There is virtually a country that its people do not like coffee, it has become a daily beverage for everyone working and for families at home. People like their coffee in different forms, from hot, cold, mild, creamy and many other forms. Coffee has now become a daily thing for a lot of people in the world considering the fact that there was a time when people only wanted to take coffee once a week but in all this there is a company that has stood out to become the world’s coffee giant making people take up to three or four cups of coffee daily for overly active people and that company is Starbucks. Starbucks and the green mermaid has become the trademark for coffee in America and in other countries and in this post, I will be looking at what made Starbucks become a drink for everyone.
In the 1970s, three college friends started talking about creating a business, this friends have one thing in common and that is their obsession for coffee. Gordon Bowker decided to start a company which dealt with premium quality coffee. He wanted to be able to serve people with readymade premium quality coffee and in other to that, he had to travel to Vancouver to get coffee of great quality. The three friends Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl decided to start serving people premium coffee but needed to learn from someone and that person was Alfred Peet the founder of Peet Coffee. Peet roasted high quality beans in his warehouse and was regarded as the father of premium coffee business in the United States. With the help of Peet, the three friends were able to make valuable connections with coffee brokers and learned how to roast coffee (Arabica) beans.
In 1971, the three friends embarked on their business journey of creating their own coffee store, they created the first Starbucks. The store was to sell Tea, Coffee, and Spices. At the beginning, the company wasn’t selling ready to take coffee, the company was selling the beans and the machine. Soon they expanded their store in Seattle to 5 outlets, as people believed in them for the best premium coffee bean but with Howard Schultz a coffee machine salesman, the company changed from selling coffee beans to coffee drink. The company founder did not really want to make coffee drink but they later opened a new outlet for the coffee and Howard Schultz was made director of sales and marketing.
Howard journeyed to Milan and found out that people were getting their coffee from machines and when he went back to the United States, he told the founders about expanding and doing well but they did not want to risk something not promising. Howard left Starbucks after which the company started facing threat of bankruptcy. The founders of the company called him to buy the company for $3.8 million and he bought it.
The Company has since then become king in the coffee business. The company went public in 1992 and its IPO made $25 million at $17 per shares for 12% of the company in the market. By 1996, Starbucks had opened 1000 store. The company kept to one thing and that is consistency in quality as every Starbucks will have the same great tasty cup of coffee. Although many people said the coffee was strong at first because Americans were used to weak Coffee but Howard made them understood that coffees were supposed to be strong.
Starbucks faced financial issues when Howard retired after pushing Starbucks to a very great position and remained in the board as the Chief Global Strategist making Jim Donald the new CEO. The company suffered even though they kept on opening more outlets, the quality of the coffee was going down but the company looked good on the stock market. Also, the management were prioritizing profit over quality. Howard took over as CEO and made changes to the company which includes bringing back quality, and firing a large number of executives. The CEO pushed the company forward and retired in 2016 and leaving the reigns of the company to Kevin Johnson. Kevin has pushed Starbucks to a conglomerate worth over $100 billion.