With everyone so fixated on Starbucks’ impending rollout of their infamous pumpkin spice latte this “fall,” visitors to the global coffee giant this week might be forgiven for missing a subtler sign of change.
In honor of its commitment to veterans, Starbucks this week introduced a new camouflage cup sleeve touting its 10,000 (and counting) veteran or military spouse employees. Those with a keen eye for design details will notice that the usual color scheme seen on military fatigues has been modified to incorporate coffee beans as camo splotches. The design was hand block printed by Meghan Moser, the daughter of a former Navy SEAL. “I’m truly honored. I never imagined that my father’s career as a military officer and my career as a textile designer would intertwine like this,” she told Starbucks in a press release.
The sleeve isn’t some shallow, self-congratulatory exercise, but part of a broader commitment to help reintegrate veterans to civilian life. Beyond the act of hiring veterans, the chain of coffeehouses sees itself as a venue where those who served and those who haven’t can get to know each other better.
Towards that end, Starbucks released a video which highlights how one can start a more meaningful conversation with a veterans and arrive at a greater sense of understanding. “What we can uniquely do at Starbucks is host conversations," Virginia Tenpenny, says Starbucks’ VP of Global Social Impact. "We are a venue to connect people."
It’s unclear whether the sleeves will still adorn your lattes on Veteran’s Day, but Starbucks did announce its intentions to hire an additional 15,000 veterans by 2025. Regardless of how you may feel about American foreign policy or pumpkin flavoring, that seems like an initiative worth supporting.