The next time you visit Starbucks, remember that several different names have been considered for the coffee chain — and in an alternate universe, sip a Cargo House vanilla bean frappé.
That’s just one of the names almost used by executives who borrowed the Starbucks name from an unusual but very popular source.
When the company was in its infancy, there were several potential names on the list, co-founder Gordon Bowker said in an interview with the Seattle Times.
The founders debated giving the company a coffee-centric name, but also veered into literary territory.
“We thought of all kinds of names and were desperate to call it Cargo House,” Bowker told the outlet.
He also said it was good that the company was passing on the name, which “would have been a terrible, terrible mistake”.
While trying to think of “power words” that began with a hard st sound, someone in a meeting pulled out an old mining map.
A small town in the Cascades called Starbo caught Bowker’s attention.
He said he “instantly” associated the city with Starbuck, the level-headed first mate in Herman Melville’s masterpiece Moby-Dick.
Obviously it was that nickname that stuck with the brand, but Bowker described another word from the book that was almost used instead.
The founders debated using the name of the whaling ship Pequod instead of the name of the first mate.
Someone remembered Starbuck loved coffee in the book Moby-Dick, but they were corrected.
“Then someone said to me, no, it wasn’t that he loved coffee in the book, it was that he loved coffee in the movie,” Bowker recalls.
“As far as I know, Moby-Dick has nothing to do with coffee,” Bowker admitted. “It was just coincidence that the sound seemed to make sense.”
Of course, the company’s siren logo also shows its close connection with the sea.
While you might not think of Starbucks as a particularly nautical company, with this new knowledge you can effortlessly justify an iced coffee as a beach or poolside drink all summer long.
https://www.the-sun.com/lifestyle/5525902/starbucks-coffee-name-origin-moby-dick/ I’m a Starbucks insider – the chain got its name from an unusual source and it was almost called something else entirely