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Matching purpose with profit


Rod Johson is Co-Founder of BLK & Bold, the preeminent black-owned coffee company in America. Black & Bold was founded with the desire to unite coffee and tea lovers worldwide through a common interest of investing in community.

Rod grew up in the working-class city of Gary Indiana and eventually went on to Indiana University and a career in development and giving. But he soon developed a restlessness that only business ownership could fix. Along with lifelong friend Pernell, Rod set out to find their entrepreneurial calling, one that could match purpose with profit. 

And so BLK & Bold was born in 2018. Since then, Rod and Pernell have grown BLK & Bold into a national brand carried by the likes of Target and Whole Foods. They have a rare licensing deal with the NBA and have been celebrated by Dwanye Wade on the Ellen show. All this, completely bootstrapped from their headquarters in Des Moines Iowa.

Rod has a great story. You’ll want to listen in.


If we’re gonna do this, we can’t play it safe. We gotta take some risks.
~ Rod Johnson

In this episode Rod and Dan discussed:

  • Growing up in Gary and the Midwest
  • How a basketball hoop brought Rod and his Co-Founder together
  • Why starting a business built on giving back is so important
  • How the fire department was a part their early product development
  • Tradeoffs when doing a start up with a ‘day job’



take self inventory…all right, what is it that I really want?
~Rod Johnson


“We have that history and therefore it gives us the understanding of knowing this comes from a good place
~Rod Johnson