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Grounds For Success

Coffee talk with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.

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This story appears in the May 1998 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Everyone knows , the ubiquitous chain that sellscoffee beverages, beans and accessories, but few know HowardSchultz, the self-effacing chairman, CEO and mastermind behindStarbucks' astonishing growth.

A child of Brooklyn's Bayview Projects, Schultz earned abachelor's degree in communications, worked as a salesman forXerox, and eventually became vice president of U.S. operations fora Swedish housewares manufacturer. It was there that he noticed afour-store retailer in was ordering a large number of hiscompany's drip makers. He decided to find out why, andhe scheduled a sales trip to Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spice in1981. Schultz was so impressed with the then-10-year-oldcompany's dedication to providing customers with qualityimported coffee beans, he signed on as director of Starbucks'retail operations and marketing the following year.

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