UK: DECISIONS - ALLY SVENSON, STARBUCKS CORPORATION.

UK: DECISIONS - ALLY SVENSON, STARBUCKS CORPORATION. - MY BEST ... 'Doing something I feel passionate about. I am passionate about good coffee, and when you are starting a business, you need passion - a good idea isn't enough. Before we opened our first

by ANDREW SAUNDERS.
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

MY BEST ... 'Doing something I feel passionate about. I am passionate about good coffee, and when you are starting a business, you need passion - a good idea isn't enough. Before we opened our first store neither my husband Scott nor I had any retail experience. We ran into lots of problems we hadn't anticipated and, without a passion for the business, we couldn't have solved them all. I knew the idea was good - when I arrived in London from Seattle, I was amazed I couldn't get a good caffe latte. Sooner or later someone was going to make it work - our passion for coffee helped ensure it was us.'

MY WORST ...'Delaying the start-up for four years. We arrived in London in 1991 but didn't open our first store until 1995. In those days, businesses were run by other people, not us, and we assumed someone would beat us to it. When we eventually opened in Covent Garden, we weren't expecting to be so successful so quickly. We never really got over that surprise and worried too much about making mistakes. Now we are business people and more willing to take a chance. It wasn't until we sold out to Starbucks last year that I thought: 'Hey, that was it. We were entrepreneurs."

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