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Rod Johnson

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BLK & Bold Co-Founders Steered Their Coffee Business From A Couch And Garage To One Of Iowa's Rapidly Growing Companies

From humble beginnings in a garage, co-founders Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson have steered their business to become one of Iowa’s rapidly expanding companies.

Nov 3, 2023

Black-Owned Coffee And Tea Brand BLK & Bold Is Iowa's Fastest-Growing Company For The Third Consecutive Year

Coffee and tea brand BLK & Bold has become Iowa’s fastest-growing company due to the efforts of founders Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson.

Sep 13, 2023

Add These Five Black-Owned Items to Your Quarantine Grocery List ASAP

As we settle into a new normal, one thing must still get done: grocery shopping. Toilet paper has finally been restocked, you can buy flour (in some places) and folks are settling into a masked, socially distant lifestyle. However, as Black-owned businesses are still taking a hit, it’s imperative to buy Black, from your feminine products to your spices . So whether you brave the outside, shop online, or order from Instacart, here are the five Black-owned items to add to your grocery list. Partake Foods Cookies If you’ve been snacking like crazy, partake in these vegan cookies. Founded by Denise Woodard, these crunchy or soft-baked bites are consumed with a peace of mind. Each cookie is allergy-friendly and healthy, made without the top eight allergens (wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, milk, eggs, soy, fish, and shellfish) and gluten. With the help of a hefty investment from Jay-Z, Woodard’s delicious goods have recently expanded into over 1,600 Target stores . View this post on Instagram...

May 19, 2020

These Black Coffee Entrepreneurs Are Boldly Giving Back

What if you could transform a part of your everyday morning routine into a charitable act? This was the mission behind BLK & Bold, a Black-owned coffee company founded by Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar. The childhood friends decided to venture into the billion-dollar industry to make each cup of joe count. Five percent of their business is donated to eradicating social issues, including youth homelessness and food deserts, according to Cuisine Noir . “We really wanted to find a way to impact that vulnerable demographic by doing something we do every day, which is enjoying a cup of coffee or tea,” Cezar said. “The vision of the brand goes back to amplifying contribution and awareness of how for-profit can be this engine for domestic impact.” Johnson and Cezar, whose previous careers involved higher education and retail merchandising, noticed a lack of representation in the coffee business. With the Des Moines-based startup, they hope to help educate Black consumers about the beverage,...

Mar 9, 2020