11 Best Veteran Owned Businesses
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Searching For The Best Veteran Owned Businesses
It’d be easy for us Honest Brand Reviewers to link you to JPEGMAFIA’s Bandcamp page for his album Veteran and call it day. However, we know that’s not a typical business venture and that there are plenty of other companies that you can shop with to support veterans.
11 Best Veteran Owned Businesses
We’ll be looking at a diverse ranking of the best veteran owned businesses. Through reading this list, you’ll realize that many veterans find a bevy of creative and entrepreneurial venues in which they can still enrich the lives of the American people.
#1: Redline Steel
The first entry in our list of the best veteran owned businesses isn’t what you’d normally expect for a combat veteran.
Redline Steel was created by Colin Wayne in 2015 in Huntsville, Alabama as a way for customers to express themselves. They create art decor, street signs, canvases, and more.
Redline Steel makes every single one of their items on American soil. They provide buyers with a venue where people can personalize and tailor to their artistic sensibilities. Their approach has earned them over 1 million customers and 406k 5/5 star reviews.
Their success has been covered by the likes of NBC News, The Huffington Post, Military Times, and Fox News. Yet for all their praise from major media outlets, what makes them worthy of recognition is how they give back their earnings.
The brand partners with not-for-profit organizations that provide aid to homeless people and children fighting against cancer. In total, Redline Steel has donated over $5 million to first responders in 2020 alone.
So if you’re looking to add a dash of personality to your living space in the form of a sheet metal design, a fetching piece of canvas artwork, or apparel for the whole family, then we recommend checking out Redline Steel.
Related: For more information view our full Redline Steel Review
- Free shipping on orders over $99
- All products are within the United States
#2: Alpha Coffee
Once you learn that the average daily coffee consumption of American military personnel is 340mg (which is pretty close to the daily recommended upper limit) then you’ll see why Alpha Coffee is a bit of a necessity.
They don’t just distribute their coffee to US troops, but they make coffee that could fuel an entire armada.
Carl Churchill and Lori Churchill established Alpha Coffee in 2010 under a set of four tenants:
- Make amazing coffee
- Act like a modern-day warrior
- Give back to the community
Those four ideals molded the brand’s Warrior Philosophy. It fuels them to make the best possible coffee and to redistribute the goodwill to active troops. Alpha Coffee donates a cup of coffee to US military personnel for every purchase made.
Their product catalog includes coffee of all roast types in full bean, pre-ground, or Keurig formats. Some of their best-selling blends include the Alpha Coffee Dawn Patrol Breakfast Blend ($18) and the Alpha Force Task Force Victory – Organic ($21).
And like any good coffee company, they make creamers, snacks, and drinking mugs to round out their line-up.
- Donate a coffee to troops for every purchase
- Can buy all coffee blends either pre ground or whole bean
- Some of their roasts are certified organic and/or fair trade
#3: Rumi Spice
Just when you thought you could expect what sort of products the next company in this list of the best veteran owned businesses distributes, Rumi Spice goes and blows your expectations.
They link local Afghan farmers with customers across the world in a relationship that can benefit both parties.
The vast majority of local Afghan people lean on profits that their herbs, spices, and plants generate to support themselves. Rumi Spice sources their products from these local farmers so that they can financially support them.
And on the customer’s end of the bargain are the exquisite flavors and aromas that products like Rumi Spice Afghan Curry Braise ($11) produce. Buyers can send their taste buds to brand new regions by cooking with Rumi Spice’s spice blends, whole spices, and bulk spices.
- An extensive lineup of Afghani spices is available through Rumi Spice
- You can earn a 10% discount code by subscribing to their email newsletter
- Free shipping on orders over $50
#4: Bottle Breacher
Here’s a question for you, what can be done about all the unused ammo rounds if there’s never another war. That’s a hypothetical of the highest degree thanks to its closing clause, but Bottle Breacher offers an intelligent response.
They repurpose dummy ammo rounds to make bottle openers, keychains, and other gifts that are perfectly suited for the military dude in your life.
Their products are so charming that they gained the favor of the notoriously stingy sharks on Shark Tank. The spotlight Shark Tank gave them allowed Bottle Breacher to spread their mission across the minds of Americans.
What makes Bottle Breacher one of the best veteran-owned businesses is how they’ve used their platform.
