Starbucks almost had a much different name that didn't exactly go over well with those charting out the coffee chain's future.

How Starbucks Got Its Name

Before we get into its first-proposed name, let's look at how Starbucks got its current name.

The original Starbucks opened in Seattle's Pike Place Market in 1971 with a storefront that was small enough to only require one employee for its operation.

Starbucks Coffee, Teas and Spices sold whole bean coffee sourced from various locations around the world including Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia. A video on the Starbucks website explains the store was started by three friends who would roast the coffee beans themselves and scoop it into paper bags.

Pike Place Market in Seattle
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The waterfront near Pike Place Market provided inspiration for both the Starbucks siren logo and its name. (More on that logo and its somewhat racy past in a bit)

According to information shared by Starbucks, the name was inspired by a mining camp on Mt. Rainier called "Starbo." To give it more of a nautical twist, the name was turned into "Starbucks," the name of the first mate in Moby-Dick.

Original Starbucks Name That Was Voted Down

While it might be difficult to imagine Starbucks by any other name, the chain nearly had a different moniker inspired by the same novel.

READ MORE: Starbucks Thinks You're Too Loud And Is Ready To Do Something About It

One of the co-founders, Gordon Bowker, came to the table with the idea of calling the group's new speciality coffee shop "Pequod," the name of the ship featured in Moby-Dick.

An artist working with the trio objected to the name. As the Starbucks website puts it "would a cup of 'Pee-kwod' appeal to anyone."

Starbucks logo on glass door
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While the group had the foresight to select a crowd-friendly name, the initial logo they settled on would need to be revised through the years.

The earliest versions of the Starbucks logo featured an illustration of a siren, as it still does today. One glaring difference is the first version of the logo had a bare-chested version of the figure.

The current version of the Starbucks logo was developed in 2011.

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Gallery Credit: Paul Feinstein

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