The World’s First Starbucks

I don’t think there’s a single person in the world that doesn’t know Starbucks, but did you know how much it has changed over time? The Original Starbucks, as they call it, stays exactly how it was in 1971.

Located at 102 Pike St., Seattle, Washington 98101, the store opened on March 31, 1971, by three partners who met while they were students at the University of San Francisco. English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker were inspired to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment by coffee roasting entrepreneur Alfred Peet after he taught them his style of roasting beans.

The company’s name is an inspiration from the book Moby-Dick, after considering “Cargo House” and “Pequod”. Bowker recalls that Terry Heckler, with whom Bowker owned an advertising agency, thought words beginning with “st” were powerful. The founders brainstormed a list of words beginning with “st”. Someone pulled out an old mining map of the Cascade Range and saw a mining town named “Starbo”, which immediately put Bowker in mind of the character “Starbuck”. Bowker said, “Moby-Dick didn’t have anything to do with Starbucks directly; it was only coincidental that the sound seemed to make sense.”

The first Starbucks store was located in Seattle at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971–1976. This cafe was later moved to 1912 Pike Place; never to be relocated again. During this time, the company only sold roasted whole coffee beans and did not yet brew coffee to sell. The only brewed coffee served in the store were free samples. During their first year of operation, they purchased green coffee beans from Peet’s, then began buying directly from growers.

“The design of our 1st & Pike coffeehouse evokes the warm heritage of that first store through its hardwoods, furniture and lighting.”

Starbucks.com

Notable Store Elements

The official Starbucks website has a list of things you should pay attention when at the store.

  • The leather on bar’s outer facing was scrap obtained from shoe and automobile factories.
  • The walnut used in the tables, doors and bar top was salvaged from a nearby farm.
  • The signage on the bar uses recycled slate from a local high school.
  • The community table is twice reused; it was previously located at a Seattle restaurant and before that, in a home.
  • The restroom partitions are made from recycled laundry detergent bottles.
  • The wall tapestry is made of repurposed burlap coffee bags from our local roasting plant.

 

That’s it for today’s post. I hope you’ve liked it! If you have anything interesting to add to the post, please tell me in the comments bellow, I’ll love to read them.

Thanks for reading!

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