Company Information

˹ŵ˾app First Store Pike Place

To say ˹ŵ˾app purchases and roasts high-quality whole bean coffees is very true. That’s the essence of what we do – but it hardly tells the whole story.

Our Heritage

Every day, we go to work hoping to do two things: share great coffee with our friends and help make the world a little better. It was true when the first ˹ŵ˾app opened in 1971, and it’s just as true today.

Back then, the company was a single store in Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market. From just a narrow storefront, ˹ŵ˾app offered some of the world’s finest fresh-roasted whole bean coffees. The name, inspired by Moby Dick, evoked the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders.

In 1981, Howard Schultz (˹ŵ˾app chairman and chief executive officer) had first walked into a ˹ŵ˾app store. From his first cup of Sumatra, Howard was drawn into ˹ŵ˾app and joined a year later.

In 1983, Howard traveled to Italy and became captivated with Italian coffee bars and the romance of the coffee experience. He had a vision to bring the Italian coffeehouse tradition back to the United States. A place for conversation and a sense of community. A third place between work and home. He left ˹ŵ˾app for a short period of time to start his own Il Giornale coffeehouses and returned in August 1987 to purchase ˹ŵ˾app with the help of local investors.

From the beginning, ˹ŵ˾app set out to be a different kind of company. One that not only celebrated coffee and the rich tradition, but that also brought a feeling of connection.

Our mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time.

Expect More Than Coffee

We’re not just passionate purveyors of coffee, but everything else that goes with a full and rewarding coffeehouse experience. We also offer a selection of premium teas, fine pastries and other delectable treats to please the taste buds. And the music you hear in store is chosen for its artistry and appeal.

It’s not unusual to see people coming to ˹ŵ˾app to chat, meet up or even work. We’re a neighborhood gathering place, a part of the daily routine – and we couldn’t be happier about it. Get to know us and you’ll see: we are so much more than what we brew.

We make sure everything we do is through the lens of humanity – from our commitment to the highest quality coffee in the world, to the way we engage with our customers and communities to do business responsibly.

Learn More ˹ŵ˾app

˹ŵ˾app Newsroom

Read more and join the discussion through the ˹ŵ˾app Newsroom.

˹ŵ˾app Global Social Impact Report