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Starbucks – from a small coffee shop to a successful brand

Whether it is the first thing in the morning or a quick visit between office hours, Starbucks is a sanctuary for many. The hugely successful brand has more than 21,500 stores operating in 64 countries worldwide and most of us are bound to find at least one in our vicinity.

Of course, once upon a time, the huge chain of cafes was a single shop that sold only coffee beans. How did the small shop transform into a huge chain? Let’s find out!

The story of Howard Schultz:

Building a successful brandBorn in Brooklyn, Howard Schultz, CEO of Starbucks, never imagined that he would be running a global coffee chain. However, from the time he was young, Schultz’s career path was very different from his parents.

His mom was a full-time housewife while his father performed a series of jobs as a truck driver, cab driver, and factory worker. Unfortunately, his father was involved in an accident when Howard Schultz was only seven. The Schultz family at that time had no other source of income, no health insurance nor were they eligible for workers compensation.

Despite the hardship, young Schultz focused on his education and graduated from Northern Michigan University. After graduation, he joined Xerox where he received initial sales training. Later, he took a job at Hammarplast selling European coffeemakers.

It was at Hammarplast where he had his first encounter with Starbucks when the company’s then owners ordered an unusually large number of drip coffeemakers. The compelling entrepreneur inside him flew to Seattle, where Starbucks was running four stores, to look into the matter.

Inspired by the owners’, Gerald Baldwin and Gordon Bowker, passion and their way of working, Schultz decided to join Starbucks. Of course, this decision was not easy as he would have to move across the country and face a pay cut, but he was optimistic that Starbucks would be good for him and vice versa.

The “epiphany”!

According to Howard Schultz, he had an “epiphany” while he was touring Italy as Director and Sales and noticed the coffee bar culture there. At that time, he was convinced that Starbucks should adopt the same way of serving cappuccino to their customers.

However, Baldwin and Bowker were not satisfied with Howard’s philosophy, so in 1985, Schultz left Starbucks to form his own company – II Giornale. II Giornale was so successful in its mission that it merged with Starbucks in just two years, making Howard Schultz the new CEO of Starbucks Corporation.

Apart from maintaining the quality of his venture, Howard Schultz has always made his employees’ well-being his first priority. Largely because of what he experienced during his father’s illness, he offers all his employees full health coverage.

The 63-year old CEO has a net worth of approximately $3 billion and is a true visionary when it comes to business acumen. As he says, being an entrepreneur is “what it means when your work truly captures your heart and your imagination.”

July 14th, 2017

Posted In: Uncategorized