners purchased a used roaster from Holland and set up roasting operations in a nearby ramshackle building. Baldwin and Bowker experimented with Alfred Peet’s roasting procedures and came up with their own blends and flavors. The second Starbucks store opened in 1972.
By the 1980s, there were four Starbucks...
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