Starbucks History - A Magnificent Tale of Innovation in the Coffee Industry Whether you're a Starbucks fan or not, there's no refuting the impact this company has made on the coffee culture in the US and around the world. Today, Starbucks is the largest coffee house chain in the world. As of March 2007, the chain includes 8500 company owned stores and 6500 licensed stores in 42 countries, for a total of over 15,000 stores globally. The fashionable retailer has clearly transformed the consumer preferences and coffee drinking habits of an entire market over the last thirty years. Because the company has achieved such stellar success, the Starbucks business model is included for study in many business school curriculums. Understanding the modern coffee industry simply wouldn't be complete without including a discussion of Starbucks history. The Starbucks Founders
English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegel, and writer Gordon Bowker were the original founding partners and opened the first Starbucks store in Seattle, Washington in 1971. The three collected $8000 in cash and loans as start-up capital. The original concept, inspired by their friend Alfred Peet (Peet's Coffee and Tea), was to open a store in Seattle's Pike Place Market to sell premium coffee beans and specialty coffee equipment. Zev Siegel actually worked in Peet's Berkeley, California store for a summer to learn the trade. The founders of Starbucks, with the permission of Alfred Peet, fashioned their first store after Peet's popular Berkeley coffee house. Peet supplied the green coffee beans for roasting in their new store. Very likely, Starbucks wouldn't be where they are today without the early influence of Alfred Peet. By 1980, only nine years after the first store opened, Starbucks was the largest coffee roaster in Washington with six retail outlets. That same year, Zev Siegel decided he wanted to move on to other pursuits and his two partners bought him out. A Brilliant Epiphany...
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