Since our founding in 1971, we’ve grown from a single storefront in Seattle to a coffee phenomenon embraced by millions around the world. But our global expansion began gradually: We opened our first international store in 1987 and our first outside of North America in 1996. It wasn't until 1998 that we made our European debut in London.
In Europe, as everywhere, we make an effort to connect with local culture. When we learned that British customers like their coffee on the go, we built new drive-thrus so commuters can enjoy their favorite beverage from their cars. We added extra seating to our French stores for coffee-lovers who prefer to sit and linger. Our Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan honors the theater of the Italian coffeehouse, the very thing that inspired our own coffeehouse experience.
Today, thousands of European customers enjoy Starbucks coffee each day at stores that nod to local traditions while retaining our unique blend of coffee and community.