As many readers here know, I wrote a book called Tales of the Siren, and I’m in the midst of writing book #2 about Starbucks. Without going into much detail, one thing I’ve been doing is historical Starbucks research from sources such as The Seattle Times, the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and the Seattle Weekly. I stumbled upon these news articles dating from 1999, and I got such a kick out of them, I thought you’d enjoy them too. (All of these below came from the PI, or if the Sunday paper, the Seattle Times.)

I love the Howard Schultz quote, “We’re not just throwing up a Web site.” Note that Starbucks data in 1999 was that 10 percent of store customers would use such a website! From July 11, 1999, Seattle Post Intelligencer:

11 July 1999 - Coffee, tea or sofas Seattle Times PI Business Section f11 July 1999 - Continued from F1 - We're not just throwing up a website

From February 21, 1999, notice the advertisement in the classifieds, inviting Starbucks customers to come into stores for a contest. It looks like a partnership between United Airlines, Seattle Times, and Starbucks with the grand prize as a trip to Verona, Italy. How cool is that!

21 Feb 1999 - Classifieds J13 - Starbucks Passport to Verona Contest - cropped larger

 And then there was the partnership with Mark McGwire (of the St. Louis Cardinals) where Starbucks donated $5,000 for each homerun hit by the batter during the season. Each donation went to a literacy organization in the city where it was hit:

19 Feb 1999 - McGwire Starbucks hit on Idea to Help Kids - Front page

19 Feb 1999 - McGwire Starbucks continued A 12 - CroppedAnd from 1999, shortly after the annual shareholders meeting, there’s this great photo of Kenny G playing for the audience, and Howard Schultz entertained by the performance. I realize that when I write this, it might sound as if I’m joking, but let me just say (in a serious tone of voice please), I wouldn’t mind at all if Kenny G came and performed again at another annual meeting! I’d enjoy it!

24 Feb 1999 - Starbucks News Couldnt be better - Kenny G24 Feb 1999 Starbucks News Couldn't Be Better continued d5

I hope you enjoyed this flashback to 1999. If you like Starbucks history lessons, browse this category here.