Howard Schultz was born in Brooklyn. He put himself through college, and at age 26, was named general manager of a Swedish drip coffee machine business in Hammarplast. His services led him to Seattle, where he met a struggling young coffeehouse called, you guessed it…Starbucks. The cafe wasn’t doing well, but they did know a thing or two about coffee beans, and a year later, Schultz decided Starbucks had enough potential to move to the Northwest.
While on a trip to Milan, Schultz noticed that every street corner had a coffeehouse. He saw that more than the Italians liked their coffee; they loved it communally. In the States, people were used to drinking coffee as they woke up; it wasn’t thought of as a social activity. He managed to talk two of the three Starbucks founders into opening up a test store with a lounge area. It was successful, and despite this success, they decided not to pursue it chain-wide as they were not interested in getting into the “restaurant business” Needless to say, Schultz was crushed.
Conquering the Setbacks
Despite the setbacks, Schultz decided he still wanted to give his idea a shot. Receiving financial support from the two still-believing Starbucks founders, he opened a 700-square-foot cafe based in Seattle. The cafe quickly became known for serving coffee, ice cream, and was known as the perfect first date spot. He received financial support from the two still-believing Starbucks founders. Little did Schultz know that a few years later, the original Starbucks owners decided to ditch the Northwest to pursue a Bay Area coffeehouse Peet’s Coffe & Tea, and sold Starbucks to Schultz for only $3.8 million! His dream had finally come true…