Starbucks is an American company that is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world.
Its headquarters are in Seattle, Washington.
As of 2022, the company had about 34,000 stores in 80 countries, 15,500 of which were located in the United States. Out of Starbucks’ US-based stores, over 8,900 are company-operated, while the remainder are licensed.
Many of the stores look the same, and all stores sell the same items, often at the same prices.
Starbucks serves hot and cold drinks including whole-bean coffee, micro-ground in stant coffee, espresso, caffe latte, full and loose-leaf teas, juices, Frappuccino beverages, pastries, and snacks.
Starbucks was founded in 1971 by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.
The three Starbucks founders had two things in common: they were all coming from academia, and they all loved coffee and tea. They invested and borrowed some money to open the first store in Seattle and named it “Starbucks” after the first mate, Starbuck, in Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick.
The first Starbucks store was located in Seattle at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971 to 1976. They later movedthe café to 1912 Pike Place. During this time, Starbucks stores sold just coffee beans and not drinks. In its first two years of operation, Starbucks purchased green coffee beans from Peet’s Coffee & Tea,. In 1973, Alfred Peet stopped supplying Starbucks and helped train their new Roastmaster, Jim Reynolds.
By the early 1980s Starbucks had opened four stores in Seattle that stood out from the competitors with their top-quality fresh-roasted coffees.
By 1989, 46 Starbucks stores existed across the Pacific Northwest and Midwest, and the company was roasting more than 2,000,000 pounds (907,185 kg) of coffee annually.
Starbucks was a hit in Seattle, and soon began expanding down the Pacific Coast. Exporting the concept to Chicago in the early 1990s was equally successful, and forays into the Northeast and Canada were also lucrative.
Starbucks entered into a meteoric period of expansion that continued after the company went public in 1992.
In 1994, Starbucks acquired The Coffee Connection, gaining the rights to use, make, market, and sell the “Frappuccino” beverage. The beverage was introduced under the Starbucks name in 1995 and by 2012, Starbucks had annual Frappuccino sales of over $2 billion.
By 1996, we would cross the Pacific to open our first store in Japan, followed by Europe in 1998 and China in 1999 – by 2000, Starbucks had some 2,500 locations in about a dozen countries.
The trade journal Restaurants & Institutions, naming Starbucks as its “Changemaker” for 1995, explained that “with ethnic influences shaping the American palate, consumers demand more from everything they consume.… Along comes Starbucks with a flavor profile stronger than many Americans had ever experienced.” With a featured “coffee of the day” and a variety of espresso, cappuccino, and latte drinks priced from $1.15 to $3.15, Starbucks became a morning stop for urban commuters in major American cities, and a hangout for the home-office-bound and stroller-mom brigade of the more affluent suburbs. In some urban spots, Starbucks outlets were so successful that the company simply opened up a second Starbucks across the street.
By 1998, Starbucks was the number-one roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the United States, closing in on its goal of 2,000 stores by the year 2000, expanding into Asian markets, and introducing bottled beverages and packaged beans in supermarkets.
In 1999, Starbucks experimented with eateries in the San Francisco Bay Area through a restaurant chain called Circadia. After people learned that these restaurants were owned by Starbucks, Starbucks converted the restaurants to Starbucks cafés.
Starbucks started selling the Pumpkin Spice Latte in 2003, and its been an iconic part of the fall lineup ever since.
In 2005, Starbucks hit 10,000 stores around the world including in Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.
In August 2012, the largest Starbucks in the US opened at the University of Alabama’s Ferguson Centre.
On June 25, 2013, Starbucks began to post calorie counts on menus for drinks and pastries in all of its US stores.
In July 2013, more than 10% of in-store purchases were made on customers’ mobile devices via the Starbucks app.
In November 2019, Starbucks opened its new largest store ever on Michigan Avenue, Chicago, with 200 employees.
The rise of the second wave of coffee culture is generally attributed to Starbucks, which introduced a wider variety of coffee experiences.
The company is ranked 114th on the Fortune 500 and 288th on the Forbes Global 2000.