Starbucks in Newport has been designated as a Military Family Store – looks to provide jobs to veterans and military spouses, while also serving as a communal hub for current and former service members.
Starbucks announced on Tuesday that its store on Thames Street in Newport has become one of 37 locations around the country designated as a Military Family Store, these stores are (or will be) staffed primarily by veterans and military spouses as part of a larger effort to employ service members and their families nationwide.
Christopher Schmidt, an organizer of the Military Family Stores initiative at Starbucks, told What’sUpNewp on Wednesday that Newport store has become a newly designated store because of the close proximity to the Naval War College and U.S. Coast Guard. Thousands of current and former service members are nearby, as well as their spouses and families.
The manager we spoke to at Starbucks on Tuesday and Wednesday is a military spouse. Schmidt also told What’sUpNewp that the Newport Starbucks is already employing military spouses and has a long history of doing so.
Joining Newport as a newly dedicated store is Austin and El Paso, Texas (Camp Mabry and Ft. Bliss); Clarksville, Tennessee (Fort Campbell) and Bedford, Massachusetts (Joint Base Hanscom).
The five stores bring the total MFS count to 37 operating across the U.S.
In March, at the company’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders, Starbucks announced it would be dedicating 100 more stores with a MFS designation over the next five years. This is part of a commitment to hire 25,000 Veteran and military spouses by 2025. The company has hired more than 10,000 Veteran and military spouse partners (employees) since 2013.
Functioning as a hub within the military community, stores with an MFS designation focus on programs that address the specific needs of Veterans, military spouses and active-duty service members. Each store catalyzes Starbucks Veteran hiring efforts and connects to its community through relationships with the local military base and with Veterans service organizations. The stores will also honor Starbucks partners and customers with design components, such as special murals, patriotic green aprons and offer merchandise that reflect the company’s appreciation for military service.
“Military families move often and live far from family and friends,” said Kathy Roth-Douquet, CEO of Blue Star Families, in a press release. “We rely on outstanding partners like Starbucks in our communities across the country. Having a Military Family Store nearby means knowing that there is a welcoming environment to engage with neighbors and combat that sense of isolation.”
Among the special programs from these stores is 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.
Many of the stores with MFS designation have also joined the Adopt a Military Unit program, where store partners sponsor units and send care packages to those deployed overseas.
In addition, the stores allow Starbucks to work with various Veteran Service Organizations that serve the needs of distinct groups within the military and veteran populations, including:
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hiring Our Heroes Foundation: a program launched in 2011 as a nationwide initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses find meaningful employment opportunities.
Blue Star Families: the leading advocate for and supporter of military spouses with a focus on career development, caregiving, and our informative research.
Team Red White and Blue: a program that enriches the lives of America’s veterans by connecting them to their community through physical and social activity.
Tragedy Assistance Programs for Survivors (TAPS): supports the families of fallen service members.