It happens millions of times each week—a customer receives a drink from a Starbucks barista—but each interaction is unique.
It’s just a moment in time—just one hand reaching over the counter to present a cup to another outstretched hand. But it’s a connection.
At Starbucks, we make sure everything we do honors that connection—from our commitment to the finest quality coffee, to the way we engage with our customers and communities to do business responsibly. From Starbucks beginnings as a single store, in every place we’ve been and every place we touch, we’ve tried to make it a little better than we found it.
WHEN WAS STARBUCKS FOUNDED?
When the first Starbucks opened in 1971, our company was a single store in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. From just a narrow storefront, Starbucks offered some of the world’s finest fresh-roasted whole bean coffees. The name, inspired by Moby Dick, evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders.
In 1981, Howard Schultz (Starbucks former chairman, president and chief executive officer) first walked into a Starbucks store. From his first cup of Sumatra, Howard was drawn into Starbucks and joined a year later.
In 1983, Howard traveled to Italy and became captivated with Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience. He had a vision to bring the Italian café tradition back to the United States. He wanted to create a place for conversation and a sense of community—a third place between work and home. He left the company for a short period of time to start his own Il Giornale cafés and returned in August 1987 to purchase Starbucks with the help of local investors.