Starbucks Community Stores expand and spark more partner opportunities


While many people crave their Starbucks, the Starbucks Community Stores are more than just a place grab a beverage and those opportunities are a good thing.

Even though Starbucks might seem to be everywhere, Starbucks Community Stores are a different offering for some communities. In 2015, Starbucks began this initiative. Through the program, the company sought to provide “economic opportunity in under-served rural and urban communities across the country.”

In a recent announcement, Starbucks committed to add 100 Community Stores by 2025. While many people focus on new beverages or massive undertakings, this program highlights a different side of the company, serving the community. In many ways, this announcement deserves more discussion than another seasonal beverage.

The Starbucks Community Stores focus on the following: “locations in economically distressed communities; a designated room or space for community events and programming; a partnership with a local United Way chapter to facilitate relevant community programs; a focus on working with diverse contractors for store construction and remodels; and an emphasis on hiring locally.”

While many people focus on the saturation of Starbucks stores and the expense of drinking coffee, that name and brand recognition can bring positive development. Without the loyal support of many customers, Starbucks would not have the ability to create and commit to these Starbucks Community Stores.

Still, there are a few questions that should be raised about these Community Stores. Granted, the stores and the employment that the location offers are good for the community, the cost of these beverages could be prohibitive for the communities that they serve. Wouldn’t it beneficial for these locations to offer cost-effective choices for these under-served communities, too?

While the positive impact that these stores provide, it cannot just stop with the creation of the store, nor does it. The United Way partnership and programming helps to give youth the opportunity to thrive. Those opportunities can spark a new direction and hope. If a coffee shop can bring a brightness to the community, no one should begrudge that positivity.

Overall, the Starbucks Community Stores do present opportunities, and hopefully opportunities beyond these particular stores. Even if one of these stores are not close by, why can’t any Starbucks store better serve the community. Whether it is sharing a smile with a person in line, highlighting a local fundraiser or may helping the high school student who is struggling with homework, every store is a community that offers opportunity to do better.

While the expansion of the Starbucks Community Stores is a positive, welcomed announcement, let is serve as a reminder that helping the community isn’t limited to just these particular stores. Spreading positivity, lending a hand and being a good neighbor are attributes that every community deserves.

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Have you been to any Starbucks Community Stores? What do you think of this concept?