Ep. 13 Starbucks: A Beacon of Hope

Story of Starbucks: A Beacon of Hope

  • 3 dudes, 2 teachers and a writer, in Washington were inspired by Peet’s Coffee in San Francisco where they sold coffee, tea, and coffee beans. And with the blessing of Alfred Peet, owner of Peet’s Coffee, they pooled together $8,000 of their own money, plus loans, in 1971 to open their own shop. But they just sold coffee beans, not cups of coffee.
  • Fun Fact: The founders named Starbucks after a shipmate in Herman Melville’s novel, Moby Dick. Even more fun fact! They almost named it “Pequod” after that particular shipmate’s boat. Really makes you think coffee, right? (Not so much…)
  • Just 9 years later they were the largest coffee roaster in Washington.
  • Howard Schultz came on board in 1982, as head of marketing. He was living on the east coast at the time, and was making more money. So he decided to uproot his family and take a pay cut and move to Washington.
  • “His job was to spread the word and magic of Starbucks, searching for new tastes, flavors, campaign ideas, and whatever else boosts business.”
  • On a trip to Italy, Schultz was inspired by the local coffee shops there, their espresso, and their relationships between owners and their customers.
  • “When Schultz returned, one of the owners wasn’t too keen on the idea of serving espresso as Schultz envisioned. In spite of the less-than-stellar feedback, Schultz believed in his idea and left the group in 1985 to start his own coffee business called Il Giornale, after a popular publication in Italy.” And it was very successful.
  • Schultz earned enough money from investors that he up and bought Starbucks from the owners for the huge sum of $3.7 million. One of those original owners went and bought Peet’s, the inspiration for Starbucks.
  • Schultz’s goal was to expand Starbucks to numerous locations, spreading out from Seattle. He consolidated Il Giornale and Starbucks into one business and the brand new company went public in 1992. (https://shopventory.com/blog/all-great-businesses-started-small-the-story-of-starbucks)
  • From there the growth has been astounding, and Starbucks is in 40+ countries and has over 15,000 total stores worldwide

Starbucks Bad:

Starbucks Good:



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