Starbucks effect: Not just a great cup of coffee

March 12, 2012 | Raya

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I love going to Starbucks, and judging by the statistics so do you!  Maybe it's their coffee or snacks or maybe it's just the atmosphere.  Whatever it is that attracts us to them, the success of Starbucks has influenced the way we do business and has spawned the publication of many books on various business topics.

In 1971 Starbucks opened their first store in Seattle, Washington at the historic Pike Place Market. Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegler and Gordon Bowker started the company with the encouragement of their friend Alfred Peet who had his own store called Peet's Coffee and Tea. By 1980 the partners had grown the company to six retail outlets and it had become the largest coffee roaster in Washington State. In 1987 Howard Schultz bought the comapny and turned it into the business that it is today by fashioning it after the coffee houses he visited while on a trip to Italy.  The company is now the largest coffee store chain in the world with over 17,000 stores in 50 countries.

What makes Starbucks unique is their sense of community, the same sense of community that is evident in corner coffee houses all over Italy. It is a place where employees and customers are treated with respect and dignity, and being green is a an important part of how the company conducts its business. Although experts have been predicting the demise of Starbucks for some time because of it's efforts to keep up with shareholder expectations, Starbucks seems to have shrugged off the naysayers by continually introducing new products that keep customers interested. Books about Starbucks continue to be published, and from Beijing to Moscow and Toronto to Seattle the coffee keeps on brewing.

Here are some titles you can borrow from the library:

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