Three Major Coffee Brands
1970s -The first Starbucks opens. The name comes from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, a classic American novel about the 19th century whaling industry. The seafaring name seems appropriate for a store that imports the world’s finest coffees to the cold, thirsty people of Seattle.
1980s -Howard Schultz joins Starbucks in 1982. While on a business trip in Italy, he visits Milan’s famous espresso bars. Impressed with their popularity and culture, he sees their potential in Seattle. He’s right – after trying lattes and mochas, Seattle quickly becomes coffee-crazy.
1990s -Starbucks expands beyond Seattle, first to the rest of the United States, then the entire world. After becoming one of the first companies to offer stock options to its part-time employees, Starbucks becomes a publicly traded company under the trading symbol "SBUX". The first Starbucks in the Middle East opens in 1999, in Souk Shark, Kuwait.
2000s -The Starbucks phenomenon continues. As of this writing, Starbucks has more than 16,000 stores in 48 countries. In addition to our excellent coffees and espresso drinks, people now enjoy Tazo® tea and Frappuccino® blended beverages.
1970s -Smooth roasting begins on Seattle's Pier 70 at the Wet Whisker with a 12-pound roaster purchased from a beachside peanut vendor in Southern California. Seattle's famous Pike Place Market returned to public hands after initiative created a historic preservation zone. Lava Lamps make drinking Seattle's Best Coffee® at night way cooler. Henry the Cat arrives at our doorstep. Not only does he become our mascot, but a special blend is created in his honor. Disco. Seattle's Best Coffee® helps people dance and establish unforgettable, albeit embarrassing, memories
1980s -Numerous Wet Whisker cafes continue to open in the Pacific Northwest and one in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The roaster on Pier 70 is moved to Vashon Island. Wet Whisker is renamed Stewart Brothers Coffee. Flavored coffee lineup introduced.
1990s -Stewart Brothers Coffee is appropriately renamed Seattle's Best Coffee, after winning a local competition. Grunge sweeps the nation. Plaid worn by all to mask coffee spills while crowd surfing. Dream Team dreams of gold. And Seattle's Best Coffee. Internet established. Millions gain access to seattlesbest.com Y2K hits. Seattle's Best Coffee completely unaffected (along with the rest of the world).
2000s -Seattle Coffee Company is acquired by Starbucks Corporation, including Seattle's Best Coffee and Torrefazione Italia Coffee®. Seattle's Best Coffee hits the grocery store. Seattle's Best Coffee and Borders Books and Music® announce a licensing agreement to open Seattle's Best Coffee cafes in existing and new Borders stores. Borders opens the first of more than 400 Seattle's Best Coffee cafes in the U.S. Seattle's Best Coffee opens 500th cafe and becomes the second largest roaster, retailer and wholesaler of specialty coffee in the U.S., based on points of distribution in retail cafes, foodservice accounts and where you buy groceries. Seattle's Best Coffee Express self-service espresso bars open.
3000s -Seattle's Best Coffee opens cafes on the moon. Announces plans to expand to entire solar system. First Seattle's Best Coffee-powered spaceship orbits earth. Milky Way renamed Seattle's Best Coffee Vanilla Iced Latte w/Milky Way. Henry the Cat's 9th clone turns 500. Seattle's Best History
Born in Holland, Alfred Peet grew up in the coffee trade and moved to America after World War II. Appalled at the poor quality of coffee being consumed by Americans, he became inspired to open the first Peet’s Coffee & Tea store on April 1, 1966. His style of coffee was a radical departure from what was then available, emphasizing smaller batches, freshness, superior quality beans, and a darker roasting style that produced coffee with richness and complexity.
By 1969, Peet’s Coffee & Tea became a gathering place for coffee devotees, and this success attracted other artisan food purveyors to the neighborhood, which soon became known as the Gourmet Ghetto. Alfred Peet further catalyzed the specialty coffee movement when he mentored and inspired a generation of coffee entrepreneurs, including the founders of Starbucks, whom he supplied with Peet’s roasted beans during their first years of operation.
Over the past four decades, Peet’s growth has been fueled by ever-increasing numbers of coffee lovers in the San Francisco Bay Area and across the nation. With each generation of Peet’s leadership, we have remained true to the quality tenets of our founder, inspired by the same unrelenting pursuit of quality. Our purpose has not changed since 1966 – to seek out opportunities to raise the expectations of American coffee drinkers by attracting and serving those who truly love the taste of coffee, for whom a cup of coffee could only mean a cup of Peet’s. Peet's History