Who started Starbucks?

The founders are three friends who met at The University of San Francisco

In March of 1971, Seattle welcomed the very first Starbucks store.

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The Pike Place Starbucks store, placed squarely within the city’s historic market that bore a brown mermaid, is widely known as the original Starbucks. However, the shop was originally located at 2000 Western Avenue from 1971 to 1976 before moving into Seattle’s iconic market, according to Coffee.org.

The coffee chain, now considered one of the largest in the world, was the result of a friendship between three men who happened to meet by chance: Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegel.

All three met while they were students at The University of San Francisco, according to multiple reports.

Gordon Bowker (left) Zev Siegl (middle) Jerry Baldwin (right) 

Baldwin and Bowker met sophomore year while waiting in line to get their sophomore year's dorm assignments, according to History Link, an online encyclopedia of Washington State history. Afterward, Siegel was introduced to both Baldwin and Bowker in 1962 when he advertised that he was looking for passengers as he ventured through San Fransisco to get to New York, the outlet reported.

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Several years later, all three men crossed paths again in Seattle. Although they pursue drastically different careers, they had a hankering to create a business together, HistoryLink reported.

The idea for their business venture reportedly came when Bowker was searching for a good cup of coffee. His search took him to Vancouver where he discovered a company called Murchie’s. Shortly after, his friends were placing orders with him, the outlet reported.

Shortly after, the men sought to bring the coffee business to the “Emerald City.”

Starbucks located at 1912 Pike Place in Seattle [Google] 

As startup funding, each founder reportedly pitched in $1,500 in addition to receiving a $5,000 bank loan.

Baldwin, Bowker and Siegel, started selling coffee beans roasted by the California-based gourmet coffee company, Peet’s, before they began roasting their own, according to HistoryLink.

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In 1982, the company’s former chief executive  Howard Schultz jumped on board as director of retail operations and marketing, Starbucks website explains. That same year, Starbucks begins providing coffee to fine restaurants and espresso bars.

Today, despite its vast expansion to more than 31,000 locations around the world, scores of coffee fanatics travel far and wide to line up on Seattle’s cobblestone sidewalk to watch baristas clad in green aprons craft their beverage at the company's original spot.

It has been the scene of various dates, marriage proposals and celebrity visits, according to the Starbucks website.

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