Any local business success story is one I love to see. When a business' success story involves meteoric growth and the company itself prioritizes giving back to people and/or the community, it makes the accomplishments even sweeter.

When my girlfriend sent me the story of the Des Moines-based BLK & Bold Specialty Coffee, I knew I had to feature it. The first nationally distributed Black-owned coffee brand was founded by Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson in 2018. The longtime friends decided to start perfecting their coffee recipes in Rod's garage. But making a delicious brew and trying to compete in a crowded field wasn't their only goal...

Giving back was part of their master-plan as well, per their "Our Story" tab of BLK & Bold's website:

With that philosophy, BLK & Bold pledges 5% of its proceeds to nonprofit organizations across America that are aligned to pouring into children the confidence, exposure, and guidance for them to be the best version of themselves.

Since their inception, BLK & Bold has been on an enviable roll, and now, the two friends have just inked a deal to have their coffee in the Midwestern gas station chain Kum & Go! Starting June 13th, 2023, piping hot cups of BLK & Bold coffee will be sold in over 300 Kum & Go locations across 13 states.

Both Cezar and Johnson have been able to achieve some incredible feats for a small business over the course of five years. They've partnered with the NBA, who will give an additional 5% for every bag of their "Warm Up" coffee sold. They also became one of the licensed sponsors of Marvel's Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, brewing up limited edition bags that featured some of the film's characters, including Shuri, Okoye, Nakia, and M'Baku.

BLK & Bold Coffee initially partnered with Kum & Go in 2022. The gas station chain agreed to sell their coffee in three cities. The match seems perfect because where BLK & Bold gives 5% of its profits to youth organizations across the United States, Kum & Go gives 10% of its profits to charity.

Talk about a delicious success. You can also find their coffee in Target.

Browse BLK & Bold's extensive collection of drinks on their website, and follow them on Instagram!


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