Starbucks Company History Timeline


The first, in 1972, was Jean Mach.

By 1972 the three founders had opened a second store in University Village and invested in a Probat roaster.


In its first two years of operation, Starbucks purchased green coffee beans from Peet's Coffee & Tea,. In 1973, Alfred Peet stopped supplying Starbucks and helped train their new Roastmaster, Jim Reynolds.


That illusion came crashing down in 1975, when an extraordinary freeze devastated the Brazilian coffee crop.


You can still see Starbucks’ original mermaid, baring her breasts and spreading her tails, on the window of the “original Starbucks” (actually the second location of the original Starbucks, to which it moved in 1977) at Seattle’s tourist-beloved Pike Place market.


Starbucks founders Zev Siegl, Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker, Seattle, February 1979


In 1981 Howard Schultz, a sales representative for Hammarplast, a Swedish company that made kitchen equipment and housewares from which Starbucks bought drip-coffee makers, noticed how large the company’s orders were, which prompted him to pay it a visit.


Schultz was so impressed that he decided to pursue a career at Starbucks, and he was hired as the head of marketing in 1982.

After joining the company in 1982, a different cobblestone road would lead him to another discovery.


In May 1984 Starbucks opened a sixth store at 4th Avenue and Spring Street in downtown Seattle, which, at Schultz's urging, included an espresso bar.

At the close of the 1984 fiscal year, Starbucks sales were $6.5 million, up from $5.6 million the previous year.


In March 1985, employees voted for union representation and joined Local 1001 of the United Food and Commercial Workers.


By 1986, the company operated six stores in Seattle and had only just begun to sell espresso coffee.


1987 Il Giornale acquires Starbucks assets with the backing of local investors and changes its name to Starbucks Corporation.

Also in 1987, Starbucks opened its first locations outside of Seattle in Waterfront Station in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Chicago, Illinois.


In 1988 Starbucks introduced a mail-order catalog; the company was serving mail-order customers in every state and operating 33 stores.

1988 Offers full health benefits to eligible full- and part-time employees, including coverage for domestic partnerships.


In October of that year it opened its first store in Chicago, and by 1989 there were nine Chicago Starbucks.

Starbucks lost money while preparing for its planned expansion, including more than $1 million in 1989 alone.

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


By 1990 he had hired two star executives: Howard Behar, previously president of a leading developer of outdoor resorts, Thousand Trails, Inc.; and Orin Smith, chief financial and administrative officer for Danzas, USA, a freight forwarder.

1990 Starbucks expands headquarters in Seattle.


1991 Becomes the first privately owned United States company to offer a stock option program that includes part-time employees.


By 1992, Starbucks had more than 135 outlets and was earning yearly revenues of up to $72 million.

Starbucks entered into a meteoric period of expansion that continued after the company went public in 1992.

The company went public in 1992, the same year it opened its first stores in San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, and Denver.

1992 — It was completed the initial public offering (IPO), that produced more cash for the company and caused the growing of Starbucks in the coffee industry.


1993 Opens roasting plant in Kent, Wash.


Sales approached the $1 billion mark that year, while net income hit $57.4 million, more than five times the result for 1994.

1994 Opens first drive-thru location.

In 1994, Starbucks acquired The Coffee Connection, gaining the rights to use, make, market, and sell the "Frappuccino" beverage.


1995 Begins serving Frappuccino® blended beverages.


Schultz sold 12% of the company for $25 million in order to raise capital for doubling its stores in the next two years.In 1996 they were able to increase their stores outside America by opening their first store in Tokyo, Japan.

1996 Begins selling bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink through North American Coffee Partnership.


When they expanded in 1997 into Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin the total number of branches were 1,412 by the end of year.

In Japan the first foreign market was developed with the help of SZABY Inc., a Japanese retailer and restaurateur, through other partnerships they also opened in Hawaii and Singapore the same year and in 1997 they also opened in Philippines.

Starbucks' expansion into Florida, Michigan, and Wisconsin in 1997 helped the total number of units reach an astounding 1,412 by year-end, more than double the previous two-year total.

1997 Establishes the Starbucks Foundation.


In 1998, they bought U.K. based company Seattle Coffee Company for $83 million.

1998 — The Starbucks brand extended into the grocery channels across all over the United States was launched and another stores appeared.

1998 Extends the Starbucks brand into grocery channels across the United States Opens in underserved neighborhoods through joint-venture partnership with Magic Johnson.


In early 1999 through the purchase of Pasqua Coffee Co., a chain of coffee and sandwich shops with 56 units in California and New York.

Aggressive expansion in the United Kingdom yielded more than 100 units by late 1999.

1999 Acquires Tazo Tea.


Meanwhile, in Seattle, the partners had found the location they wanted, a corner storefront in the old Harbor Heights Hotel at 2000 Western Avenue, just north of the Pike Place Market.

Schultz announced in 2000 that he was stepping down as CEO but would remain as chairman.


2001 Starbucks expands to continental Europe with opening of stores in Switzerland and Austria.

2001 Introduces ethical coffee-sourcing guidelines developed in partnership with Conservation International.


2002 Establishes Starbucks Coffee Trading Company (SCTC) in Lausanne, Switzerland.


He also oversaw changes to menu offerings at Starbucks stores; Starbucks had begun selling food in its cafés in 2003.

