I’m not much of a coffee person but I LOVE Starbucks. To “coffee purists,” I’m one of those shameful frou-frou coffee-flavored beverage drinkers. I’m one of those that likes a little bit of coffee with my cream and sugar so needless to say I love their refreshing teas, their same-number-of-calories-as-a-meal frappucinos, and their more-caramel-than-coffee macchiatos. I love their gourmet breakfast sandwiches and their sinful pastries. I love the trendy, relaxing vibes of their stores. But moreover I love what they stand for. I am reading Onward by founder and former CEO, Howard Schultz (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!). In this book, he talks about how every detail of the store experience has been tailored to consumers. He mentions small details like lowering the original height of their espresso machines to allow for interaction between barista and customer. And he mentions big details like utilizing their coffee and their stores to bring a community of people together striving to make Starbucks a customer’s’ “third place” besides work and home. One thing that the book never mentioned was the Starbucks Military Commitment, which is something I have only heard about within the last couple of weeks. I just happened to be scrolling through my Facebook feed when I saw an article on Starbucks’ increased committment to hiring veterans and military spouses. I looked further into it and this effort is just scraping the surface of everything they do for our military community. I was so captivated by it all that I felt inclined to share! It’s just another way that Starbucks is reaching out to communities helping to bring people together and yet another reason to love Starbucks.
The Starbucks Military Commitment is a multifaceted dedication to military families that’s part of their goal to be “the leading corporate advocate and voice for transitioning veterans, military spouses and military families.” The first and foremost part of this commitment is to boost efforts to hire more military veterans and spouses. Since 2013, they have hired over 10,000 but they are pushing their goals even further, upping their target to hiring 25,000 by 2025. As a military spouse, this means a great deal to me. It’s comforting to know that a Fortune 500 company values my experiences and talents enough to invest in me, even if it’s only temporary. And who knows?! Being a food scientist, maybe we could end up at a base near Seattle long enough for me to work at the Starbucks headquarters as a product developer…but one can only dream (I hope you’re reading this Starbucks recruiters). This is a giant promise for an organization but they don’t stop there. Here are some of the other facets of the Starbucks Military Commitment:
Starbucks has assembled 15 regional districts that participate in the Adopt-a-Unit program which seeks to build relationships between Starbucks employees and our military men and women both domestic and abroad. Through this program, Starbucks sends coffee care packages to those deployed and provides complementary coffee and pastries at military outreach events. This program strives to bring a familiar piece of home to troops abroad.
Starbucks Armed Forces Network
This is a Facebook group run by Starbucks that aims “to help veterans transition to civilian employment and give all partners the opportunity to strengthen connections while supporting a culture that embraces our military partners and their families” (Couldn’t have said it better myself so I did the ol’ cut and paste). It is a way to communicate the continual outreach efforts of the Starbucks’ Military Commitment and communicate job opportunities. This one is definitely worth a follow.
Military Family Stores
These are stores that are relatively close to bases that are primarily staffed by veterans and military spouses. For these stores, the majority of their customer base is usually military. They are strategically used in the community to allow veterans, current servicemen and women and civilians to connect. There are roughly forty stores and counting that are a part of this program.
Starbucks College Achievement Program
Starbucks offers its part and full-time employees a generous opportunity to have fully covered tuition in a program partnership with Arizona State University. As a part of the Starbucks’ Military Commitment, they have allowed veteran employees to extend this benefit to a qualifying family member. HOW COOL IS THAT?!
Partnerships with Military Service Organizations
Finally, they partner with various veteran social and service organizations such as Team Rubicon and The Mission Continues as a way to give back to veterans and serve alongside them.
Now before you go thinking that Starbucks paid us to write this, think again. I am just so in awe of all of the efforts put forth by Starbucks to help the military community and their families that I HAD to share. Thank you, Starbucks, for understanding the military community and reaching out to connect with us and P.S. – thanks for keeping my dream of being a Starbucks product developer alive. I’ve always been a Starbucks lover but the love just got deeper.