Today, Starbucks is a household name the world over, becoming nearly synonymous with upscale coffee — but it could have been called something very different. As the story goes, the very first Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971, the brainchild of three partners — English teacher Jerry Brown, history teacher Zev Siegl and writer Gordon Bowker — who met at the University of San Francisco.
Eager to sell high-quality coffee beans and equipment perfected by Alfred Peet, roasting entrepreneur, the trio took its name from the chief mate Starbuck in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”
However, before settling on Starbucks, the trio also considered both “Cargo House“ and “Pequod,” the name of the Nantucket whaling ship crewed by the wrathful Captain Ahab in Melville’s novel.
What do you think? Would a Starbucks by any other name have taken off as it has? Could you see yourself lining up for a venti frappuccino from Pequods?