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A Brief History of Starbucks

Starbucks has always been the place to find the world’s best coffees. But in 1971, you would have had to travel all the way to our only store in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market.



1970s

The first Starbucks opens. The name comes from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, a classic American novel about the 19th century whaling industry. The seafaring name seems appropriate for a store that imports the world’s finest coffees to the people of Seattle.

1980s Howard Schultz joins Starbucks

Howard Schultz joins Starbucks in 1982. While on a business trip in Italy, he visits Milan’s famous espresso bars. Impressed with their popularity and culture, he sees their potential in Seattle. He’s right – after trying lattes and mochas, Seattle quickly becomes coffee-crazy.

1990s Starbucks store in Japan

The demand for great coffee allows Starbucks to expand beyond Seattle, first to the rest of the United States and North America then further a field. After becoming one of the first speciality coffee companies to offer both stock options and health benefits to all its partners, Starbucks becomes a publicly traded company.

2000s Starbucks barista

The Starbucks phenomenon continues. At the time of writing, Starbucks has more than 15,500 locations in more than 43 countries. In addition to excellent coffees and espresso drinks, people enjoy Tazo® tea and Frappuccino® ice blended beverages.





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