In our early days, the soundtrack to our stores was pleasant but predictable: a “tape of the month” consisting primarily of jazz and classical instrumentals. But when Timothy Jones, a Seattle partner and former record store owner, started adding jazz vocals to the mix, customers began asking where they could buy what they were hearing. Timothy was on to something.
He linked up with the legendary Blue Note Records, whose tunes we'd been playing for years, and they hatched an idea: What if we gathered great recordings from the label and sold them on CD exclusively in our stores? Reviewing two years’ worth of comment cards from our locations across North America, Timothy knew the demand was there – people wanted the sounds of Starbucks for themselves.
Blue Note Blend hit stores on March 30, 1995, alongside a Blue Note blend of coffee, of course. The CD signified the start of a powerful partnership between Starbucks and the music industry. It sold 75,000 copies before going out of print.