As the world’s largest coffeehouse chain & a top global brand, Starbucks’ 1st store opened in Seattle, Washington’s historic Pike Place Market 52 years ago. Inspired by Herman Melville’s classic tale, “Moby Dick,” the company name was chosen to evoke the seafaring tradition of early coffee traders. In 1982, Howard Schultz took his first sip and was sold. He joined the company as Director of Retail Operations & Marketing in 1983 & after traveling to Milan, Italy converted the coffee bean store into a coffee shop serving expresso drinks. He bought Starbucks in 1987, quickly expanding the company’s domestic and international footprint, introduced additional beverages & food items & began selling branded merchandise. He served as CEO from 1986-2000, taking the company public in 1992 with 165 stores & growing the international brand to over 3,500 stores. Starbucks has become a household name with more than 33,000 stores in 80 countries & a 240-acre coffee farm in Costa Rica which is home to the retailer’s global R&D efforts. It offers over 30 unique coffee blends, including Pike Place RoastTM named after its 1st location & its portfolio incorporates Seattle’s Best Coffee, Teavana, Tazo, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange & Torrefazione Italia Coffee. The Starbucks brand — sells over 4 million coffee drinks per day & serves more than 60 million customers each week, according to USA Today — employs over 400,000 partners worldwide. The company’s annual revenue climbs each year — as of March 2023, Starbucks was approaching $34 billion for the preceding 12 months.