One of the aspects veterans miss the most from military service is the feeling of camaraderie and having a team or “tribe.” Since only 1% of Americans are joining the service, it’s no surprise that 44% of post-9/11 veterans say they have difficulty reintegrating into civilian life after leaving active duty. It’s challenging for service members to find a new tribe in the civilian world that understands them.
For this reason, Chad Watts and Brad Dean began the company Scars and Stripes Coffee. A company that is out to build the largest veteran-only sales force that exists.
Their philosophy is simple, coffee has an incredible market that is continuing to show growth year after year. “It is a product that every veteran can get behind with passion and if you have passion, you have the ability to sell”, says Mr. Watts. In conversation, it was mentioned that even if you didn’t drink coffee before you went into the military, you definitely did after. This means it is a product that every veteran can have passion about.
Chad Watts, who is not a veteran, works closely with veterans. When he first started on his path he had the mindset that many do if you are a veteran who has served and made it back, your life is good and you are taken care of. He quickly realized that that was not the case.
As Mr. Watts continued his work with veterans and the Department of Veteran Affairs, he also watched as they would come in and light up being with one another. He began asking some questions, including to his partner, Brad Dean currently a Lieutenant Colonel in the Oklahoma Army National Guard, what it was like to be a veteran. He asked, “Are there things you miss?”. He was met with a resounding answer, yes! The community and team are no longer there and you feel like a stranger in a room filled with familiar faces.
This information sent Chad Watts on a mission of his own. One to create the largest veterans-only sales force, and with that, building communities of veterans. This means, building a sense of belonging, recognition through rank and structure, having accountability to your brother and sister, and an earned income.
Scars and Stripes Coffee sets veterans up with products to sell online and at shows, such as a Farmer’s Market. They train each person how to go out and be successful, which helps these veterans reintegrate into civilian life. Or, if they are missing that camaraderie, in need of money, lost, or just need something, working with Scars and Stripes can give it.
To give an example of the type and quality of coffee sold by this company and its team of veterans, their Kona Roast, called First Light Coffee, is a single origin Kona coffee from Hawaii making it a Made In America product from beginning to end. It is handpicked at peak ripeness, washed, and offers notes of strawberry, chocolate, sweet cream, and a hint of spice.
Scars and Stripes will be offering more products down the line, so keep an eye out. Their new line of beard products will be released soon.