Starbucks: a history

By Sumit Modi

Founded in 1971 in Seattle Washington by Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl and Gordon Bowker, Starbucks has become a global juggernaut, with over 23,000 premises in over 70 countries, selling a variety of coffee, sandwiches, pastries and snacks.


With the revival of the Pumpkin Spice Latte, one of the company's most popular seasonable beverages, we take a look at its global rise and growing number of stores around the world.

1971 – the first Starbucks store opens within Seattle

1987 – the trio sell the company to Howard Schultz who constructs new stores within America and Canada.

1994 – Starbucks purchases The Coffee Connection.

1996 & 1997 – Starbucks enters the Japanese market with their first store in Tokyo, in addition to building stores in Singapore and the Philippines.

1998 – Starbucks enters the UK market and purchases the Tazo Brand for $8,100,000, which is now a division of the company, in addition to building stores in Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and New Zealand.

1999 – Rapid growth sees further stores built in South Korea, China and Lebanon.

20002003 – Starbucks enters a multitude of international markets, from the Middle East and south east Asia, to Latin America, Australia, Europe, Mexican and Peru. 

2003 & 2004 – The company buys the Seattle Coffee Company and Ethos Water, further expanding their brand.

2006Diedrich Coffee retail stores are bought by Starbucks, who also collaborate with tech giant Apple Inc by building the Starbucks Entertainment Area within company stores which allow consumers to view and download music played within Starbucks stores.

2006-2007 – The company eyes up the Russian market and builds its first store within the region, in addition to the Czech Republic

2008 – Skinny drinks become part of Starbucks menu as they begin to tap into the health market

2008 & 2009 – Starbucks introduces its loyalty scheme, free Wi-Fi and mobile app. They also enter several European countries.

2009 – The menus begin to include healthy alternatives to further attract the health market.

2010 – The Starbucks brand reaches Africa in a deal with Southern Sun Hotels South Africa. The company also enters the cruising tourism market in a deal with Royal Caribbean International.

2011 – Starbucks buys Evolution Fresh for $30 million, now a subsidiary of the company.

2012 – The company buys Teavana for $620 million and opens its first stores in Mumbai, India, Norway and Finland.

2013 & 2014 – Stores open in Vietnam and Brooklyn, and also enters supermarkets with the arrival of a Starbucks store in Denmark.

2015 – Starbucks enters Cambodia and Kazakhstan. The company also collaborates with PepsiCo, with further products sold within Latin America.

2016 – Starbucks will be opening new stores in Italy, Slovakia and South Africa this year, further expanding their revenue and market growth.


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