Starbucks originated as a single store in Seattle Washington in 1971. After Howard Schultz joined Starbucks in 1982, he developed his vision and made Starbucks the global company that it is today. Today Starbucks retails, roasts and markets specialty coffee. With 20,891 coffee houses in 62 countries worldwide Starbucks is the number one coffee house chain in the world. It operates across Europe and the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. Over the years Starbucks has acquired brands Tazo Tea, Seattle Coffee Company, Ethos Water, Coffee Equipment Company, Tevana, Evolution Fresh and La Boulange. These acquisitions offer future growth as well as compliment their existing products. Starbucks success is based on innovation, product quality and the internal culture they have created as they continue to focus on making the world a better place, while serving coffee.
Starbucks was founded in 1971 by Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin, and Zev Siegl and opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market as a roaster and retailer of whole bean and ground coffee, tea and spices (Starbucks, 2014). In 1982, Howard Schultz joined the company as director of retail operations and marketing, In 1983, during a trip to Italy, Schultz was fascinated by the popularity of espresso bars in Milan, and how coffee shop played an integral role in the social life of most Italians. Coffee shops were a focal point for the neighborhood, a meeting place for friends to meet, mingle and linger at all hours of the day. He believed that a similar coffeehouse culture could be emulated in Seattle with great potential. In 1984 he tested this concept in downtown Seattle, as the first Starbucks Caffe Latte was served with success (Starbucks, 2014). .
The success of the coffeehouse concept and Schultz's ambition, initiated Schultz to found Il Giornale, a coffeehouse offering brewed coffee beverages and espresso in 1985.