In the early 21st century, Starbucks was working to achieve Schultz’s ambitious goals of 500 stores in both Japan and Europe by 2003, as well as his ultimate goal of 20,000 units worldwide.

2003 Acquires Seattle Coffee Company, which includes Seattle’s Best Coffee® and Torrefazione Italia® coffee.


Lunch items, typically sandwiches, began to be offered at many North American Starbucks, and testing of hot breakfasts, such as ham, egg, and cheese on a muffin, began in 2004.

2004 Opens first Farmer Support Center in San Jose, Costa Rica.


2005 — Jim Donald takes Orin Smith place and becomes president and chief executive officer.

About 1,150 of the units opened in 2005 were located in the United States, bringing the domestic total to 7,300.

2005 Acquires Ethos Water.


In September 2006, rival Diedrich Coffee announced that it would sell most of its company-owned retail stores to Starbucks, including most locations of Oregon-based Coffee People, escalating regional coffee wars.

In 2006 alone, the company planned to open another 1,800 stores.

2006 Launches the industry’s first paper beverage cup containing post-consumer recycled fiber.


In 2007, it opened its first store in Russia.

2007 Eliminates all artificial trans fat and makes 2 percent milk the new standard for espresso beverages.


In March 2008, Starbucks acquired Coffee Equipment Company, which was the manufacturer of the Clover Brewing System.

On July 29, 2008, Starbucks also cut almost 1,000 non-retail jobs as part of its bid to re-energize the brand and boost its profit.

2008 Chairman Howard Schultz returns as chief executive officer and begins transformation of the company.

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


In January 2009, Starbucks announced the closure of an additional 300 underperforming stores and the elimination of 7,000 positions.

In August 2009, Ahold announced closures and rebranding for 43 of its licensed store Starbucks kiosks for their US-based Stop & Shop and Giant supermarkets.

2009 Launches Starbucks VIA® Instant Opens Farmer Support Center in Kigali, Rwanda.


2010 Expands digital offerings for customers with free unlimited Wi-Fi, Starbucks Digital Network.


2011 Launches first annual Global Month of Service to celebrate company’s 40th anniversary.


In August 2012, the largest Starbucks in the US opened at the University of Alabama's Ferguson Centre.

In November 2012 it purchased successful company Teavana for $620 million making this its biggest acquisition.

In the year 2012 only it had revenues in excess of $13 billion employing 149,000 people worldwide.

In 2012 it experienced a 38% growth and it is showing no signs of slowing down anywhere in the future.

2012 Introduces Starbucks® Blonde Roast.


On June 25, 2013, Starbucks began to post calorie counts on menus for drinks and pastries in all of its United States stores.

In July 2013, more than 10% of in-store purchases were made on customers' mobile devices via the Starbucks app.

The company once again utilized the mobile platform when it launched the "Tweet-a-Coffee" promotion in October 2013.

By 2013 they took their operations worldwide with renewed focus in opening stores in South Asian and South American countries.


In May 2014, Starbucks announced ongoing losses in the Australian market, which resulted in all remaining stores being sold to the Withers Group.


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

2015 Launches Cold Brew iced coffee and Evolution Fresh™ handcrafted smoothies.


In late 2016, he announced he was stepping down as CEO to focus on the company's high-end Roastery business.


In July 2017, Starbucks acquired the remaining 50% stake in its Chinese venture from long-term joint venture partners Uni-President Enterprises Corporation (UPEC) and President Chain Store Corporation (PCSC) for $1.3 billion.

Schultz again stepped down as CEO and was replaced as CEO by Kevin Johnson in 2017.


On March 21, 2018, Starbucks announced that it was considering the use of blockchain technology with an idea to connect coffee drinkers with coffee farmers who eventually can take advantage of new financial opportunities.

Schultz continued to be active in the company, serving as executive chairman until 2018, when he was replaced by Myron Ullman.

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


In July 2019, Starbucks announced that it would no longer be selling newspapers in its cafés.

In July 2019, Starbucks announced that it would no longer be selling newspapers in its cafés. It was also announced that kiosks for grab-and-go snacks and bags of whole-bean coffee would be removed from stores beginning in September 2019.

In November 2019, Starbucks opened its largest store ever on Michigan Avenue, Chicago, with 200 employees.


In May 2020, the company asked for reduced rent from landlords due to the decrease in sales.

Readers from 180 countries chose to support us financially more than 1.5 million times in 2020.


Three of the company's stores in Buffalo, New York began an attempt to unionize in August 2021.

Finally, on December 9, 2021, the workers at the Elmwood Avenue store became the first unionized Starbucks workers at a Starbucks owned location in the United States with a 19–8 vote.The Camp Road location voted 12–8 to not be in the union.

© 2021 Starbucks Coffee Company.


© 2022 Starbucks Coffee Company.

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Starbucks is 52 years old.

Who Is The Founder Of Starbucks?

Howard D. Schultz, Gordon Bowker, Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl founded Starbucks.

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