The History of Starbucks

Molly Dirst, Author

Starbucks’ history begins along the cobblestone streets of Seattle, Washington, in 1971 through the historic Pike Place Market, with its founders, who of which have been friends since their college days, at the University of San Francisco. Gerald Baldwin, a former English teacher, Gordon Bowker, a writer, and Zev Siegl, a history teacher. It was at this market that the company opened its first location, serving fresh-roasted coffee beans, teas, and spices from many places all over the world for their customers to take home.

Ten years later, a young man from New York, named Howard Schultz, had walked through the doors, and become fascinated with Starbucks coffee after his first sip. He later joined the company in 1982, an additional cobblestone road would lead him to a new discovery. It was on a vacation to Milan, Italy, where Howard had first time experienced Italy’s coffeehouses. When he soon returned to Seattle to share the warmth and artistry of its coffee culture, with Starbucks. By 1987, the team members of every location had switched their old brown aprons, to their new, signature green ones. As it opened a new chapter as a coffeehouse.

Starbucks would soon expand to new locations, such as Chicago and Vancouver, Canada, and then on to California, Washington, D.C., and New York. By 1996, we would cross the Pacific to open our first store in Japan, followed by Europe in 1998 and China in 1999. Over the next 20 years, they would grow to welcome millions of customers a week and become a part of the community in neighborhoods all around the world.

From the start, Starbucks set out to be a unique and irregular coffee company. One that not only cared about the business but cared about the tradition and brought a feeling of connection among others.