|Intro||American entrepreneur and co-founder of Starbucks|
|Is||Businessperson Entrepreneur Writer|
|From||United States of America|
Gordon Bowker is an American entrepreneur. He began as a writer and went on to co-found Starbucks with Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl. He was later a co-owner of Peet's Coffee & Tea and Redhook Ale Brewery.
Bowker was raised by his mother, in Ballard and Burien, Washington, following the death of his father in World War II. He graduated from O’Dea High School, in Seattle.
During the 1960s, he attended the University of San Francisco, where Baldwin was his roommate. The pair would order coffee beans via mail-order from Peet's Coffee in Berkley, California.
During 1968, Bowker wrote educational film scripts for a division of King Broadcasting, and freelanced for the original Seattle magazine. There, he met Terry Heckler, and the pair later formed advertising agency Heckler Bowker. He also met David Brewster at the magazine; during the 1970s, Bowker helped fund the launch of Brewster's Seattle Weekly, and wrote restaurant and hospitality reviews, under the nom de plume Lars Henry Ringseth.
From 1969, Bowker would regularly drive to Vancouver, Canada to purchase roasted beans from Murchie's Tea & Coffee.
In 1971, Bowker, Baldwin and Siegl opened the first Starbucks store near Pike Place Market, where he worked during weekends. From 1973, Heckler Bowker was the advertising firm for Rainier Brewing Company. During the 1970s, Bowker founded Apanage, a Washington real estate investment company.
In 1982, Bowker and Paul Shipman, whom he had met while working with th Chateau Ste. Michelle winery, launched Redhook Ale Brewery.
In 1984, Starbucks, still majority-owned by Bowker and Baldwin, bought Peet's Coffee & Tea, which Baldwin subsequently led. In 1987, Bowker and Baldwin sold Starbucks to Howard Schultz and a group of investors. Bowker then left the coffee business, later joining Peet's board of directors, 1994 - 2008.
In 2007, Bowker and former Kauai film commissioner Ken Levine co-produced, through Levine's Kuleana Music, Force of Nature, by slack key guitar master Led Kaapana and Mike Kaawa; in 2009, the album was nominated for the "Best Hawaiian Music CD of the year.