Store manager and Army spouse, California
For military spouses like Alma, whose husband serves abroad for months at a time, a supportive community is critical to enduring the challenges of separation.
“Not having your best friend around to experience life with you and share those moments, that’s the hardest part.”
Exploring jobs near her husband’s base, she researched companies that actively support military families and heard about Starbucks.
“Their commitment to military spouses and veterans stood out. The fact that they celebrate the military was totally different.”
Alma receives support from Starbucks at every level, which makes connecting with other military spouses and partners easy. Between Workplace, the company’s online community, and compassionate baristas and managers, Starbucks fosters a culture of understanding built around shared experience.
“It’s incredibly selfless. My managers regularly check in with phone calls and visits. There’s always a shoulder to cry on if you need it.”
Alma also finds her connection to customers especially rewarding, spurred by the American flag on her apron and Adopt a Unit, a Starbucks program that sends care packages of donated coffee, snacks and tokens of home to troops overseas. They ask her how she and her husband are doing and thank them both for their service.
“The support I get from customers is tremendous. When they donate and thank me for my service, it makes me feel all the sacrifices that he and I go through are worthwhile.”
Shift supervisor and Air Force spouse, Nevada
Raphael relocated with his Air Force wife from Santa Maria, California, to Las Vegas. What began as a job to pay the bills quickly became a refuge of understanding and support. Interacting with compassionate partners was the uplifting connection he needed.
“People think we’re just coworkers, but Starbucks stores are more like families that take care of each other inside and outside of the store.”
Raphael's store partners immediately welcomed him. They hung out together after work in the evenings to introduce him to the area.
“Knowing others care about how you're feeling, that makes a big difference.”
When his wife was stationed overseas, Raphael felt lost and had to confront the solitude of the six-month separation. Partners and supervisors stepped in to help fill the gap and included him in their family gatherings, even inviting Raphael to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners.
“They knew I was away from family, and Starbucks acted like a second home to me. To take me in like they did was really cool.”
Upon his wife’s return from deployment, the store greeted her like an old friend despite never meeting her in person. Then his managers provided him with flexibility to spend more time with her.
“Managers are really good at helping partners get better in their situation, in whatever they're doing.”
When a new military spouse joins the team, Raphael makes time to talk and offer advice—sometimes it’s as simple as carpooling; other times it’s more personal.
“We bond because we relate to one another. I feel like I don't have to be alone. Telling our stories helps because we're going through the same hardships.”
Since 2013, Starbucks has hired over 17,000 veterans and military spouses, and is committed to hiring 25,000 more by 2025.
To learn more about the Starbucks Military Commitment, visit: starbucks.com/responsibility/community/veterans.