As of 2018, there were 18.2 million veterans living in the United States. About 3.5% of them are unemployed. That number might seem low, but that’s just a nationwide average. In certain states across the country, the unemployment rate for veterans reaches over 6%.
There are many factors to consider when looking at the unemployment rate of veterans, including their age and how long they served, among others. But, no matter how long they were in the service or what job skills they might have, the lack of available jobs for veterans seeking employment has always been an issue in our country.
That’s why many vets choose to start their own businesses. In fact, over 2 million businesses across the country are owned by veterans. Thankfully, many large corporations across the country are also helping to bridge the gap by offering jobs to veterans, including the postal service.
One area with several notable veteran-owned brands is the coffee industry. Understanding the possible issues veterans have to face when they leave the military, and how starting their own businesses can help, makes it easier to understand just how important it is to support such business ventures.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some veteran-owned coffee brands, and the impact they can have on the mental health and well-being of vets across the country.
The Struggles Veterans Face
Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the world. As of 2014, over 2 million veterans in the United States suffer from it. Many vets deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the things they’ve seen or experienced.
While treatment and help are available in dealing with depression thanks to the help of mental health nurses, many veterans still struggle with trying to find their purpose after leaving the service.
The symptoms of PTSD can include anything from irritability and social isolation to anxiety or insomnia. Because it’s such a prominent problem for vets, new ways are constantly being developed to help combat the effects of the trauma these men and women often have had to face, including methods using cutting-edge technology like virtual reality.
Jobs for Struggling Veterans
Having a job can help a veteran who might be struggling. It gives them something to look forward to and a goal to work toward.
There are also many business benefits to hiring military vets. They are often hardworking, can pay close attention to detail, and are willing to go above and beyond what their job description entails.
Veterans who start their own coffee businesses can not only help themselves and their mental health, but they help other veterans and causes as well.
What Are the Best Veteran-Owned Coffee Brands?
Coffee has been an important staple for the U.S. military since before the Civil War. It’s often used as a source of comfort for soldiers who are nostalgic for some of the familiarities of home.
Of course, caffeine has its benefits as well, often giving soldiers a burst of energy or keeping them awake when they need to be alert. As it plays such an important role in the diet of a soldier, it makes sense for veterans to venture into the coffee business when they leave the military.
One of the most well-known coffee brands started by veterans is Black Rifle Coffee Company. This small-batch premium coffee company not only sells high-quality products and a monthly subscription service, but they work with a purpose.
They are so proud of their military heritage that a portion of each of their sales goes to veteran or law enforcement causes. It’s a great business model for veterans helping veterans, and they have made a strong name for themselves by shipping their roasted coffee all across the country.
Another veteran-owned coffee brand is aptly-named G.I. Joe Coffee Company. Like Black Rifle, this brand not only donates some of their profits back to veterans, but they allow you to order bags of coffee for active duty soldiers, and they will ship them out for free.
There are many other coffee companies and roasters across the country that are owned and operated by veterans.
Some other notable brands include:
Most of these veteran-owned companies are eager to find ways to give back or help out their fellow soldiers — especially those struggling to find jobs of their own or those dealing with mental health issues.
When you support these brands, they can do more to support the veterans who need the most help.
How to Start Your Own Coffee Business as a Veteran
If you’re a veteran who has an interest in the coffee industry, why not consider starting your own business? It’s easier than you might think. A passion for what you do is the most important thing, especially if you plan on giving back to veteran services.
Starting your own coffee business begins with organization and a framework for what you want to accomplish. You’ll need to educate yourself on how to source coffee (and where you want to source it from).
Researching how to properly roast coffee and make your own blends is also an essential element to creating a product people will enjoy drinking. When you have a product you’re happy with, you can focus on anything from opening your own shop to selling bags of your blend online.
As a former member of the military, you likely have the discipline and organizational skills necessary to get a business off the ground and make sure it runs efficiently. But don’t be afraid to ask for help when it comes to the things you might not be familiar with, like marketing.
Working with different people to make your coffee business a success will take some of the pressure off of you and allow you to focus on the product itself, as well as the cause behind what you’re doing.
Whether you’re a veteran or you just want to support other vets who are trying to readjust to civilian life after the military, choosing coffee made by veteran-owned companies is a great way to do it!