What Inspired Starbucks' Coffee?

One of Washington's smallest towns might be the inspiration for Starbucks Coffee.

Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media
Aaron Savage, Townsquare Media

Starbucks Coffee was founded in Washington State and I've always wondered where the inspiration for the Starbucks name came from.

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Growing up in the 70s, I loved the TV show Battlestar Galactica and one of the main characters on the show was named "Starbuck".

Did Starbuck Washington's Name Inspire Starbucks Coffee?

I thought that might be the inspiration but then I realized a small town in Washington might've also have been the inspiration for the Starbucks Coffee name.

Grace Rowan/Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley
Grace Rowan/Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley

Starbuck Washington in Columbia County could've been a possible inspiration for the Starbucks Coffee name.

William Smith/Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley
William Smith/Townsquare Media of the Hudson Valley

So I decided to put on my detective's hat to see if there was any correlation between Starbuck Washington and Starbucks Coffee.

Welcome sign in Starbuck, Washington.
By © Steven Pavlov / http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Senapa, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=16017961

Refreshing your memory, Starbuck Washington is located close to Pomeroy Washington and once had a population of over 700 people dating back to 1894.

Starbuck was once a railroad hub in the area but once the railroad diminished, so did the town's population.

So did Starbuck Washington inspire the Starbucks Coffee name?

After a quick Google search, I discovered that Starbuck Washington didn't inspire the Starbucks name. It would make sense both are in Washington State but alas it's not true.

Starbucks is named after the chief mate from Moby Dick novel, Starbuck. It does make a little more sense as the original Starbucks opened in 1971 at Pike Place Market in Seattle right next to the Pacific Ocean.

I feel like a regular myth-buster with that revelation but now you know where the true inspiration for one of your favorite coffee brands came from.

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