Starbucks Comes to Crockett

By Greg Ritchie

Messenger Reporter

CROCKETT – With a new Starbucks location opening in Crockett, local residents debated online and in person over the merits of having the worldwide chain come to our little neck of the woods. Many were grateful, tired of having to pick up their favorite drinks while visiting nearby cities. Others noted the “politics” of the company and swore their coffee allegiance to other brands. 

Love it or not, the opening of such a chain in Crockett is big news for Houston County. Local chambers of commerce and other organizations hailed the new location as a sign our area is growing and attracting more national brands. Those looking to buy a home or open a business here can point to national brands such as Starbucks, our other brands, county hospital and local businesses as reasons to relocate. 

The Messenger decided to meet some of those who staff the local Starbucks, which employes mostly locals with some migrating from the neighboring location in Palestine. 

Few can argue with the benefits of being a “partner” – that’s ‘Starbuckese’ for employee. Starting baristas receive paid training and begin at $15 per hour with many other benefits, too. 

Jordyn Adams is the Assistant Manager at the Crockett location, coming from Palestine but originally from the Elkhart area, where she went to school and where her son is in the elementary school.

“My life kind of crashed and burned when I was 16. I was about to go to state for hurdles and I wrecked my knee,” Adams said. “I had a massive one year recovery – and I had a full ride to Texas A&M at that point, but all that went away. I started working at a coffee shop. And that’s how I started my coffee journey and I met my husband my senior year of school.”

The two married in 2014 and moved to South Carolina, where Adams’ husband was in the Navy and going to school there to become a nuclear submarine operator. Adams herself wasn’t sure how anyone could survive something like that. 

“You have two years of really harsh school, like putting almost six years of college into two years. Only real ‘smarties’ go into that,” Adams laughed. “And it’s a little tube, with three beds on each side and it’s so tight. I just didn’t get it.”

Four years into his naval career, Adams’ husband damaged his ankle and after surgery and massive efforts to get him back into shape, the Navy declared him disabled and he was discharged. 

Assistant Manager Jordyn Adams helps the local staff at the Crockett location make the opening a success.

The two returned to Elkhart for a while before her husband began working in the windmill industry which took them all over Texas, Oklahoma and even Alaska, where Adams began working at Starbucks.  About a year ago, the two returned to Elkhart, where she was hired at the Palestine location, where she was again able to practice the “art” of being a barista. 

“I’m very artsy and if you ask most of these baristas, so are they,” Adams said. “We love creating beverages. When we’re behind the bar, we’re also sometimes taking time to make new drinks. A lot of the drinks you see are created by partners.”

Adams said the opening of the Crockett location went smoothly, especially since they had the Palestine store close and used the Crockett library as a temporary base and to find locals to staff and train to be “partners.” The Crockett location has a staff of about 20, with many young people behind the counter taking orders, creating drinks, keeping the place spotless for guests. 

Adams wears her green apron proudly, where there is an American flag on one side and her name with the words “Navy Spouse” on the other. 

“I feel loved and they have treated me very well. We have so many benefits here at Starbucks, even for my husband. They have programs for the disabled or veterans or any military personnel, including kids,” Adams explained. “They have a college program where you can get an associate’s degree free for everyone who works here. We want new ideas. We tell our partners all the time, ‘If you can find a better way to do it, let us know! We’re going to move it up the ladder and get it initiated.”

Finally back close to home, Adams is proud of what she and her team have been able to accomplish with opening the new location. While reactions online may have been mixed, Adams said she has felt the warmth of the locals who have come through the shop. 

“Everyone has been so nice and welcoming. They’re so excited Starbucks is here,” Adams said. “Everyone who comes in, it’s just, ‘Thank you so much for putting a Starbucks here!’ And we really love that and appreciate that. We feel very loved by Crockett.”

Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected] 

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