DES MOINES, Iowa– Local coffee company, BLK and Bold, is celebrating its third year in business by brewing up a deal with the National Basketball Association.
“My business partner [Pernell Cezar] often says that we’re embarking on a new normal and that’s ultimately what we’re trying to position BLK and Bold as,” Co-Founder, Rod Johnson said. “It’s just a redefinition of the way that business should be done and how coffee should be looked at and consumed.”
The first stint of this multi-year licensing agreement with the NBA includes BLK and Bold creating a custom brew of medium roast coffee for this year’s playoffs, titled The Warm Up. In return, the NBA will match the five percent donation BLK and Bold pledges to 15 nonprofits across the country that cater to the youth.
Some of the skills these nonprofits help young people develop include teaching skills, urban farming, coding, and also offering general mentorship. Locally, BLK and Bold donates to the By Degrees Foundation, whose goal is to increase high school graduation and post-secondary readiness rates in Des Moines.
As two kids who grew up in Gary, Indiana, the company’s co-founders Cezar and Johnson said they are very intentional in helping young people develop the skills they need to be tomorrow’s leaders.
“We were very familiar with the hurdles and struggles that impact underserved youth and underserved communities,” Johnson said. “As we continue to grow professionally, and ultimately branch away from that into our own entrepreneurial endeavors we wanted to make sure that we had some giveback component at the core of what we do.”