Coffee startup BLK & Bold’s cofounders on incorporating social impact into the business model

This is an installment in a special series, Startup Year One, interviewing startup founders about the major lessons they have learned in the immediate aftermath of their businesses’ first year of operation.

BLK & Bold was founded by childhood friends Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson, who both grew up on the same block in Gary, Indiana. They launched their independent coffee and tea brand from their headquarters in Des Moines, Iowa, after stepping back from from established careers in higher education fundraising and retail merchandising.

BLK & Bold, the first black-owned, nationally-distributed coffee brand, is celebrating its two-year anniversary in June, and the cofounders spoke with Fortune this

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