Amidst the furor over President Trump’s recent travel ban, which disallowed people from specific countries from entering the United States and has been put on hold by a panel of three federal judges, a lot of people had a lot to say on social media, including giant corporations.
Google, Apple, Comcast, and others publicly decried the travel ban, and Starbucks set Twitter on fire for a few hours when its CEO Howard Schultz declared that his company would hire more than 10,000 refugees worldwide in the next five years.
A lot of people took to the web to post angry memes and to announce they were boycotting the coffee house chain (the largest in the world) and deleting its app. That’s when Black Rifle Coffee Company got into the mix, according to this story from munchies.vice.com.
In response to Starbuck’s announcement, the independent coffee company announced it will hire 10,000 veterans over the next six years.
“(Schultz) went on to talk about how Hipsterbucks will not ‘Stand by or stand silent’ and states that with Trump’s order ‘we’ are sounding an ‘alarm’…and human rights are being taken for granted,” BRC wrote on its blog. “Is Starbucks so narcissistic to think that they are somehow an authority?!”
The coffee company is owned by veteran and Green Beret Evan Hafer, the story says, and the company gives its coffees gun-themed names like AK-47 Espresso Blend and Silencer Smooth Blend, and is outspoken about its conservative politics and has developed a loyal following over the past three years of its existence.
The story says that, since the company announced its hiring initiatives, its brand awareness has exploded.
Hafer was a contractor after leaving the Army and has close to 40 deployments overseas and about three-and-a-half years on the ground in Iraq.
“I started roasting coffee about 10 years ago in a little one-pound roaster for me and my buddies who were deploying overseas. I was pulling shots and developing roasts, and that’s where I combined the two things that I enjoyed doing and the things I carried when I was in the military, meaning the black rifle and coffee. I was looking for a profession outside of carrying a gun for a living and really enjoyed roasting coffee, so it seemed like a natural progression.”
Hafer said in the story that his company is about 70 percent veterans, but doesn’t know how many of his customers are vets as well.
“I’m not even catering to a specific demographic. We’re just open with our non-PC environment. We’re fine with guns, tattoos, and loud music, and we’re fine with being what we call ‘the warrior philosophers,'” Hafer said in the story. “We encourage strength and honor and those things that are almost dying within our society. We’re male American military veterans who have spent most of our time in combat, in special operations. It’s a celebration of our own subculture.”
It’s worth noting that Starbucks, along with former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, announced plans in 2013 to hire 10,000 veterans and military spouses over the next five years. Starbucks has announced that it has already hired 8,800 vets and spouses so far and expects to reach its veteran hiring target earlier than expected and that it will continue hiring more, according to reuters.com.