Scars and Stripes Coffee Brews Up Success for Veterans

Every bag of Scars and Stripes Coffee helps a veteran… and sometimes, you can see the photo and profile of individual veterans that the purchase supports.

Roasted at Eote in Oklahoma City, Scars and Stripes isn’t your average coffee merchant. Started by Chad Watts and Col. Brad Dean of Oklahoma, the company is a way to reward and inspire military veterans. The all-veteran employees aren’t just salesmen. They are team members, squad leaders and inspirational coworkers.

Watts, the passion behind Scars and Stripes, knows a thing or two about giving back. After reaffirming his Christian Faith, he started a nonprofit in Oklahoma City to help kids get involved in mountain biking. He and Dean also wanted to start their own business, but the idea of having employees didn’t excite them.

Watts wasn’t even a coffee drinker until 2017, but after hearing about a veteran-owned coffee-business, he had an idea.

“Right after I discovered coffee, I went snow skiing and saw a veteran-owned coffee company,” Watts said. “They hire veterans and I love veterans. I’m a civilian, but I work at the Oklahoma City VA and so I’m around them and I admire them.”

The two men threw around the idea of starting a coffee franchise and even looked into multi-level marketing. Watts wanted a company that strengthened the bond of brotherhood among veterans.

“I walked into Eote Coffee one day and met the owner, Todd Vinson. Todd’s a wonderful man who loves the Lord,” Watts said.

From that shared faith, the two started talking. In November 2018, Scars and Stripes launched, becoming one of the largest veteran-only salesforces in the country. The individual veterans sell coffee, and 20 percent of the commission goes directly to the salesman. Squad leaders can own bonuses based on their team’s sales, and those bonuses are paid by the company.

Scars & Stripes Coffee empowers veterans to build their own business through the website. When you purchase from Scars and Stripes Coffee, you buy from a veteran, and your purchase directly impacts veterans on the team.

“We have 400 veterans across the United States,” Watts said.

Scars and Stripes Coffee is available locally at Blender’s Cafe in Edmond, H&H Gun Range, Conscious Coop and Woodsman Trading on North May, but anyone can buy from scarsandstripescoffee.com. Products are all single-source coffee beans from Brazil, Nicaragua, Hawaii and Guatemala. 

“If you love coffee, you’re going to buy it anyway, so why not support a veteran and get some really great coffee?” Watts said.