From Rags To Riches - The Starbucks story


This is a story of a passionate and once poor man, who was the first graduate in his entire family. Dedication turned his situation into a blessing. He now runs a company with more than 190’000 employees. Schultz spends his weekends replying messages from all his employees if possible. After 12-14 hours of work, he goes home and continues working from home.

The Man Behind Starbucks

Howard Schultz is the son of ex U.S Army trooper and former truck driver Fred Schultz. Born into a jewish family on July 19, 1953, he grew up in a poor environment and visited the northern michigan university, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communication, thanks to the athletic scholarship he received at the Canarsie High School.

Picture from Wikipedia

Xerox corporation is the first company he worked for. It didn’t take the skillful young man much time to upgrade to a full sales representative. His next position was in the general management of a Swedish coffee company named Hammarplast. Afterwards, he connected with a coffee-bean shop called Starbucks Coffee company in Seattle. He joined them a year later as director of marketing. During a business trip to Europe, Schultz noticed how many coffee shops Europe had to offer. He thought about copying the restaurant model and implementing it into their business model. The Starbucks owners of that time were not impressed at all. Schultz was forced to take a risk.

The Funding

Picture from Wikipedia

Picture from Wikipedia

The capital he needed to start his future business known as Il Giornale was way too high. $400’000 to be exact. To make it even worse, his wife was expecting their first baby. Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker offered the entrepreneur help. His doctor realised that Schultz was willing to take the risk and gave him an extra $100’000. In 1986, his desired company Il Giornale, which name he inherited from an Italian newspaper, opened its doors for the first time. Two years later, he bought Starbucks from it’s respective owners and started the business chain. The risk was worth it, then today Howard Schultz has an estimated net worth of $2.2 billion.

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Co-founder, Editor and Head of Marketing of SuccessField

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