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BLK & Bold co-founders share how they serve coffee lovers and the community

Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson (Photo courtesy of BLK & Bold)

BLK & Bold is a specialty coffee and tea company that is paving the way for Black entrepreneurship.

The company’s co-founders, longtime friends Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson, claim BLK & Bold is the first Black-owned, nationally distributed coffee brand.

The Iowa-based brand is not only here to fulfill coffee-lovers cravings but also is deeply rooted in serving the community. BLK & Bold gives a portion of its proceeds to organizations that aid at-risk youth.

Rolling out spoke with the coffee connoisseurs about their booming business.

What sets you apart from other coffee brands on the market?

Cezar: We offer a range of freshly roasted coffee, roasted in house by ourselves and our team. We have very close sourcing relationships with importers who are equally passionate about the farmers they’re purchasing from. Our whole thing is providing a little bit of everything across the coffee spectrum to allow someone to further their aha moment with coffee. We have whole bean coffee as well as ground coffee options. For single-serve, we have a form called steeped coffee, which is a version of on the go coffee that is better for the environment. The coffee comes in a compostable wrapping so that it maximizes the freshness until you consume it and all you do is add hot water. On the tea side, we offer 14 loose leaf teas that we carefully source as well.

What value does BLK & Bold add to the community?

Johnson: The value that we pour into the community is really in alignment with our social impact model and at the core of what we do. That is tangibly described as contributing 5 percent of our profits to organizations and initiatives that directly resource at-risk youth. We had the idea because of our own upbringing. Pernell and I were raised in Gary, Indiana, and could’ve been considered at-risk youth ourselves had we not had a support system around us.

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