You'll Never Guess What Starbucks Was Almost Named

Jul 7, 2017 at 4:49 p.m. ET
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We just found out what Starbucks was almost named, and one thing's for certain — the person who came up with it definitely didn't have their coffee that morning. Now, while the name "Starbucks" doesn't make much sense as relates to coffee, the original name is way worse.

Are you ready? Cargo House. That's right — the most ubiquitous coffee shop in the nation was almost named Cargo House. Ugh!

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Imagine what the world would be like today. Well, chances are Cargo House just wouldn't have taken off, because who really wants to go pick up their morning coffee at a place named after a cargo storage facility? No one, that's who.

Instead of mermaid-themed cups, would their logo have been something cargo-related? A warehouse forklift or a back support belt for heavy lifting? Or, God forbid — cargo shorts? Would that be the employee uniform? Would they sell them as part of their branded product line? Imagine the horror!

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Thankfully, Starbucks co-founder Gordon Bowker and advertising expert Terry Heckler worked together, realizing that words beginning in "st" are powerful and thus make good business names. After randomly coming across the town of Starbo (which, weirdly, rhymes with cargo), Bowker's mind was jostled and he suddenly thought of Starbuck from Moby Dick, and from there, our favorite coffee chain name was born.

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From Cargo to Starbo to Starbucks, things had to change a lot before the business could get up and running. Hey, it makes me feel a lot better about my failed business ideas. Sure, no one wants to buy penis pasta pet collars for animal bachelorettes from a company called Woof Woof Party, but maybe if I change the name to Meowby Dick, I'll finally get things off the ground.

In the meantime, I'll be drinking lots of coffee to fuel my entrepreneurial spirit.