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A Black-owned business has repaid the public by donating thousands of their money to the struggling youth.
BLK & Bold, a company that specializes in coffee, has pledged to donate about 5% of their earnings to the kids that need it. In addition to programs focused on giving the youth a home, the company donates to initiatives that build communication skills amongst young people through youth programming as well as helping guide the youth into their desired career fields.
“They welcome the obligation to equip young people with tools to live their best lives and overcome familiar unfortunate circumstances by turning a daily ritual, enjoying a cup of coffee & tea, into a means of giving back,” said a statement on the company website.
Inspired by the poverty they grew up around, the company has donated thousands of its profits since it started working in collaboration with smaller humanitarian organizations. In 2021 alone, BLK & Bold donated around $60,000 in total to about 15 charities.
The coffee business also doubled its efforts to give back by collaborating with the NBA. In May of last year, BLK & Bold signed a licensing contract with the NBA, earning the title of the first Black-owned beverage company to do so. Their latest project with the NBA was just announced for the 2022 season. For this year, they’ve created coffee grounds named after several basketball teams such as the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers.
Co-founder Rod Johnson hopes that the company’s activeness in combating social problems will inspire other companies to do the same.
“I think that is embedded in the DNA of businesses today that we stand for more than just trying to make a profit. That is gone, right? There needs to be a level of reciprocity between businesses and the communities that they serve,” said Johnson in conversation with Today.
BLK & Bold was first founded by Johnson and his childhood neighbor, Pernell Cezar, in 2018. After Cezar asked Johnson to join in on his business idea, the pair got started on creating coffee grounds, working from a single garage.
Four years later, with Johnson as CMO and Cezar as CEO, the pair are now leading a company that’s selling to over 5,600 stores. BLK & Bold’s reach is continuing to expand. The company was one of the companies listed on Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator as they saw business boom during the COVID-19 pandemic. While other Black-owned businesses were suffering, BLK & Bold were able to prosper because their “store” was and is still online.
Johnson and Cezar’s next steps are to open an in-person store to give people the full experience of what BLK & Bold is about as a company.