Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Usmi . Usmi Wonders, “What is Starbucks' history? ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Usmi !

Have you ever sipped on a cup of coffee? Many people think kids shouldn’t drink coffee. Still, you might know adults  who can’t go without a daily cup of joe. If you pay any mind at all to the world of coffee, you’ve heard about today’s Wonder. What are we talking about? Starbucks, of course!  

Have you ever visited a Starbucks? Maybe you got a latte or a sweet frozen drink. Even if you haven’t, you may know it’s the most popular coffee shop around. With as well-known as it is, most people don’t know where Starbucks came from. How did the company start? 

The first Starbucks opened in 1971 near Seattle’s Pike Place Market. The owners were Jerry Baldwin, Gordon Bowker, and Zev Siegel. The three were inspired by Alfred Peet. He’s the founder of another coffee giant, Peet’s Coffee. 

Have you ever WONDERed where the name “Starbucks” came from? Many people have—it’s a unique name! The founders of Starbucks named the company after a fictional character named Starbuck. He was the first mate of Captain Ahab in the book Moby Dick. They thought the name was fitting. After all, their first stores were in Seattle, a port city.

Even more confusing for many is the Starbucks logo. Many people think it’s a mermaid, but that’s not true. The famous green lady featured on Starbucks cups and barista aprons is a siren. Sailors have long feared sirens for their habit of luring unknowing seafarers into danger. And, like her ancient counterparts, the Starbucks siren differs from mermaids because she has two tails.

Starbucks may have started as one small coffee shop in Seattle, but it didn’t stop there. With the help of a new CEO, Howard Schultz, the company grew quickly. As of 2019, there are 27,340 Starbucks stores spread across 78 countries. 

There are so many Starbucks in the world! It might seem like there’s not much room for other coffee shops. However, the company helped usher in a boom in coffee culture. Some smaller coffee shops have lost business to the corporation, but many also believe Starbucks helped to increase the demand for coffee. They did so by introducing many people to specialty coffee—and by offering free Internet access and fair trade options.

Today, you can’t go far without seeing a Starbucks. Especially in cities, neighborhood coffee shops have also become a staple. Walk inside, and you’ll see it’s not always just about coffee, either. Coffee shops have become a place for people to gather and spend time with friends. Plenty of people also use them as a place to work. Do you have a favorite Starbucks location? Or do you prefer a small neighborhood shop? Either way, the popularity of coffee isn’t likely to go away anytime soon.

Standards: CCRA.R.4, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2

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You can bring home tomorrow’s Wonder of the Day and fry it up in a pan!