Starbucks is a popular, household name that took the coffee industry by storm and has remained a there ever since. Most people can’t go a day without sipping on a green straw or holding that classic white cup with steaming coffee in their hands. But, have you ever wondered how Starbucks got its name? 

Is your skinny vanilla latte named after some guy in a book about a whale?

Gordon Bowker, co-founder of the beloved coffee chain, has shared with the public how the company got its name in a pretty roundabout way.

When starting Starbucks, Bowker enlisted the help of his friends. This was due to Bowker’s other obligations and the fact that management wasn’t one of his strengths when it came to business. Bowker also valued the camaraderie that came with the creation of a small business and its early stages.

The group brainstormed ideas for their coffee shop, one of them being Cargo House, until Terry Heckler sparked a change in the topic of conversation. Heckler, who also owned an advertising agency with Bowker, mentioned that he believed words that started with the prefix “st” were powerful.

After the friends compiled a list of “st” words, someone else in the group brought up an old mining map of the Cascades and Mount Rainier. On this map was an old mining town, named Starbo. Seeing the town of Starbo immediately reminded Bowker of the first mate, Starbuck, in Herman Melville’s classic American novel, Moby Dick. The group decided on the name, and the rest is history.

So, while the two American classics do share a name, there really isn’t any further connection.