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Starbucks Company Timeline

Starbucks opens first store in Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Howard Schultz joins Starbucks as director of retail operations and marketing. Starbucks begins providing coffee to fine restaurants and espresso bars.

Schultz travels to Italy, where he’s impressed with the popularity of espresso bars in Milan. He sees the potential to develop a similar coffeehouse culture in Seattle.

Schultz convinces the founders of Starbucks to test the coffeehouse concept in downtown Seattle, where the first Starbucks Caffè Latte is served. This successful experiment is the genesis for a company that Schultz founds in 1985.

Schultz founds Il Giornale, offering brewed coffee and espresso beverages made from Starbucks® coffee beans.

Il Giornale acquires Starbucks assets with the backing of local investors and changes its name to Starbucks Corporation. Opens in Chicago and Vancouver, Canada.
Total stores*: 17

*All store counts (except where otherwise noted) reflect the end of the fiscal year. Current store count includes Starbucks Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Teavana and Evolution Fresh retail.

Offers full health benefits to eligible full- and part-time employees, including coverage for domestic partnerships.
Total stores: 33

Total stores: 55

Starbucks expands headquarters in Seattle.
Unveils Starbucks Mission Statement.
Total stores: 84

Becomes the first privately owned U.S. company to offer a stock option program that includes part-time employees.
Opens first licensed airport store at Seattle’s Sea-Tac International Airport.
Total stores: 116

Completes initial public offering (IPO).
Total stores: 165

Opens roasting plant in Kent, Wash.
Announces first two-for-one stock split.
Total stores: 272

Opens first drive-thru location.
Total stores: 425

Begins serving Frappuccino® blended beverages.
Opens first LEED-certified store in Hillsboro, Oregon.
Announces second two-for-one stock split.
Opens roasting facility in York, Pa.
Total stores: 677

Begins selling bottled Frappuccino® coffee drink through North American Coffee Partnership.
Opens stores in: Japan (first store outside of North America) and Singapore.
Total stores: 1,015

Establishes the Starbucks Foundation.
Opens stores in: the Philippines.
Total stores: 1,412

Extends the Starbucks brand into grocery channels across the U.S.
Opens in underserved neighborhoods through joint-venture partnership with Magic Johnson.
Establishes the CUP Fund emergency financial assistance fund for partners.
Opens stores in: England, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan and Thailand.
Total stores: 1,886

Acquires Tazo Tea.
Partners with Conservation International to promote sustainable coffee-growing practices.
Acquires Hear Music, a San Francisco–based music company.
Announces third two-for-one stock split.
Opens stores in: China, Kuwait, Lebanon and South Korea.
Total stores: 2,498

Establishes licensing agreement with TransFair USA to sell Fairtrade certified coffee in U.S. and Canada.
Opens stores in: Australia, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.
Total stores: 3,501

Introduces ethical coffee-sourcing guidelines developed in partnership with Conservation International.
Introduces the Starbucks Card.
Announces fourth two-for-one stock split.
Opens stores in: Austria, Scotland, Switzerland and Wales.
Total stores: 4,709

Establishes Starbucks Coffee Trading Company (SCTC) in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Launches Wi-Fi in stores.
Opens stores in: Germany, Greece, Indonesia, Mexico, Oman, Puerto Rico and Spain.
Total stores: 5,886

Acquires Seattle Coffee Company, which includes Seattle’s Best Coffee® and Torrefazione Italia® coffee.
Opens roasting facilities in Carson Valley, Nev., and Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Opens stores in: Chile, Cyprus, Peru and Turkey.
Total stores: 7,225

Opens first Farmer Support Center in San Jose, Costa Rica.
Introduces Starbucks Coffee Master Program.
Opens stores in: France and Northern Ireland.
Total stores: 8,569

Acquires Ethos Water.
Announces fifth two-for-one stock split.
Opens stores in: Bahamas, Ireland and Jordan.
Total stores: 10,241

Launches the industry’s first paper beverage cup containing post-consumer recycled fiber.
Opens stores in: Brazil and Egypt.
Total stores: 12,440

Eliminates all artificial trans fat and makes 2 percent milk the new standard for espresso beverages.
Opens stores in: Denmark, the Netherlands, Romania and Russia.
Total stores: 15,011

Chairman Howard Schultz returns as chief executive officer and begins transformation of the company.
Acquires Coffee Equipment Company and its Clover® brewing system.
Adopts new Mission Statement “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Launches My Starbucks Idea, Starbucks first online community. Also joins Twitter and debuts Starbucks Facebook page.
Opens stores in: Argentina, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic and Portugal.
Total stores: 16,680

Launches Starbucks VIA® Instant
Opens Farmer Support Center in Kigali, Rwanda.
Launches My Starbucks Rewards® loyalty program and Starbucks Card mobile payment.
Opens stores in: Aruba and Poland.
Total stores: 16,635

Expands digital offerings for customers with free unlimited Wi-Fi, Starbucks Digital Network.
Seattle’s Best Coffee reinvents business strategy to extend brand’s reach.
Opens stores in: El Salvador, Hungary and Sweden.
Total stores: 16,858

Launches first annual Global Month of Service to celebrate company’s 40th anniversary.
Opens first Community Stores in Harlem and Crenshaw neighborhoods.
Launches Starbucks® K-Cup® packs.**
Acquires Evolution Fresh.
Opens Farmer Support Center in Mbeya, Tanzania.
Launches Create Jobs for USA to encourage small-business growth.
Opens stores in: Guatemala, Curacao and Morocco.
Total stores: 17,003

** Keurig, K‐Cup, and the K logo are trademarks of Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., used with permission.

Introduces Starbucks® Blonde Roast.
Opens Farmer Support Centers in Manizales, Colombia and Yunnan, China.
Acquires La Boulange® bakery brand to elevate core food offerings.
Launches Starbucks Refreshers® beverage platform.
Acquires Teavana to transform the tea category.
Opens stores in: Costa Rica, Finland, India and Norway.
Total stores: 18,066

Strengthens ethical sourcing efforts with coffee farming research and development center in Costa Rica.
Starbucks ceo Howard Schultz reinforces company’s commitment to marriage equality at company’s Annual Shareholders Meeting.
Come Together petition urges U.S. elected leaders to reopen the government.
Opens stores in: Vietnam and Monaco.
Total stores: 19,767

Enhances iPhone app with shake to pay and digital tipping.
Launches Starbucks College Achievement Plan with Arizona State University to offer qualifying Starbucks U.S. partners the opportunity to complete a college degree through ASU’s online degree program.
Announces commitment to hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018.
Opens first Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room in Seattle.
Launches Starbucks Mobile Order & Pay.
Hosts first in a series of Partner Open Forums to discuss race relations in America.
Opens stores in: Brunei and Colombia.
Total stores: 21,366

Launches Cold Brew iced coffee and Evolution Fresh™ handcrafted smoothies.
Announces sixth two-for-one stock split.
Commits to hiring 10,000 opportunity youth by 2018.
Expands Starbucks College Achievement Plan to offer full tuition coverage for all four years of an undergraduate degree for qualifying U.S. Starbucks partners. Commits to 25,000 partners graduating by 2025.
Reaches 99% ethically sourced coffee milestone.
Opens stores in: Panama
Total stores: 22,519 (as of June 28, 2015)