Is it possible that your mom's favorite purveyor of smooth jazz invented Starbucks' Frappuccino? Apparently it is! It turns out that Grammy award-winning saxophonist Kenny G, a Seattle native, was an early investor in the now-ubiquitous Seattle-based coffee franchise. In an interview with Bloomberg's Pimm Fox, the 58-year old musician said, "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 happened to personally know Howard Schultz, the chairman and CEO of Starbucks, and gave him a nudge or two to diversify the coffee chain's menu. The saxophonist recalled, "I would always call Howard and say, 'Howard, there's this thing that they do there that's like a milkshake or whatever. And so I think that I—part of the reason that they did Frappuccino was people like me giving them that kind of feedback. So I would like to think that I was partially responsible for that."
Kenny G's influence on the coffee mega-chain doesn't end with everyone's favorite milkshake...uhh, I mean, totally legit coffee drink. His 1994 Christmas album, Miracles, was also the very first album that Starbucks ever sold. So you can also thank him for Starbuck's particular brand of studiously inoffensive, maddeningly catchy music. Thanks, Mr. G!
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