WhenHub - Starbucks


A timeline chronicling the rise of the world's most famous coffeehouse - Starbucks. Source: https://www.starbucks.com/about-us/company-information/starbucks-company-timeline https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starbucks https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howard_Schultz

First Store

United States
Pike Place Market

Starbucks opens first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

The first Starbucks opened in Seattle, Washington, on March 31, 1971, by three partners who met while they were students at the University of San Francisco: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker were inspired to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment by coffee roasting entrepreneur Alfred Peet after he taught them his style of roasting beans. The company took the name of the chief mate in the book Moby-Dick: Starbuck, after considering "Cargo House" and "Pequod". Bowker recalls that Terry Heckler, with whom Bowker owned an advertising agency, thought words beginning with "st" were powerful. The founders brainstormed a list of words beginning with "st". Someone pulled out an old mining map of the Cascade Range and saw a mining town named "Starbo", which immediately put Bowker in mind of the character "Starbuck". Bowker said, "Moby-Dick didn't have anything to do with Starbucks directly; it was only coincidental that the sound seemed to make sense."

The first Starbucks store was located in Seattle at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971–1976. This cafe was later moved to 1912 Pike Place; never to be relocated again. During this time, the company only sold roasted whole coffee beans and did not yet brew coffee to sell. The only brewed coffee served in the store were free samples. During their first year of operation, they purchased green coffee beans from Peet's, then began buying directly from growers.

The Man Who Shaped Starbucks


Howard Schultz joins Starbucks as director of retail operations and marketing. Starbucks begins providing coffee to fine restaurants and espresso bars.

After graduating, Schultz worked as a salesman for Xerox Corporation and was quickly promoted to a full sales representative. In 1979 he became a general manager for Swedish drip coffee maker manufacturer, Hammarplast, where he became responsible for their U.S. operations with a staff of twenty. In 1981, Schultz visited a client of Hammarplast, a fledgling coffee-bean shop called Starbucks Coffee Company in Seattle, curious as to why it ordered so many plastic cone filters. He was impressed with the company's knowledge of coffee and kept in contact over the next year, expressing interest in working with them. A year later, he joined Starbucks as the Director of Marketing.

Trip That Changed Starbucks


Schultz travels to Italy, where he’s impressed with the popularity of espresso bars in Milan. He sees the potential to develop a similar coffeehouse culture in Seattle.

The Beginning of The Coffeehouse Concept


Schultz convinces the founders of Starbucks to test the coffeehouse concept

On his return, he tried to persuade the owners (including Jerry Baldwin) to offer traditional espresso beverages in addition to the whole bean coffee, leaf teas and spices they had long offered. After a successful pilot of the cafe concept in downtown Seattle, where the first Starbucks Caffè Latte is served, the owners refused to roll it out company-wide, saying they did not want to get into the restaurant business.

Schultz founds Il Giornale


Schultz founds Il Giornale, offering brewed coffee and espresso beverages made from Starbucks® coffee beans.

Schultz decided to leave Starbucks in 1985. He needed $400,000 to open the first store and start the business. He simply did not have the money and his wife was pregnant with their first baby. Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker offered to help. Schultz also received $100,000 from a doctor who was impressed by Schultz's energy to "take a gamble". By 1986, he raised all the money he needed to open the first store, "Il Giornale", named after the Milanese newspaper of the same name. The store offered ice cream in addition to coffee, had little seating, and played opera music in the background to portray an Italian experience. 

Il Giornale acquires Starbucks


Il Giornale acquires Starbucks assets with the backing of local investors and changes its name to Starbucks Corporation. Opens in Chicago and Vancouver, Canada. 

Total stores*: 17

Two years later, the original Starbucks management decided to focus on Peet's Coffee & Tea and sold its Starbucks retail unit to Schultz and Il Giornale for US$3.8 million.

Schultz renamed Il Giornale with the Starbucks name, and aggressively expanded its reach across the United States. Schultz's keen insight in real estate and his hard-line focus on growth drove him to expand the company rapidly. Schultz did not believe in franchising, and made a point of having Starbucks retain ownership of every domestic outlet.

In the same year, Starbucks opened its first locations outside Seattle at Waterfront Station in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Chicago, Illinois.

