REMEMBER WHEN YOU DIDN'T KNOW WHAT STARBUCKS WAS?
THE DAY I DISCOVERED THE COFFEE GIANT
There was a time when we had never heard of Starbucks.
The Seattle based coffee giant announced it's closing hundreds of stores due to the poor economy. Starbucks has enjoyed explosive growth to this point. So much so, it is hard to remember a time when there wasn't Starbucks Coffee on practically every corner. The announcement means you may now actually have to walk across the street to get a Starbucks, as there will now be only 3 shops per 1 square block.
The news got me thinking about the day I learned of Starbucks... Spring, 1996.
It was my senior year in College at St. Norbert, which is up near Green Bay. This dude named Joe from Chicago was in my Communications Theory Class. He would come in every morning with a travel mug with the Starbucks logo on it. Here's how our conversation finally went one morning:
VINNY: What's with that mug?
JOE: What mug?
VINNY: Your mug with that mermaid looking lady on it.
JOE: It's from Starbucks.
VINNY: What's Starbucks?
JOE: What do you mean?
VINNY: I mean, what's Starbucks?
JOE: You don't know what Starbucks is?
VINNY: No, Jerky. I don't know what Starbucks is. What is Starbucks?
JOE: It's a coffee shop.
VINNY: What do you mean coffee shop (I'm thinking like, Heinemanns or something)?
JOE: You know... a place that sells coffee.
VINNY: Just coffee?
JOE: No... like cappuccino and espresso drinks and stuff. Plus some danishes and... I can't... I can't believe you've never heard of Starbucks. They're everywhere.
VINNY: Well, they're not everywhere, or I would have heard of them.
Funny, later that spring I took a trip to Wrigley Field in Chicago with some buddies, and across the street... Starbucks. Hey! That's that coffee place that Joe goes to.
It occurs to me if I'd spent 100 dollars on Starbucks stock that day, I'd be retired by now.
This story also reminded me of the day I discovered the internet. I'll share that in another entry.