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