Pour Your Heart Into It
From a local business with six stores and less than 100 employees, Starbucks grew to 1,300 stores and 25,000 employees, in about a decade. And now, it has more than 13,500 stores in 40 countries employing nearly 1,50,000, as the world’s leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee.
“The story of Starbucks is not just a record of growth and success. It’s also about how a company can be built in a different way,” writes Howard Schultz in Pour Your Heart Into It (http://www.crosswordbookstores.com/). The book is almost a decade old, yet the biographical narrative by Schultz, the Chairman and CEO of Starbucks, is worth studying at a time when Starbuc ks has exited the Forbidden City and put off the India plan. One of the first lessons he learnt was in Italy, in 1983. “To the Italians, the coffee bar is not a diner, as coffee shops came to be in America in the 1950s and 1960s. It is an extension of the front porch, an extension of the home. Each morning they stop at their favourite coffee bar, where they’re treated with a cup of espresso that they know is custom-made… I had a revelation: Starbucks had missed the point – completely missed it.” Schultz realised that Starbucks could be a great experience, not just a great retail store. “Starbucks sold great coffee beans, but we didn’t serve coffee by the cup. We treated coffee as produce, something to be bagged and sent home with the groceries. We stayed one big step away from the heart and soul of what coffee has meant throughout the centuries.”