BLK & Bold co-founders Pernell Cezar and Rod Johnson. Contributed photo by BLK & Bold

BLK & Bold is now available through the Hy-Vee supermarket chain, bringing specialty tea and coffee products to 175 retail stores across the Midwest, BLK & Bold co-founders Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar announced today. BLK & Bold tea and coffee products will be available for local delivery access via product availability on Hy-Vee’s “Aisles Online” shopping platform.

“[We are] doubling down on speaking to people about who we are, what we stand for in the brand’s values and community-impact focus,” Cezar said. “When people think about supporting small businesses and supporting Black-owned businesses, we’re creating even more access to do that. We want to make sure we finish the year strong, because that impacts the 5% of our profits that we contribute back into nonprofits.” 

Hy-Vee and BLK & Bold did a soft store launch of nine BLK & Bold products in October, including the specialty company’s steeped coffee packs. BLK & Bold has already joined Target shelves in January this year and has been carried through Amazon and its grocery chain Whole Foods. The company also sells directly to consumers through its website, www.blkandbold.com

In July, the company moved out of production space it shared with Fox Brewing and into an independent production facility in south-side Des Moines, with about 10,000 square feet. By the end of this week, BLK & Bold expects to have 13 employees working in production, up from four team members earlier this year.

BLK & Bold began talks with Hy-Vee in January. The spread of COVID-19 slowed some initial plans, but the product has continued to gain strength in home coffee markets, Cezar said. 

“COVID created a major stopping point for us to retract and assess. Fortunately, coffee consumers [are] relying on everyday grocery and e-commerce to feed their daily ritual of consuming coffee, so that has allowed us to continue to move forward strategically,” Cezar said. “There’s stability in moving forward, and we have the opportunity to continue to build from there.”