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U.S. Originals

Starbucks History

The story began in 1971 when the first Starbucks opened at Pike Place Market, which is Seattle's and the Nation's oldest Farmer's Market (opened August 17, 1907).

But at this time the company was a local coffee roasting facility. That remained their core business until 1982 when Howard Schulz joined the company.

He was the new marketing executive and began right away to convince more and more local cafes, upscale restaurants, and hotels to buy Starbucks coffee. The turning point for the company and the begin of writing coffee history should be one year later when Schulz traveled through Italy. He got inspired by the old Italian coffee bar tradition to serve fresh brewed Espressi and Cappuccini. He convinced the Starbucks founders to give his idea a chance and in 1985 he opened the first coffee bar in Seattle and gave it the Italian touch by naming it 'Il Giornale'.

The new concept worked out, Il Giornale was a success. But Schulz aimed higher. He found local investors and bought Starbucks in 1987. That gave way for expansion and in the same year he opened new cafes in Chicago and even Vancouver, Canada. 17 Starbucks Cafes were established.

In 1992 the company went public (after they had already offered stock options to part-time employees in 1991) and stocks were now publicly traded at the NASDAQ (SBUX). At this time Starbucks counts approx. 165 cafes.

On March 7th, 2001 Starbucks eventually jumped on the Old Continent and opened their first cafe in the Old World: Zurich, Switzerland.

Today the company has more than 8.000 cafes in more than 30 countries.

Starbucks Cafe in Boise, ID
Starbucks Cafe in Boise, ID


  The name 'Starbucks'
The coffee company was named after a character in the Herman Melville novel 'Moby Dick'.

Document Information
Source: Starbucks Corporation; magazineUSA.com
Last modified: 20041113
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