The Surprising Origin behind Starbucks’ Name (Where Starbucks got its name? + All you need to Know)

Have you ever wondered what the terms “star” or “bucks” have to do with coffee? Starbucks’ name has a surprising origin that you would never guess if you look at its logo. Where did Starbucks get its name from?

Starbucks’ name was inspired by the character chief mate from “Moby Dick,” a classic tale. I knew the origin of Starbucks’ name when I read about its co-founder Gordon Bowker narrating to the Seattle Times. Bowker noted that they almost settled on “Cargo House,” as finding a better name was a big hustle.

How did Starbucks come up with the name?

Co-founder of Starbucks, Gordon Bowker, told the Seattle Times that the company was initially to be named “Cargo House,” a name that could have been a terrible mistake. The brand consultant of Starbucks, Terry Heckler, then told Bowker that names starting with “st” are powerful, and thus the chains name should begin with “st.”

Bowker then made a list of names starting with “st”, but Starbucks was not among them. When trying to find a name, Starbos, a name of a mining town, stood out to Bowker. He immediately thought of Pequod’s first name, Starbuck. They then added an S to the name Starbuck to make it sound more conversational.

Origin of Starbucks

The Surprising Origin behind Starbucks’ Name

Starbucks was founded by Zev Siegi, Gordon Bowker, and Jerry Baldwin at Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971. Starbucks opened its first store in Seattle, offering its customers spices, tea, and fresh-roasted coffee beans from all over the world. In 1961, Howard Schultz went to Starbucks and was fascinated by their coffee.

He then joined the company in 1982 and landed a major discovery in Italy. He was inspired to extend the artistry and warmth to Starbucks’ coffee culture. Starbucks then embarked on a new chapter as a coffeehouse with their aprons being changed to green from brown.

The chain soon expanded to Vancouver and Chicago, Canada, and then to New York, Washington D.C and California. Starbucks crossed the pacific and opened its first store in Japan and Europe in the year 1998. Decades later, Starbucks is a well-known company with locations across the world.

Final thoughts

The origin of Starbucks’ name is quite surprising and fascinating at the same time. From almost naming the chain a “Cargo House” to landing on the name Starbucks. Starbucks came from Moby Dicks’ chief mate name, Starbuck.


What does the word Starbuck mean?

Starbuck is the name of a character in Moby Dick, the chief mate.

Where did Starbucks get its name from?

Starbucks co-founder Bowker noted that they formed the name Starbucks from a mining town, “Starbos.” Bowker, however, noted that they got a coincidental inspiration for Moby-Dick.

Leave a Comment