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Starbucks Traces Roots to Brooklyn

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Starbucks Traces Roots to Brooklyn

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LONG BEACH, CA - OCTOBER 26: Howard Schultz, Chairman, President and CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company attend the Maria Shriver Women's Conference at the Long Beach Convention Center on October 26, 2010 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Howard Schultz

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Starbucks may be based in Seattle, but really, the company owes a lot to Brooklyn.

CEO Howard Schultz, who grew up in Canarsie, revealed during a talk at 92nd Street Y this week that the java giant's policies were borne out of his experiences there.

The company employs some 200,000 people across 55 countries and provides health care to all workers, even part-time. He calls them "partners" rather than "employees."

"It does go back in a way to my roots in Brooklyn," said Schultz. He said he grew up "on the wrong side of the tracks" in Canarsie and experienced first hand the toll unemployment and lack of health care takes when his father was laid off.

"I want to balance profitability with social comprehension," he said. "We created the kind of company that customers began to trust."

Schultz spoke Tuesday night with Bloomberg Businessweek chief content officer Norman Pearlstine in promotion of his new book, "Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time."

In it, he points to innovation and social consciousness as the keys to the company's success.

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