The saxophonist and Starbucks investor says he played a role in convincing CEO Howard Schultz to bring the blended drink to Starbucks's menu.
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By Kate Taylor, Entrepreneur.com
Kenny G is more than a jazzy saxophonist. He’s also apparently a coffee revolutionary.
This week, the musician said in an interview with Bloomberg that as an early investor in Starbucks, he helped convince Howard Schultz to begin serving up Frappuccinos.
“At the beginning, Starbucks didn’t have anything but coffee. And there was another company, Coffee Bean, that had something called ‘blended’ that was a sweet drink, and people were lined up around the block,” Kenny G says in the interview. “I would always call Howard and say, ‘Howard, there’s this thing that they do there that’s like a milkshake or whatever.'”
G invested in Starbucks when the company was still picking up steam, on the advice of his uncle, one of the company’s first investors. He reports that, while he didn’t know much about coffee, he was immediately impressed by Schultz, prompting him to invest in the man behind the company.
Today, the saxophonist says that the Frappuccino is his favorite Starbucks drink. With the blended drink going from G’s brainchild to a Starbucks go-to, we’ll have to wait and see if the self-described “sweet guy” will warm up new blends as Starbucks builds up its gourmet coffee offerings.
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