Starbucks traces its origins to a single store opened in 1971 in Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA. In 1982, Howard Shultz joined the Starbucks team. He traveled to Italy in 1983 and experienced the environment of its coffee bars. His love and appreciation of the Italian coffee bar setting motivated him to reproduce it in the United States. In 1987, Shultz gathered a group of investors and purchased the company. Over forty years since its humble beginnings, Starbucks has expanded to 62 countries with over 18,000 stores.
Starbucks strives to not only provide high quality coffee, but also an environment for its patrons to relax and enjoy spending time in the store. Starbucks markets itself not only as a coffee company, but as an experience. Its atmosphere provides customers with the incentive to stay and enjoy what the company has to offer. From the coffee to the food items to the comfortable seating to the friendly staff, everything works together to provide an enjoyable experience for the customer.
However, Starbucks is more than just a profit producing company. It is rooted in a strong commitment to social responsibility. Every year, Starbucks sponsors the Global Month of Service which is a program designed to give back to the community. The company’s employees, partners, and customers worldwide participate in projects to improve their communities. In 2012, more than 700,000 participants completed over 2,100 projects and donated over 230,000 service hours to projects around the world.
Another aspect of the company’s social responsibility is its programs to assist farming communities that provide its products. Starbucks participates with other agencies throughout the world to improve the health and infrastructure of these communities. It purchases its raw materials from farmers who meet ethical sourcing requirements. There are more than 200 requirements that outside sources verify before a producer receives this designation. Starbucks uses its Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices to insure that it meets its social, economic, and environmental standards when purchasing coffee. This program allows farmers to receive fair compensation...