In 1982 Baldwin hired Schultz as the new head of marketing and shortly thereafter sent him to Milan to attend an international housewares show in Italy. When he arrived, Schultz found himself infatuated with the exciting coffee culture of Italy. Schultz went to Verona and had his first caffe latte. But he observed something more important than the coffee. The cafe patrons were chatting and otherwise enjoying themselves while sipping their coffees in the elegant surroundings. It was an “aha” moment as inspiration struck.
A great idea
Schultz describes that moment as an epiphany, “Why not create community gathering places like the great coffee house of Italy in the United States?” Could the Old World meet the New World? If it succeeded, it would be marketing genius.
By 1983 the marketing manager had a vision of recreating the magic and romance behind the Italian coffee bar and wanted to test out the concept of selling espresso by the cup. More tomorrow!