Starbucks Offers Health Care Benefit to Employees


Offers full health benefits to eligible full- and part-time employees, including coverage for domestic partnerships. 

Total stores: 33



By 1989, 46 stores existed across the Northwest and Midwest and annually, Starbucks was roasting over 2,000,000 pounds (907,185 kg) of coffee.

Total stores: 55



Starbucks expands headquarters in Seattle. 

Unveils Starbucks Mission Statement. 

Total stores: 84

First Licensed Airport Store


Becomes the first privately owned U.S. company to offer a stock option program that includes part-time employees.

Opens first licensed airport store at Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport. 

Total stores: 116

Completes initial public offering (IPO)


Completes initial public offering (IPO)

Total stores: 165

On 26 June 1992, Starbucks had its initial public offering and trading of its common stock under the stock ticker NASDAQ-NMS: SBUX. The offering was done by Alex, Brown & Sons Inc. and Wertheim Schroder & Co. Inc.

At the time of its initial public offering (IPO) on the stock market in June 1992, Starbucks had 140 outlets, with a revenue of US$73.5 million, up from US$1.3 million in 1987. The company's market value was US$271 million by this time. The 12% portion of the company that was sold raised around US$25 million for the company, which facilitated a doubling of the number of stores over the next two years.

First Drive-Thru Location


Opens first drive-thru location.

Total stores: 425

Launched Frappuccino


Begins serving Frappuccino® blended beverages. 

Opens first LEED-certified store in Hillsboro, Oregon.

Announces second two-for-one stock split.

Opens roasting facility in York, Pa. 

Total stores: 677

Frappuccino is a trademarked brand of the Starbucks Corporation for a line of blended coffee beverages that are served cold. It consists of coffee or other base ingredient (e.g. strawberries, bananas, cream), blended with ice and other various ingredients, usually topped with whipped cream and sauces. Frappuccinos are also sold as bottled coffee beverages in stores and from vending machines.

The recipe is derived from a fusion of various cold beverages, including the coffee frap (similar to iced coffee) and the frappe (blended ice cream, syrup, and milk), with the Italian cappuccino. The recipe today consists of brewed coffee, ice, and other additives such as milk, sugar, flavored syrups, and whipped cream.

The Unicorn Frappuccino was a drink introduced in April 2017. It was made with ice, milk, pink powder, sour blue powder, crème Frappuccino syrup, mango syrup, and blue drizzle. In the 20-ounce size, it contained 500 calories, 18 grams of fat, 76 grams of sugar, and 55 milligrams of cholesterol. The drink was available only for a limited time, ending on April 23, 2017. Most stores sold out of the drink before April 23, leading to the creation of the unofficial Dragon Frappuccino.

Expansion to Japan and Singapore


Begins selling bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink through North American Coffee Partnership. 

Opens stores in: Japan (first store outside of North America) and Singapore. 

Total stores: 1,015

Establishes the Starbucks Foundation


Establishes the Starbucks Foundation.

Opens stores in: the Philippines. 

Total stores: 1,412

Expands into Grocery Channels Across the U.S.


Extends the Starbucks brand into grocery channels across the U.S.

Opens in underserved neighborhoods through joint-venture partnership with Magic Johnson.

Launches Starbucks.com.

Establishes the CUP Fund emergency financial assistance fund for partners.

Opens stores in: England, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand. 

Total stores: 1,886

Acquires Tazo Tea


Acquires Tazo Tea.

Partners with Conservation International to promote sustainable coffee-growing practices.

Acquires Hear Music, a San Francisco–based music company.

Announces third two-for-one stock split.

Opens stores in: China, Kuwait, Lebanon and South Korea. 

Total stores: 2,498

Starbucks entered the tea business in 1999 when it acquired the Tazo brand for US$8,100,000.

In 1999, Starbucks started "Grounds for your Garden" to make their business environmentally friendlier. This gives leftover coffee grounds to anyone requesting it for composting. Although not all stores and regions participate, customers can request and lobby their local store to begin the practice.

Hear Music was purchased by Starbucks in 1999. Nearly three years later, in 2002, they produced a Starbucks opera album, featuring artists such as Luciano Pavarotti, followed in March 2007 by the hit CD "Memory Almost Full" by Paul McCartney, making McCartney the first artist signed to New Hear Music Label sold in Starbucks outlets. Its inaugural release was a big non-coffee event for Starbucks the first quarter of 2007.

