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From Small Business To Big Business: Starbucks Corporation

Aug 27, 2008
When we think of Starbucks today we think of one thing coffee. Or more specifically some form of Mocha Latte or Frappuccino. Although many coffee companies have done fairly well in their own right during the last decade and a half Starbucks is by far the leader of the pack. And what started as a small unknown coffee shop in Seattle, Washington in 1971 has grown into the global leader of coffee today. All because of the vision of one man Howard Schultz.

Now to be perfectly clear about this Howard Schultz is the man that had the vision of what Starbucks could become but he is not the founder of Starbucks. That title actually belongs to three other men. The three men are Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker and they are the actual founders of Starbucks. Now the original Starbucks was a bit different than it is today. The three founders actually opened their store so that they could sell just coffee beans. Their inspiration actually came from another store called Peet's Coffee & Tea which they would later buy.

It wasn't until 1982 that Howard Schultz joined the company as the director of marketing. And while on a trip to Milan, Italy he learned of the Italian coffee bars. Once he returned from his trip he tried to convince the owners that they needed to start offering traditional espresso beverages. The owners weren't particularly keen on the idea though as they thought that coffee was meant to be brewed and enjoyed at home. They did let him try out a small bar within the store but while successful they decided not to pursue it further.

Howard Schultz on the other hand had different ideas. Seeing that he was not going to get anywhere with the owners of Starbucks he decided to pursue the concept himself. So he opened Il Giornale in 1985. His small chain soon proved to be successful but it wasn't until about two years later that his real opportunity came knocking. The founders of Starbucks were looking to sell. A short while back they had bought Peet's Coffee & Tea which was their original inspiration and they wanted to focus on it. Soon after buying Starbucks Howard Schultz changed his Il Giornale stores into Starbucks locations as well.

From there everyone pretty much knows what happened. Today Starbucks is considered the leader in coffee. They not only sell drinks directly to the public but sell coffee beans as well which is somewhat ironic. They now operate over 15,000 locations in 44 different countries. Just about everywhere you go you can find the Starbucks logo on a street corner somewhere. It really is amazing how far they have come in a relatively short period of time. And if not because of the persistence and perseverance of one particular person the idea may have never even got off the ground.
About the Author
Cash Miller is an experienced entrepreneur and speaker who has spent over a decade as a small business owner. His years of experience in small business cover a variety of topics. If you are looking for more small business help please check out http://www.smallbusinessdelivered.com
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