"If you're not drinking bottom shelf liquor, why drink bottom shelf coffee?"
In a time where we continually hear about Black businesses needing assistance or even closing, there are some out there that are still making it happen. A Black-owned coffee company just announced that they have a major distribution agreement with Amazon an Whole Foods.
BLK & Bold, which is the first Black-owned nationally distributed coffee and tea brand made their distribution announcement last week. Co-founder and CEO Pernell Cezar said, “The seemingly overnight shift of the retail landscape and store operations have no doubt impacted the flow of emerging brands entering and expanding in the market. This is also why the alliance with Whole Foods and other key retailers continues to showcase the support and belief in BLK & Bold as a coffee brand.”
Cezar launched BLK & Bold in 2018 with Rod Johnson, who was a childhood friend. They left their careers in higher education and marketing to set out on their journey to create their coffee company. Johnson, who was involved in the fundraising side of higher ed and Cezar who was in retail merchandising have very great skills that compliment each other to start and run a successful business. They launched BLK & Bold coffee from their headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa.
BLK & Bold had a trial run of 15 locations in Whole Foods last month and will continue to expand to different Whole Foods stores in the Midwest Region to over 30 locations in Nebraska, Illinois, and Iowa markets. In addition to their Whole Foods expansion, BLK & Bold will be available on Amazon after launching their Amazon storefront late last month.
Their products consist of three whole bean coffees with features ranging from medium and dark roast blends, single-origin light roasts, and fair trade or direct trade sourcing integrity. To add, with each cup of coffee sold, BLK & Bold donates 5% of each sale to several different non-profit organizations and social causes, including the eradication of youth homelessness and food insecurity.
Johnson said, “As our national and regional retailer partnerships grow, so do the opportunities for anyone to participate in supporting at-risk youth, the demographic in most need,” said Johnson. “Creating a pathway for everyday consumers to become contributors to the most vulnerable communities is as personally fulfilling as it is motivating for BLK & Bold’s growth.”
Congrats fellas! This is HUGE!!!