Fairtrade Certified Coffee in U.S. and Canada


Establishes licensing agreement with TransFair USA to sell Fairtrade certified coffee in U.S. and Canada.

Opens stores in: Australia, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

Total stores: 3,501

In 2000, the company introduced a line of fair trade products. Of the approximately 136,000 metric tons (300 million pounds) of coffee Starbucks purchased in 2006, only about 6% was certified as fair trade.

According to Starbucks, they purchased 2,180 metric tons (4.8 million pounds) of Certified Fair Trade coffee in fiscal year 2004 and 5,220 metric tons (11.5 million pounds) in 2005. They have become the largest buyer of Certified Fair Trade coffee in North America (10% of the global market). Transfair USA,[full citation needed] a third-party certifier of Fair Trade Certified coffee in the United States, has noted the impact Starbucks has made in the area of Fair Trade and coffee farmer's lives:

Since launching its FTC coffee line in 2000, Starbucks has undeniably made a significant contribution to family farmers through their rapidly growing FTC coffee volume. By offering FTC coffee in thousands of stores, Starbucks has also given the FTC label greater visibility, helping to raise consumer awareness in the process.[attribution needed]

All espresso roast sold in the UK and Ireland is Fairtrade. Questions have been raised regarding the legitimacy of the Fair Trade designation.

Groups such as Global Exchange are calling for Starbucks to further increase its sales of fair trade coffees.

According to Starbucks, in 2004 it paid on average $1.42 per pound ($2.64 kg) for high-quality coffee beans, 74% above the commodity prices at the time

Introduces the Starbucks Card


Introduces ethical coffee-sourcing guidelines developed in partnership with Conservation International.

Introduces the Starbucks Card.

Announces fourth two-for-one stock split.

Opens stores in: Austria, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales. 

Total stores: 4,709

Launches Wi-Fi in stores


Establishes Starbucks Coffee Trading Company (SCTC) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Launches Wi-Fi in stores.

Opens stores in: Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Oman, Puerto Rico and Spain.

Total stores: 5,886

Acquires Seattle Coffee Company


Acquires Seattle Coffee Company, which includes Seattle’s Best Coffee® and Torrefazione Italia® coffee. 

Opens roasting facilities in Carson Valley, Nev., and Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Opens stores in: Chile, Cyprus, Peru and Turkey. 

Total stores: 7,225

Introduces Starbucks Coffee Master Program


Opens first Farmer Support Center in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Introduces Starbucks Coffee Master Program.

Opens stores in: France and Northern Ireland.

Total stores: 8,569

Ever wondered why some of Starbucks Baristas are wearing black aprons instead of the usual green ones in Starbucks stores? It means they are Coffee Masters. Experts in all things coffee and trained to be the best of the best. 

Just like some people love languages or beautiful landscapes, others exist who hold a deep passion for coffee. That’s why they opened Coffee Masters program to anyone who joins Starbucks as a Barista (also known as partner); even if they don’t know crema from their cappuccino.* 

From their first day, partners are shown the ropes and led down the tantalizing path of taste and texture. They take them on a journey to the different growing regions around the world and help them develop a true connoisseur’s palate from the start. Not only do they learn the basics about coffee and its rich history, but how to craft their own coffee and demonstrate this knowledge to you in-store. 

Acquires Ethos Water


Acquires Ethos Water.

Announces fifth two-for-one stock split.

Opens stores in: Bahamas, Ireland and Jordan. 

Total stores: 10,241

Ethos, a brand of bottled water acquired by Starbucks in 2003, is sold at locations throughout North America. Ethos bottles feature prominent labeling stating "helping children get clean water", referring to the fact that US$0.05 from each US$1.80 bottle sold (US$0.10 per bottle in Canada) is used to fund clean water projects in under-developed areas. Although sales of Ethos water have raised over US$6,200,000 for clean water efforts, the brand is not incorporated as a charity. Starbucks has redesigned the American version of the Ethos water bottles, stating the amount of money donated per bottle in the description.

Launches Recycled Paper Cup


Launches the industry’s first paper beverage cup containing post-consumer recycled fiber.

