It’s the month of history, Black culture, and making sure the benevolence and ideations of our country’s Black ancestry are acknowledged; It becomes a pillar of the largest corporations in America for twenty-eight days. For Co Founders of BLK & Bold, it’s a month of divulging experiences and expertise, and reiterating their every day standards. This is one of their busiest times.
Supplier diversity, managing diverse perspectives while navigating partnerships and ally ships, are just some of the topics Co Founders Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar are asked to speak about. They articulate the necessity of these ideas year round; but on these calls, and activations across the country, during Black History Month, there’s an important point about where they stand in this industry. Coffee has been around for 200 years in America, BLK & Bold, only four years. Yet, they are the first nationally distributed Black-owned coffee company, and they don’t take it lightly.
“We are doing this for generations to come; there is pressure and pride to create a standard as the first Nationally distributed Black - owned coffee company...There is also, of course, intentionality to make sure our values are front and center and that every partnership upholds those values as diligently as we do,” said Co-Founder and Chief Values Officer, Rod Johnson.
In the middle of the panels, expertise and reflection during this month, there is also expansion. No doubt, one of the reasons they receive accolades like, recognition from the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC’s) as one of the top 50 fastest growing MBE's. Between an upcoming cafe venture at NYU, new presence at Northwestern University and expanding partnerships with Keurig, Compass Group, and Netsuite it could be hard to catch a breath, or a sip; but when they do it’s one of gratitude.
Co-Founder Pernell Cezar, said “We’re moving fast, and sometimes the full appreciation of what I have for this company and our quality doesn’t always register… No matter what month it is, I always want to us to show up in spaces to express the importance of diverse perspectives and providing resources to bridge gaps of opportunity and social economic disparities for suppliers and business owners who look like me, we’re an important part of the conversation.”
What’s important to BLK & Bold is quality, community, the legacy they leave and how they create a standard of excellence as the first in the industry; and they’re just getting started.