What Makes Starbucks' Community Stores So Special?

Starbucks is known for its ever-changing drink combinations and exotic seasonal tumblers. The Seattle-based coffee chain has also pioneered many technological innovations over the years. According to Pymnts, Starbucks is a leader in pioneering the mobile app and mobile point of sale, along with providing mobile wallet access within the app. This gives the customer the convenience of online ordering, ease of payment, and loyalty point accumulation. Who doesn't like earning free coffee?

In addition to technological advancements, Starbucks has introduced more efficient coffee brewing equipment and espresso machines and installed more innovative food ovens. The chain has also offered handheld ordering devices to stores and introduced the reusable cup program to reduce waste (via Starbucks). Now, the company aims to meet a 2030 goal for bolstering economic growth within communities by expanding the number of its Starbucks Community Stores. And, several of these stores already exist in the U.S. and around the globe. 

Starbucks helps create opportunity

According to Starbucks, the coffee chain is committed to opening or dedicating 1,000 Starbucks Community Stores by 2030. These stores will bolster economic growth by including environments for their partners to connect with and engage the communities they uniquely serve. These Starbucks stores will enrich under-resourced communities, empower farmers, women, and youth, and support service members, veterans, and military families. The Starbucks Community Stores also create partnerships with local nonprofit organizations, providing economic opportunity within their communities. These opportunities are formed through local hiring, providing event space for community gatherings, and partnering with local artists and diverse contractors.

Communities in economic distress will be considered Opportunity Zones for Starbucks Community Store cafés (via Starbucks). Other determining factors for Community Stores include low median household income, population stability, and high youth unemployment. In 2018, Starbucks opened its first-ever signing store in the U.S. — which is part of the Community Store project — creating a more deaf-friendly location and offering employment opportunities for the deaf community of Washington D.C. In August 2022, Starbucks opened a Community Store in Dallas, Texas, according to Dallas Culture Map, which is the 25th Community Store in the United States.

John Kelly, executive vice president of Starbucks Public Affairs, explained, "We believe it is our role and responsibility to partner with those in the communities we serve to help make a positive economic and social impact."