Opens stores in: Brazil and Egypt. 

Total stores: 12,440

Uses 2% Milk As The New Standard for Espresso Beverages


Eliminates all artificial trans fat and makes 2 percent milk the new standard for espresso beverages. 

Opens stores in: Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania and Russia. 

Total stores: 15,011

Chairman Howard Schultz returns as CEO


Chairman Howard Schultz returns as chief executive officer and begins transformation of the company.

Acquires Coffee Equipment Company and its Clover® brewing system.

Adopts new Mission Statement “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”

Launches My Starbucks Idea, Starbucks first online community. Also joins Twitter and debuts Starbucks Facebook page.

Opens stores in: Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Portugal.

Total stores: 16,680

In March 2008, they purchased the manufacturer of the Clover Brewing System. They began testing the "fresh-pressed" coffee system at several Starbucks locations in Seattle, California, New York, and Boston.

In May 2008, a loyalty program was introduced for registered users of the Starbucks Card (previously simply a gift card) offering perks such as free Wi-Fi Internet access, no charge for soy milk and flavored syrups, and free refills on brewed drip coffee, iced coffee, or tea

In early 2008, Starbucks started a community website, My Starbucks Idea, designed to collect suggestions and feedback from customers. Other users comment and vote on suggestions.

Launches Starbucks VIA® Instant & Reward Card


Launches Starbucks VIA® Instant

Opens Farmer Support Center in Kigali, Rwanda.

Launches My Starbucks Rewards® loyalty program and Starbucks Card mobile payment.

Opens stores in: Aruba and Poland.

Total stores: 16,635

Starbucks introduced a new line of instant coffee packets, called VIA "Ready Brew", in March 2009. It was first unveiled in New York City with subsequent testing of the product also in Seattle, Chicago, and London. The first two VIA flavors include Italian Roast and Colombia, which were then rolled out in October 2009, across the U.S. and Canada with Starbucks stores promoting the product with a blind "taste challenge" of the instant versus fresh roast, in which many people could not tell the difference between the instant and fresh brewed coffee. 

Offer Free Unlimited WiFi


Expands digital offerings for customers with free unlimited Wi-Fi, Starbucks Digital Network.

Seattle’s Best Coffee reinvents business strategy to extend brand’s reach.

Opens stores in: El Salvador, Hungary and Sweden.

Total stores: 16,858

Completes 40 Years


Launches first annual Global Month of Service to celebrate company’s 40th anniversary.

Opens first Community Stores in Harlem and Crenshaw neighborhoods. 

Launches Starbucks® K-Cup® packs.

Acquires Evolution Fresh

Opens Farmer Support Center in Mbeya, Tanzania. 

Launches Create Jobs for USA to encourage small-business growth. 

Opens stores in: Guatemala, Curacao and Morocco. 

Total stores: 17,003

Throughout April, the company celebrates partners’ daily commitment to improving their local neighborhoods by shining a spotlight on service for 30 consecutive days. During the month, partners around the world lead service projects and invite other partners, customers and community members to volunteer with them.

On November 10, 2011, Starbucks Corporation announced that it had bought juice company Evolution Fresh for $30 million in cash and planned to start a chain of juice bars starting in around middle of 2012, venturing into territory staked out by Jamba Inc. Its first store released in San Bernardino, California and plans for a store in San Francisco were to be launched in early 2013

Introduces Starbucks® Blonde Roast & Refreshers & Acquires Teavana


Introduces Starbucks® Blonde Roast.

Opens Farmer Support Centers in Manizales, Colombia and Yunnan, China.

Acquires La Boulange® bakery brand to elevate core food offerings.

Launches Starbucks Refreshers® beverage platform.

Acquires Teavana to transform the tea category.

Opens stores in: Costa Rica, Finland, India and Norway.

Total stores: 18,066

On November 14, 2012, Starbucks announced the purchase of Teavana for US$620 million in cash and the deal was formally closed on December 31, 2012.  As of November 2012, there is no intention of marketing Starbucks' products in Teavana stores, though the acquisition will allow the expansion of Teavana beyond its current main footprint in shopping malls.[80] In January 2015, Starbucks began to roll out Teavana teas into Starbucks stores, both in to-go beverage and retail formats.

