Business Essay

Chris Perez
Howard Schultz and Starbucks Coffee Company
Howard Schultz was born on July 19, 1953 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the oldest of three children of Fred and Elaine Schulz, both of whom were from Jewish families. Money was tight in their household. When he was 12, Howard began earning money as a paperboy, and as he got older he held a number of part-time jobs. In 1971 he got a football scholarship to play for Northern Michigan, and in 1975 he received his B.S., becoming the first college graduate in his family. The next year Schultz entered the Xerox’s sales training program where he excelled fast and became a full sales representative. However Schultz became restless, and at age 26 he took a job with Hammerplast where he rose quickly to vice president and general manager. But at age 28 he was again restive, and in 1981 he visited with a small Hammerplast client in Seattle who happened to be Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice.
As he was there the major thing he noticed was how everything was being sold differently then what he was used to. Things were sold by knowledgeable salespeople scooping coffee beans from bins behind a counter in a store devoted to coffee and tea. Schultz believed that all people would have this same reaction so he wanted to be part of the retailer’s growth. In 1982, Schultz joined the company, married Sheri Kersch, and moved to Seattle to work at Starbucks. Schultz traveled to Milan on a buying trip and came back with an idea to run Starbucks with the Italian coffee bar culture, but the idea was shot down by his bosses. Determined to pursue his own dream, he left Starbucks in 1985, and raised $400,000 from private investors to start his own company. Shultz’s new store II Giornale started on April 8, 1986 and became a huge success. Within six months of the store’s opening, he was attracting more than 1,000 customers a day. In early 1987, Schultz saw an opportunity to expand his business so he bought the Seattle assets of...