Howard Schultz was born to a poor Jewish-German family in Brooklyn. A phenomenal athlete, he paid his way through higher education on sports scholarships. After working as a salesperson for Xerox, he became the general manager of Swedish coffee machine maker Hammarplast. In this role, he paid a visit to one of the company’s clients – a tiny café in Seattle called Starbucks. Having traveled through Italy and seen the importance of café-socials in Italian society, Schultz was inspired to create the same for America. Unfortunately the three Starbucks founders (two of whom are fellow Jews Gordon Bowker and Zev Siegl) didn’t share his vision. So in 1985 Howard Schultz started his own café called Il Giornale. Hugely successful, by 1988 Schultz was able to buy out the original Starbucks and adopted it as his own brand name! Schultz quickly became a billionaire, went on to own the Seattle Supersonics basketball team, wrote two books, and received multiple awards, including one from Aish HaTorah for his Israel advocacy work. Today, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse in the world, with 19,435 locations in 58 countries. The company continues to run under the direction of Schultz, and has become well-known for its humanitarianism: their Ethos brand raises money for water development projects, while Product Red delivers AIDS medication to Africa. The Starbucks Foundation works to develop youth literacy and leadership, sponsoring volunteer work and providing millions of dollars in grants every year.
Words of the Week
Leave Israel alone, for even if they are not themselves prophets, they are still the children of prophets.
William Rosenberg (1916-2002) was born to a Jewish family in Boston. Because of the Great Depression, Rosenberg dropped out of school in eighth grade to work. After World War II, he invented the now-famous stainless steel “canteen trucks” seen on construction sites, and started a food delivery business with just $2500. Realizing that most of his sales were in coffee and donuts, Rosenberg opened Dunkin’ Donuts in 1950. At the time, only four flavours of donuts were available. Rosenberg created 52! He became one of the pioneers of franchising, founding the International Franchise Association in 1960. Today, Dunkin’ Donuts has over 9,700 franchises in 37 countries.
Baskin & Robbins
In the 1960s, his son Robert Rosenberg acquired Baskin Robbins. This company was originally started by Canadian Jew Irvine Robbins (1917-2008), who used his bar mitzvah money after coming back from World War II. It was a merger of his ice cream shop with his brother-in-law’s Burt Baskin (1913-1967), a member of Zeta Beta Tau, America’s first Jewish fraternity. Some consider Baskin Robbins the first-ever food franchise. Today, it has nearly 6,000 locations worldwide.
Words of the Week
Money is the cause of good things to a good man, of evil things to a bad man. – Philo Judaeus