10 Things You Should Know About Starbucks

It almost had a different Ahab-themed name
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2010 12:51 PM CDT
10 Things You Should Know About Starbucks
In this Feb. 14, 2010 photo, a sign outside a Starbucks hangs over the Riverwalk with the Navarro Street bridge in the background in San Antonio, Texas.   (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“Starbucks is the coffee icon people either love or love to hate,” writes Dave Roos, but how much do you actually know about the coffee giant? He rounds up 10 educational facts on Mental Floss:

  • It was almost named Pequods: Yes, that’s “an extremely vague literary reference” to Captain Ahab’s boat in Moby-Dick. The founders ended up naming it after his first mate instead—Starbuck.
  • The logo explanation: The confusing image of a woman (what does it mean?) started out as another nautical reference—a picture of a siren—but was too risqué. After much editing, we got the green image you know and love.
  • The kidney transplant: One barista at a Washington Starbucks donated her kidney to a regular customer in 2007.

  • How many are there?: 16,700 locations in 50 countries—and in Manhattan, more than half of the stores are located within two blocks of another store.
  • Going stealth: Starbucks has started disguising certain stores—one in Seattle is named 15th Avenue Coffee and Tea—in the hopes of attracting more customers, particularly “brand-adverse hipsters.”
  • The Peet’s connection: “If you’re one of those people who hates Starbucks and loves Peet’s Coffee & Tea or one of those people who hates Peet’s and loves the bux,” prepare yourself: One of the Starbucks founders bought Peet’s and was chairman until 2001.
For the complete list, click here.

(Read more Starbucks stories.)

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