Starbucks Corporation is an international coffee and coffeehouse chain based in Seattle, Washington. Named after the first mate in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, the original Starbucks store opened as a coffee bean retailer on March 30, 1971 in Seattle's Pike Place Market. It was founded by three partners: English teacher Jerry Baldwin, history teacher Zev Siegl, and writer Gordon Bowker, and began expanding rapidly after Howard Schultz joined the team in the early 1980s, as director of retail operations and marketing, and rebranded the stores as coffeehouses. In 1987, the original Starbucks management sold its Starbucks retail unit to Schultz for $3.8 million.

By the 1990s, Starbucks was opening a new store every workday, a pace that continued into the 2000s. The first store outside of North America opened in 1996 in Japan and overseas stores now constitute almost one third of Starbucks' stores. Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with more than 16,000 stores in 50 countries, including more than 11,000 in the United States, nearly 1,000 in Canada and more than 800 in Japan. Starbucks sells drip brewed coffee, espresso-based hot drinks, other hot and cold drinks, coffee beans, salads, hot and cold sandwiches and panini, pastry, snacks and items such as mugs and tumblers.

Through the Starbucks Entertainment division and Hear Music brand, the company also markets books, music, and film. Many of the company's products are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Starbucks-brand ice cream and coffee are also offered at grocery stores.

Source: Starbucks, Wikipedia