Staying No. 1 In Premium Coffee

By DAVID SAITO-CHUNG Posted 12/23/2010 06:47 PM ET

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In 1981, Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz walked into a Starbucks shop in Seattle for the first time. He joined as an employee after having his first cup of Sumatra there, discovering robust, flavorful brews that one couldn’t find at a diner or convenience store.

Schultz, who returned to the CEO post in January 2008, is working to revive that experience in its stores as demand for specialty coffee has grown over the past few decades and competition has intensified.

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