Starbucks today announced the dedication of its latest Community Store in Korea, reaffirming Starbucks commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and expands career opportunities for Starbucks partners (employees) with disabilities. The store opened in December 2020 as a first-of-its-kind Starbucks store focused on inclusive design, and has been focused on creating an inclusive space and impactful programming to support members of the disability community in Seoul. Now, as a Community Store, a portion of proceeds will go to support the local nonprofit Heart Heart Foundation, which advocates for inclusion and awareness of people with disabilities, and support for local artists from the disability community.
In addition, since the store opened a year ago, Starbucks has continued to work with the Korea Employment Promotion Agency for the Disabled (KEPAD) to hire 75 new partners with disabilities across the organization, creating more opportunities for career growth and development with Starbucks.
“It is very meaningful that our store, which is an inclusive space for all, has been dedicated as a new Community Store for inclusion, furthering disability-inclusion awareness in Korea.” said Elena, assistant store manager, who is hard of hearing. “I feel very proud as a partner. I hope to create meaningful opportunities to build connections through the many activities we will be launching at our store.”
Since entering the market in 1999, Starbucks Coffee Korea has grown rapidly to become Starbucks fourth largest market, with 1,611 stores across 78 cities nationwide. Today, more than 19,700 partners proudly wear the green apron.