In 2012, Starbucks began selling a line of iced Starbucks Refresher beverages that contain an extract from green arabica coffee beans. The beverages are fruit flavored and contain caffeine but advertised as having no coffee flavor. Starbucks' green coffee extraction process involves soaking the beans in water.

Strengthens Ethical Sourcing Efforts


Strengthens ethical sourcing efforts with coffee farming research and development center in Costa Rica.

Starbucks ceo Howard Schultz reinforces company’s commitment to marriage equality at company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting. 

Come Together petition urges U.S. elected leaders to reopen the government. 

Opens stores in: Vietnam, Colombia and Monaco. 

Total stores: 19,767

On February 1, 2013, Starbucks opened its first store in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and this was followed by an announcement in late August 2013 that the retailer will be opening its inaugural store in Colombia. The Colombian announcement was delivered at a press conference in Bogota, where the company's CEO explained, "Starbucks has always admired and respected Colombia's distinguished coffee tradition."

Launches Starbucks College Achievement Plan


Enhances iPhone app with shake to pay and digital tipping. 

Launches Starbucks College Achievement Plan with Arizona State University to offer qualifying Starbucks U.S. partners the opportunity to complete a college degree through ASU’s online degree program. 

Announces commitment to hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018. 

Opens first Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle. 

Launches Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay.

Hosts first in a series of Partner Open Forums to discuss race relations in America. 

Opens stores in: Brunei and Colombia. 

Total stores: 21,366

In August 2014, Starbucks opened their first store in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. This location will be one of 30 Starbucks stores that will serve beer and wine.

In September 2014, it was revealed that Starbucks would acquire the remaining 60.5 percent stake in Starbuck Coffee Japan that it does not already own, at a price of $913.5 million

Launches Cold Brew iced coffee and Evolution Fresh™ handcrafted smoothies.


Launches Cold Brew iced coffee and Evolution Fresh™ handcrafted smoothies. 

Announces sixth two-for-one stock split. 

Commits to hiring 10,000 opportunity youth by 2018. 

Expands Starbucks College Achievement Plan to offer full tuition coverage for all four years of an undergraduate degree for qualifying U.S. Starbucks partners. Commits to 25,000 partners graduating by 2025. 

Reaches 99% ethically sourced coffee milestone. 

Opens stores in: Panama

Total stores: 22,519 (as of June 28, 2015)

On November 10, 2011, Starbucks Corporation announced that it had bought juice company Evolution Fresh for $30 million in cash and planned to start a chain of juice bars starting in around middle of 2012, venturing into territory staked out by Jamba Inc. Its first store released in San Bernardino, California and plans for a store in San Francisco were to be launched in early 2013.

Starbucks has moved 90% of its coffee purchases to preferred C.A.F.E. certified providers, and the company is approaching its stated goal to purchase 100% of its coffee through C.A.F.E. or other 'ethically sourced' certification systems.

Increase in Share Price


By September 1992, Starbucks' share price had risen by 70% to over 100 times the earnings per share of the previous year.

Launch in Italy & Debut of 'Upstanders'


Opens stores in: Italy

Debut of its first-ever original content series called "Upstanders"

In February 2016, Starbucks announced that it will enter Italy, its 24th market in Europe. The first location will open in Milan by 2017. In August, startup company FluxPort introduced Qi inductive charging pads at select locations in Germany.

In September 2016, Starbucks announced a debut of its first-ever original content series called "Upstanders" which aims to inspire Americans with stories of compassion, citizenship, and civility. The series features podcasts, written word, and video, and will be distributed via the Starbucks mobile app, online, and through the company's in-store digital network

Johnson as New CEO & Whiskey Barrel Coffee


Kevin Johnson as New CEO

Unveiling of whiskey Barrel Coffee

In April 2017, Schultz became executive chairman of Starbucks with Kevin Johnson becoming President and CEO.

In March 2017, Starbucks announced to launch limited-edition of two new specialty drinks made from beans aged in whiskey barrels at its Seattle roastery. Starbucks' barrel-aged coffee will be sold with a small batch of unroasted Starbucks Reserve Sulawesi beans, which are then hand-scooped into whiskey barrels from Washington D.C.