Not political, but… Okay, I make it a point to try and not be political in my posts although there are times when social aspects come close to or straddle the line. I also try to acknowledge when I hold a particular view and then discover something that impacts that view one way or the other. In this case, it’s a pleasant impact.
I’ve never been a big fan of Starbucks coffee in the sense of their coffee or their prices. Back when they first became popular, our son was of the age that I did appreciate the fact they provided a gathering place for the 18-20 year olds who couldn’t go to bars, yet wanted that kind of social feeling. As they significantly expanded (and thus opened the way for similar places I like better), I genuinely felt they took the whole “inclusion” thing too far. Not so much in I didn’t agree with being more inclusive; it was the sense of them seeming to project being superior about it I didn’t care for. I only patronized them when someone specifically asked to meet there or they happened to be the only convenient coffee place.
My taking a step back came last week and yesterday as I was sent an email to cover a story for the paper about the latest store opening. It is designated as the first Starbucks Military Family Store in Homestead, only the sixth in all of Florida, but brings the national total to seventy-six. I had never heard of such. As it turns out, these stores are part of an initiative launched in 2013 of “Starbucks Military Hiring Commitment, which included the goal of hiring 10,000 veterans and military spouses which was raised to 25,000 and now aims to add 5,000 more such employees each year. Military Family Stores are located near bases and posts and are, ‘designed to reflect the local military community, creating a welcoming space for veterans, active-duty military and their families’.” (Full article will probably be in this week’s paper)
In speaking with the store manager yesterday, she’s been with the company for 23 years and in South Florida for 16. Her father-in-law, a Vietnam veteran spent 28 years in the Army. She is very excited about the program and 85% of the employees (they refer to them as partners) have a family connection to the military.
I will later send a letter or email to the company expressing my appreciation.