Teachers Zev Siegel and Jerry Baldwin first teamed up with writer Gordon Bowker to open their first coffee-house in 1971 in Seattle. Bowker was a fan of Moby Dick and he suggested their company should be called ‘Pequod’, the name of the whaling ship central to the novel.
Then someone suggested nobody would want to drink a mug of ‘pee-uod’, and arguably, he was correct. They went back to the drawing board and decided to call their coffee-house ‘Starbuck’, who is Pequod’s first mate in the novel. Over time, the ‘s’ was added to make it easier to say.
So the anonymous person who suggested they go back to the drawing board is responsible for one of the most recognisable high street chains.
[Courtesy of ‘It’s a Wonderful Word’ by Albert Jack]