When the first Starbucks opened in Seattle’s Pike Place Market in 1971, it didn’t sell coffee drinks, just beans.
According to Starbucks co-founder Gordon Bowker, he and his friends were desperately near to naming their organization Cargo House until Terry Heckler, one of Bowker’s partners in an advertising agency, said that words starting with “st” were strong ones. Bowker then thought of a list of “st” words, and somebody found the old mining town of Starbo in a map of the Cascades and Mount Rainier. That wound up helping Bowker to remember a character in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, which thus, helped him to remember Pequod – the name of a doomed ship in the novel. That caused on Heckler to react, “Nobody’s going to drink a cup of Pequod!” Later, while on a brainstorm session, the founders concluded that they would rather name their brand after Pequod’s first mate, Starbuck.