[BLK & Bold founders Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson. The company recently achieved Certified B Corp status, reflecting its commitment to social and environmental stewardship.] Pernell Cezar and Jarrhod “Rod” Johnson have given coffee lovers something to enjoy beyond just a well-brewed cup, through BLK & Bold Specialty Beverages. A nationally distributed coffee brand that takes “Black-owned” to the next level, the startup with a social conscience boasts a “farm-to-cup” model through its partnership with Keffa Coffee, an Ethiopian coffee import business. The relationship supports coffee producers in regions across Africa and consumers abroad. [BLK & Bold co-founder Rod Johnson conducting quality control at the brand’s Des Moines, Iowa, headquarters.] BLK & Bold invests in Black communities at home by donating 5% of its profits to youth-centered nonprofit organizations like Urbanstead, Sunset Youth Services and Code Fever Miami, the latter right here in our South Florida backyard. The initiative has recently earned the company Certified B Corp status – a recognition given to businesses that balance purpose and profit by considering their impact on the community, their workers and customers. Back in February, Cezar explained the inspiration behind BLK & Bold on a “Beyond the Beans” segment on Cheddar, a post cable news entertainment company. “BLK & Bold came to be just from conversations with one of my best friends [Johnson] ... On how do we not wait to make an impact [using] the values that we have and make sure it is aligned with the way we continue to build our professional careers. We felt that entrepreneurship was the best path to do so,” said Cezar. Both Cezar and Johnson became interested in providing consumers with a way to invest in their communities while enjoying sustainable, quality coffee, once predominantly available only at high-end coffee shops. After launching BLK & Bold in Des Moines, Iowa, in 2018, the two can now see their product on the shelves of retailers like Target, Whole Foods and Amazon across the nation. “[Picking up a bag of Blk & Bold] allows consumers to extend their social impact footprint just by way of checking something off their grocery list,” said Cezar. In a press release announcing their partnership with Target in January 2020, Johnson shared similar sentiments: “Creating a pathway for everyday people to become contributors to our most vulnerable communities is as fulfilling as it is motivating.” The coffee connoisseurs also recognize the importance of diversity in product offerings – they sell specialty teas and branded merchandise, too – and in their company’s visually appealing packaging. Most important though, is flavor. BLK & Bold is noted for its unique taste pairings that transform a regular cup of coffee into an experience. One of its signature blends, cleverly titled “Rise & Grind,” is a medium roast caramel, lemon and nutty-flavored batch. The same level of flavor sophistication can be found in its limited edition collection, which features distinctive flavor combinations like the Wush Wush blend, named after an area in Ethiopia. It’s a light roast infused with black cherries, grape – and red wine. “Since you don’t drink bottom-shelf wine,” said Cezar, “you shouldn’t drink bottom-shelf coffee.” credit: miamitimesonline.com I don't know about you but black coffee from black brothers gotta be richer than the regular! Do you know of any black owned coffee, tea or beverage businesses? Let us know in the comments so we can put a spotlight on them! follow us @dreamstorealitynaim on IG & NaimSabour on LinkedIn
WITH SHAQUILLE O'NEAL, CHANCE THE RAPPER, GABRIELLE UNION, JAMIE FOXX, ROBERT JOHNSON, LL COOL J, QUESTLOVE AND MORE TO PARTICIPATE IN INAUGURAL LIVE-STREAM ON OCTOBER 24, 2020 | 7PM EST Daymond John , the founder and CEO of FUBU and Co-Star of ABC's four-time Emmy Award winning show, Shark Tank, has the country buzzing about his forthcoming Black Entrepreneurs Day presented by Chase for Business which will stream live, for free this Saturday October 24th. Today, alongside Robinhood, the event unveils a new addition to the show - The Robinhood Roundtable Featuring Dwyane Wade. As a three-time NBA Champion, Olympic Gold medalist and thirteen-time NBA All-Star, Dwyane Wade has experienced a whirlwind career. Today, Wade's business partnerships include Away, PKWY, Li-Ning, Gatorade, MISSION, Hisense, BallerTV, Spades Royale, Budweiser, Mars Reel, Wade Cellars, and 800° Woodfired Kitchen. "Since announcing the event, the response has been unyielding. In addition to providing viewers with an opportunity to both advance their education around entrepreneurship and be entertained from their homes, it's also made way to bring in new partners who want to be a part of advancing opportunities for our community, such as Robinhood ," said Daymond. "With Robinhood's help, we are not only excited to add Dwyane Wade to the star-studded line-up, but to also expand the dialogue into financial literacy and investments." Robinhood's mission is to democratize finance for all, which the company achieves through offering intuitive and accessible tools for investors of the next generation. Black Entrepreneurs Day presented by Chase for Business will feature incredible Game Changer Conversations Presented by The General Insurance featuring Shaquille O'Neal, Gabrielle Union, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Robert Johnson, and many more, plus feature musical performances from Chance The Rapper, Questlove, and DJ Diesel. The event will also provide guidance and inspiration to the next generation of rising entrepreneurs, as well as $225,000 in bottom-line financial support, via its " NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant, " which was created in partnership with the NAACP. The free global live-stream celebrating Black business & entrepreneurship will air this Saturday October 24th beginning at 7PM EST on Facebook via Daymond John's Page and across Facebook channels. The stream will also be simulcasted by our partner LiveXLive across 20+ other platforms including: LiveXLive, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, Twitter, and more. We'll see you there!!!
Nate Dillard has a simple explanation for his entrepreneurship journey: He followed in his father’s footsteps. “When my dad left the military, he started his own IT business,” Dillard said. “That’s why I followed that legacy. My dad did it. I saw it happen. So, I did what I saw — and I’ve done it in my own way.” As a young man growing up in Detroit, Dillard witnessed firsthand the powers of generational wealth and community reinvestment. But for many minority business owners, securing enough capital to turn growth-stage ventures into self-sustaining enterprises remains a challenge, he said. That’s why after serving eight years active duty for the U.S. Air Force, Dillard joined the reserves and launched the National Black Business Directory (NBBD) — a business development platform designed to empower Black entrepreneurs. Its primary goal is to help minority business owners leverage the best available resources to maximize access to capital. Late last year, NBBD teamed up with two other Black-owned consulting companies — AgencyX and Intensify Design — to launch a new venture: LunarX Agency, a full-service design and development consulting firm featuring a team of more than 20 independent contractors and strategic outsourcing partnerships. curated from: Dayton Business Journal Do you know of any local black entrepreneurs or businesses breaking new ground or giving back to the community? Let us know about them in the comments so we can shine a light on them.