Wake up and smell the coffee Starbucks is everywhere, they are the world’s number one specialty coffee retailer. Starbucks offers a choice of regular or decaffeinated coffee beverages, a special "coffee of the day," and a broad selection of Italian-style espresso drinks. Customers can choose from a wide selection of fresh-roasted whole-bean coffees, a selection of fresh pastries and other food items, sodas, juices, teas, and coffee-related hardware and equipment. But the reason Starbucks is a tremendous success because it capitalized on a concept that hadn’t existed before in America, the coffeehouse as a gathering place. It is not just a place to get a cup of coffee, but it has become a place for socializing, studying and even showcasing talents, particularly among students and young urban professionals. Starbucks created a unique offering that was relevant and differentiated. It turned an ordinary product into an extraordinary experience that customers are willing to embrace.
The first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington on March 30, 1971 by three unlikely partners: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zeg Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker. Each invested $1,350 and borrowed another $5,000 from a bank to open the Pikes Place store. The three were inspired by Alfred Peet, a Dutch-American entrepreneur and the founder of Peet's Coffee & Tea in Berkeley. Peet taught his style of roasting beans to Baldwin, Siegl and Bowker, who took the technique to Seattle and founded Starbucks. The original Starbucks sold high quality coffee equipment and coffee beans, which at first they bought from Peet’s and then began buying directly from growers. The store did not offer fresh-brewed coffee by the cup, but samples were sometimes available for tasting. The company depended mainly on word-of-mouth to get more people into its stores, and then relied on the product to give patrons a sense of discovery and excitement. It built customer loyalty cup by cup as...
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