Make It

How two French bakers got their product onto shelves at Starbucks

Since January 2016, Starbucks has been featuring cookies from Michel et Augustin in all of their US stores.

How did a baked-goods company that started out of a Paris apartment land a deal with one of the largest coffee chains in the world?

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told the story Thursday at the DealBook Conference, hosted by CNBC anchor and New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin.

"Two people show up at the front desk of Starbucks from France. They came from France!" he said. The CEO recalled that the young Michel et Augustin employees arrived at the Seattle headquarters with a fresh batch of cookies.

Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz
Getty Images
Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz

"I have such a big heart for any entrepreneurial person that's trying to do something against all odds," he continued. "And I get a call saying, 'Howard, it's a crazy thing. These two people have arrived from France and all they want to do is give you a sample of their cookie.'

"How could I say no to that? It's impossible. So I left my office, I ran to the front desk … and I fell in love with these two French kids."

Schultz brought them into his office and tasted the cookies with a few colleagues.

"Everybody liked [the cookies]," he told Sorkin. "And I said [to the couriers], 'You know what? This is your day. You are going to have your cookies in every Starbucks store in 30 days.' And that's what happened."

Seems like 80% of success really is just showing up ... with cookies.