Starbucks’ Howard Schultz: “At The Time, Our Plans Seemed Impossibly Ambitious”


Today I would be profiling the CEO of the Italian-styled global coffee company – Howard Schultz.

It all started in 1981 when Schultz’s traveled from New York to Seattle to check out a popular coffee bean store called Starbucks that had been buying many of the Hammarplast Swedish drip coffeemakers he was selling. Schultz immediately fell in love with the way Jerry Baldwin, one of Starbucks’ three partners felt towards the product and how the coffee bean store carefully chose and roasted the coffee bean. “I walked away … saying, ‘God, what a great company, what a great city. I’d love to be a part of that,’ ” Schultz told myprimetime.

It took Schultz a year to convince the Starbucks partners to hire him and in 1982, he became the director of marketing and operations. Schultz came across an idea (he  had a light bulb moment) when he travelled to Milan, Italy. He observed that Coffee bars existed on practically every block. He noted that these bars not only served excellent espresso but that they also served as meeting places or public squares.

Schultz took this idea to Seattle and pitched it to the Starbucks partners . The Starbucks partners however, resisted Schultz’s plans to serve coffee in the stores, saying they didn’t want to get into the restaurant business. Frustrated, Schultz quit and started his own coffee-bar business, called Il Giornale on 8 April 1986. Even with just one store, Schultz was dreaming big. ‘At the time, our plans seemed impossibly ambitious. Even then, when nobody had heard of Il Giornale, I had a dream of building the largest coffee company in North America, with stores in every major city’.

 In 1987, about a year after the opening of the first  Il Giornale, Schultz bought Starbucks for $3.8 million.

Today, Starbucks has become the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with more than 20,ooo stores in 61 countries. And Howard Schultz is now known as the legendary American entrepreneur that took a small Seattle coffee roaster and turned it into a mega-company with billions of dollars in annual revenue and thousands of stores all over the world.

Watch this interesting video here

Dola Adesanya || is an astute lawyer with a good business acumen. She loves everything motivational.

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