The world-wide craze known as Starbucks that has swept the nations had a very humble beginning. 1971, deep in the Seattle’s Pike Place markets, a small store was set up for roasting and retailing whole bean and ground coffee, tea and spices. Starbucks’ name was inspired by Moby Dick’s character in remembrance of the romance of the seas and early coffee trading traditions. This inspiration comes from the actual history of coffee, dating all the way back to the fifteenth century when the Arabs discovered the drink. It is said that coffee was so popular because the Muslims were forbidden from alcohol, so this energizing beverage was the perfect substitute. Subsequently, it began to travel through Europe and Africa in countries like Persia, Turkey, Egypt, and Syria.
1981, ten years after the birth of Starbucks, the now CEO, Howard Shultz, had joined and traveled to Italy upon which he was delighted by the Italian coffee bars. So began the vision to bring back the Italian coffeehouse tradition to the United States. That small idea has grown into a total of 16,635 stores as of 2009 and still expanding exponentially. From Seattle, Washington to Chicago to Indonesia, Cyprus, and Singapore (and operation in more than fifty countries), the siren is a first language to billions of people. The most recent event was the company’s global 40th anniversary celebration on March 7, 2001 which paid tribute to their revolutional and exciting growth. “Starbucks is celebrating 40 years of great coffee, but we are also honoring four decades of creating individual moments of connection among our valued customers and our store partners, and in the neighborhoods where we do business…” (Howard Shultz).
Starbucks Company Timeline
© 2010 Starbucks Coffee Company. All Rights Reserved. www.starbucks.com 1971
Starbucks opens first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. 1982
Howard Schultz joins Starbucks as director of retail operations and marketing.
Howard travels to Italy, where he’s impressed with the
popularity of espresso bars in Milan. He sees the potential to develop a similar coffeehouse culture in Seattle.
Howard convinces the founders of Starbucks to test the
coffeehouse concept in downtown Seattle, where the first
Starbucks® Caffè Latte is served.
Starbucks opens first stores outside of Seattle area in Chicago and Vancouver, B.C.
Offers full health benefits to full- and part-time employees. 1991
Becomes the first privately owned U.S. company to offer a
stock option program that includes part-time employees.
Completes initial public offering (IPO), with common stock
being traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the trading symbol “SBUX.”
Begins serving Frappuccino® blended beverages.
Joins with Pepsi-Cola North America to begin selling bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink – our first ready-to-drink beverage. Opens first store outside of North America in Japan.
Establishes The Starbucks Foundation, benefiting local
Acquires Tazo, a tea company based in Portland, Ore.
Partners with Conservation International to promote
environmentally responsible methods of growing coffee.
Introduces coffee-sourcing guidelines developed in
partnership with Conservation International.
Introduces the Starbucks Card.
Starbucks enters into licensing agreements with national Fair Trade organizations to sell Fair Trade Certified™ coffee in the countries where Starbucks does business.
Opens first Starbucks Farmer Support Center in San Jose,
Introduces Starbucks Coffee Master Program to provide
Starbucks partners with an opportunity to learn more about
the world of coffee, and share their passion with customers
Announces a renewed focus on customer experience
Acquires Coffee Equipment Company and its revolutionary
Clover® Brewing System.