Portions of the proceeds that their kitschy coasters, commemorative nullified grenades, and military memorabilia raked in have been given back to organizations that support first responders and other military veterans.
- Collection of military goods and trinkets
- Partnered with famous veterans like Chris Kyle
- Free shipping on all American orders over $100
#5: Combat Flip Flops
Flip flops, in combat? What is this, a junior high school dodgeball tournament? Thankfully, Combat Flip Flops do not condone wearing open-toed sandals in the line of duty. What they do endorse is an active lifestyle and looking good.
Combat Flip Flops have more than just their titular sandals. They also make shoes that cater to urban trends like the Combat Flip Flops BD-22 ($70) and the Combat Flip Flops Weekender Black High Tops ($70).
This is in addition to their apparel that motivates people to, in the company’s words, be a better human.
This is the brand to turn to if you want low-key fashion that supports veterans.
- Clothes designed for activity and easy living
- Work with One More Wave to provide veterans with custom-fitted surfing equipment
- You can save 30% on your first order by signing up for the company’s email newsletter
#6: Wilco Supply
Now, this is one of the best veteran owned businesses on a pure fashion front. Wilco Supply’s style is sleek and modern, proving that you don’t have to put the stars and stripes on every one of your garments.
Wilco Supply is unique for a few other reasons. They’re an online-based fashion showroom that operates out of Alaska.
They’re also a women-owned business, as former private Amy Slinker established the brand as a way to supply customers with benign fashion and products from other veteran-owned brands like Stella Valle.
The brand carries items like clutches, masks, handbags, purses, backpacks, crossbody bags, totes, gloves, and other accessories.
Wilco Supply has a section just for men’s products, but the majority of their catalog is quite feminine. However, there are no rules when it comes to fashion!
- Minimalist collection of bags and accessories
- Women-owned business
- Free shipping on all orders over $100
Here’s another of the best veteran owned businesses that show that veterans are some of the most creative entrepreneurs today.
Ziv is a Black-owned and operated brand from Texas that specializes in entirely organic hair products. You’ll find beard oils, hair creams, and skincare products available on Ziv’s website.
The brand’s owner suffered from an autoimmune disorder that affected his ability to grow hair. He experimented with a variety of blends to create products that could help combat his hair loss as well as increase blood flow to the scalp to keep hair healthy and moisture the follicles.
Ziv uses 7 essential oils and 4 herbs in their wide line of balms, conditioners, and body butters. They only use all-natural and non-toxic ingredients, ensuring that your hair shouldn’t sustain any additional stress.
- Products can help increase hair growth potential
- Their items only contain all-natural ingredients
- You can book a consultation with Ziv to find out which product is best for your particular condition
#8: Black Rifle Coffee
Black Rifle Coffee is the second coffee brand on this list, but they don’t play second-fiddle to anyone. They package coffee and American culture into each of their products to deliver a can of whoop-ass to your senses and your patriotism.
The company is the brainchild of Evan Hafer. The former American Army Green Beret created Black Rifle Coffee in 2014 as a way to honor the sacrifices of those who put their bodies on the line to protect the freedom of the American people.
Besides providing customers with the taste of America in every coffee brew, the brand aims to employ 10,000 veterans.
They collect all of their beans directly from bean farmers in Guatemala and Brazil. Black Rifle Coffee roasts their beans five days a week.
Their roasting facilities located across the United States, air-tight sealing practices, and quick deliveries mean that you won’t have to wait to get your hands on their coffee.
Related: For more information view our full Black Rifle Coffee Company Review
- Coffee is available pre-ground or whole bean
- Coffee comes in all roast types
- Black Rifle Coffee club membership offers free delivery, members-only perks, and discounts on affiliated brands
- Publish a monthly magazine that covers modern news
#9: ITS Tactical
How many of you played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, maxed out your lockpicking stat, then wished that it was that easy to pick locks in real life?
Thankfully for you, ITS Tactical can make it that simple. Their lockpicks, tactical equipment, and expert insight make them one of the best veteran owned businesses for people who still crave a little action.
Most of their products are problem-solvers, like the ITS Lock Picking Starter Pack ($45), the ITS ACME Slimline Tornado Whistle ($5), and the ITS Ultimate Survival Kit (USK) ($130).
They also manufacture first aid kits and emergency medical equipment so that you can be prepared for any situation you’d face in the field.
