Starbucks started by three Seattle friends, modeled the first store on the Peet’s Coffee and Tea shop in Berkeley, California.
Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Berkeley California was founded in 1966 by Alfred Peet, who sold coffee beans and equipment to many students from the nearby University of California.
Three customers who were particularly impressed with Peet’s coffee were Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel and Gordon Bowke.
In 1971, they opened a similar coffee retail store in Seattle, which they called Starbucks, a name that derived from the first mate in Herman Melville’s novel Moby-Dick. It was founded as a coffee bean roaster and retailer in Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.
Originally, the founders of Starbucks aimed to provide quality coffee to customers, and the first shop only sold high-quality, dark roasted coffee beans and coffee merchandise.
They acquired their coffee beans from Alfred Peet and sold them along with related coffee equipment, such as a drip coffee maker sold by Starbucks that was manufactured by the Swedish firm Hammarplast.
They sell roasted coffee directly to drinkers at branded shops. By the time Siegel sold out in 1980, Starbucks had six retail outlets and was selling beans wholesale to restaurants and supermarkets.
Starbucks was only a regional company until Howard Schultz purchased it in 1987. He started to expand the coffee house chain aggressively through licensing across the United States.
Schultz promoted Starbucks as the ‘third place’ distinct from home and work.
In 1996, the first shop outside the United States was opened in Japan. Today Starbucks is a worldwide coffee house chain with more than 23,000 stores.
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