From Howard Schultz’ book, “Onward”:
I was just a young boy, no more than 10 years old, when my aunt took me to Radio City Music Hall in New York City. After the show, we walked to an Automat, a style of self-serve restaurant that I’d never seen anything like. I was immediately enthralled.
Rows of little windows stretched from wall to wall, and behind each window was a different food. A turkey sandwich. A bowl of Jell-O. And my choice that day, a slice of apple pie. My aunt put some coins into a machine and then lifted the window, which was hinged at the top, and removed my pie. Almost immediately a new piece of pie appeared, replacing the one we had bought. My aunt convinced me that a magician was working behind the scenes; back then, I had no idea there was a kitchen full of cooks and servers behind the vast wall of food, making and constantly refilling each item for new customers.
That experience crystallized for me what it meant to be a merchant. Since then, I have always looked for the magic.”