- Manufacture tactical tools
- Has a team of experts writes knowledgeable and informative articles about how to use their products
- Free US shipping on orders over $70
#10: GO RUCK
One reason why veterans are near-universally fit is because of the level of physical exertion that the military demands. Their training isn’t all bench pressing and back squats though. Most exercise centers around rucking, which is walking with a heavy load on your back.
GO RUCK takes that fitness regimen and adapts it for the common folk. They make rucksacks (backpacks designed to carry heavy weights for rucking), footwear, and other fitness equipment.
The brand encourages their buyers to join their fitness team by signing up for the GORUCK club.
Jason and Emily McCarthy started GO RUCK out of the latter’s garage in South Africa in 2008. They wanted to make rucksacks that could survive a workout just as well as they could trek through a warzone.
Since then, GO RUCK has become one of the best veteran owned businesses for their unique approach to exercise.
- One of the most unique fitness equipment distributors
- 4.9/5 stars aggregate customer score on Google reviews
- GORUCK club membership provides discounts, monthly challenges, and an active community
#11: Tweak and Twine
The final company we’ll highlight in our list of the best veteran owned businesses is this cute gift package-based company.
Founder and 8-year U.S. Air Force veteran Torrance Hart created Tweak and Twine in 2015 as a wedding gift company but now they offer monthly subscriptions, corporate gift boxes, and seasonal presents.
Tweak and Twine work alongside smaller BIPOC and women-owned companies to collect the ingredients in their gift boxes. That means your purchases will go towards supporting local brands.
A good example of what a Tweak and Twine box contains is the Tweak and Twine The Office Essential ($130). It contains the following items:
- Coffee by Canyon Coffee
- Salted peanuts by Hope and Harmony Farm
- A mug by W&P
- Shortbread cookies from Willa
- A candle from Gold + Ivy
- A golden pen
Their membership plan offers ways for you to save on monthly purchases and hear about new items to be included in future boxes.
- Customers can select which items are included in their gift boxes
- Source many of the items in their boxes from BIPOC and women-owned businesses
What Is a Veteran Owned Business?
Veteran owned businesses are companies where a former Army, Air Force, Navy, or Marine member who served active duty controls at least 51% of the company. Said veteran must be involved in the day-to-day decisions and dealings regarding the business.
What To Look For In The Best Veteran Owned Businesses
Now that you know which businesses we consider to be among the top, here are a few ways that you can identify whether other veteran owned companies are of high caliber.
Most of the best veteran owned businesses are small companies so it’s hard to go by brand name alone. Look into each company’s ethical practices, their reputation with customers, and how they manage customer service complaints.
Think about whether a company is serving a market just to line their pockets, or whether they’re addressing a need that’s greater than themselves. This can help you identify whether a brand’s niche is worthwhile or not.
The majority of veteran owned brands want to improve the lives of those around them. Some accomplish this by redistributing some of their profits to charities while others work with smaller businesses to help spread their name.
A brand’s mission is nearly as important as their products.
Check whether a company has one of these three certifications:
- Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (VBE)
- Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (V-DOBE)
- Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (SDV-DOBE)
Each of these certifications can help you find out what sort of brand you’ll be supporting by shopping with them.
Since veteran owned businesses don’t all operate in the same market, it can be hard to compare their prices to each other.
A better practice is to compare them to other companies in the same markets that aren’t owned by veterans. That way you can see if the price differential justifies the purchase.
How Do You Get a Veteran Owned Business Certificate?
You can either achieve certification by applying through the federal government or through a third party. No matter which route you take, your certification status will be backed up by a nationally-recognized and trusted entity.
Are There Grants for Veteran Owned Businesses?
There are a variety of grants available for veteran owned businesses. These include The Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (MREIDL), which can provide businesses with loans of up to $2 million.
What unites the best veteran owned businesses isn’t their products or prices. It’s their dedication to providing customers with the same care and protection that active-duty members provide the United States.
So, whether you’re shopping for coffee or for bottle openers, you may as well try buying from a company that’s trying to serve a goal greater than itself.
How We Chose the Best Veteran Owned Businesses
Before choosing any brand, we scour the web and all the biggest e-tailers to ensure we know all the available options on the market. We look at customer reviews, star ratings, brand ethos, processes, materials, accessibility, and so much more. We weigh the pros and cons, so you don’t have to, helping you make informed shopping decisions.
Looking for other top brands? Check out these curated lists below:
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