Starbucks reached a milestone Thursday by dedicating its 30th Military Family Store. An audience of veterans, military spouses, reservists, and community members celebrated the store on Eglin Parkway Northeast in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.
Military Family Stores are located near major military bases and have been given the special designation as a place of welcoming and support for military communities around the country. The Starbucks stores function as a hub within the military community, and are staffed with many veterans and military spouses. Partners (employees) in the stores help create a culture of understanding between military and non-military customers—an important step toward ensuring service men and women experience smooth transitions back into the civilian world. The stores also work with nonprofit organizations to provide services for veterans and their families.
“After we set out to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses by 2018, we committed to dedicating 30 Military Family Stores around the country to create a place to honor and celebrate service members and their families,” says John Kelly, senior vice president, Global Responsibility, Community & Public Policy. “These stores have become an important gathering place to reconnect veterans with their communities, support successful transitions and create career opportunities.”
With the support of the 30 Military Family Stores across the U.S., Starbucks will now focus on programs that address the specific needs of veterans, military spouses and active-duty service members. This includes Military Mondays, a collaboration between local veteran service organizations and Starbucks that offers pro bono legal support and other veteran and military spouse services at the company’s stores as well as Adopt a Military Unit, where store partners sponsor units and send care packages to those deployed overseas.
As part of Thursday’s Military Family Store dedication, Fort Walton Beach Mayor Mike Anderson shared his appreciation for Starbucks joining the community. Hang Owen, a representative from Blue Star Families, commented on the organization’s collaboration with Starbucks and ability to support the local military community.