Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hello and welcome. My name is Mark Reif Math. I am the CEO of Spiny Tech. Today we've got an amazing guest, Parnell Caesar. He's the CEO and co-founder of Black and Bold Specialty Beverages. He founded this company in 2020. In the midst of the pandemic, him and his co-founder Rod, had great journeys, and we're gonna hear all about Parnell's today. He was at big brands like Target. He was at a entrepreneur startup company called Sundial Brands, and then he started black and Bold specialty beverages. I think you're gonna really enjoy this conversation. I know I did, and I can't wait for you all to hear this. All right, Pernell, thanks again so much for being here. I think this is gonna be an amazing conversation. So easy softball question to start, start this conversation is when you wake up in the morning and you're walking to your desk or wherever you're gonna work that day, what would be that walk up song or entrance song playing in your head? Every morning.
Speaker 2 (01:07):
Every morning. Wow. I think I have a few examples, but probably I'll stick with a classic for this one. Uh, the song is called PSA and it's by Jay-Z. So, uh, it has a nice kind of buildup. And then just Jay-Z doing what he does. Uh, for those that don't know the title, it starts allowing me to reintroduce myself. My name is Ho and it builds from there. So it's just great hype music, especially to start the day, you know, midday, I meet the music and the drums, and the bass to be kicking out of the outta the gates <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (01:45):
Love it. Love it. I'm with you. Mine. I mean, I would, I have one, but it would, depending on what I'm gonna conquer that day, I would change it. So I think I love that you said multiple ones. Cause I mean, some days are easier than others, and some days you need to, you gotta go kill a few, few bears and you need some hype music. You just set for that, that tone. So I'm all right. You've had an amazing journey, especially the last couple years. But let's rewind to kind of the beginning. You went to U and I, where I went to Northern Iowa. Uh, that's actually how we met. Um, yep. Go Panthers. And I know you had amazing experience, uh, there, like I did, but, you know, post-college, entering the real world, adulting, you know, talk about your corporate journey that got you to where you're at today.
Speaker 2 (02:26):
Yeah. Uh, corporate journey, uh, I guess post undergrad began at Target HQ in Minneapolis and working in retail merchandising. And what I'll tell you is I really didn't know much about what I was getting myself into. I just knew Target was a great place to work. I submitted my application, put my hat in the ring, and, uh, they decided to bring me on board. And I was drinking from a water hose after that ever since. Uh, but I, I was very fortunate. I, at least I consider myself very fortunate to, um, learned, uh, the world, world of retail at early age because it's so vast and so impactful. And I mean, it touches every household in America, let alone across the world. And so, uh, my first formal job was being responsible for purchasing over $450 million a year worth of Bar and Body Wash <laugh>, which was very, very intimidating.
Speaker 2 (03:24):
Um, and so, you know, the, the stakes were high, but it allowed me to cut my teeth, uh, at a very early age of my career with, uh, trust in my ability to learn. And, uh, you know, figuring out how I was wired with, uh, driver results. Uh, I also kind of got the bug when it came to working with brands of all different sizes, whether it's, you know, dove, for example, all the way to startup brands that, you know, were founder operated, that they were happy to have made it to the big stage, but really didn't know what it required to succeed and how many resources they were up against. And so, uh, I kinda found my passion with supporting entrepreneurs from the, the, the lens I had at retail, and ultimately found myself leaving Target to help build one of those type of brands.
Speaker 2 (04:12):
Um, the master brand was, uh, Shea Moisture, uh, which was a, a Liberian, uh, immigrant family based out of New York City that had ultimately, uh, entrepreneur their way into retail shelves and were building something beautiful that was very inclusive in the beauty world. And, uh, my job was to help them build distribution across retail and see their, their vision manifested. And, uh, I, I'd say that's what really drove me closest to the entrepreneurial book from getting closer with supporting entrepreneurs and their visions, and ultimately, um, better identifying the void that I had from, uh, the space that I knew. And having many brands that, you know, I purchased, uh, every day in our household, purchased every day, but we didn't really have a personal connection to the impact that they made outside of whatever. Cause marketing was being spoken at the time, and how do we best connect to that? And so, uh, I wanted more, um, you know, the conversations that I had with peers and my closest peer, my best friend Rod, uh, who grew up with me and Gary, my co-founder of Black and Bolt, is ultimately how we, you know, really started the conversation of what is now black and bold, and having domestic social impact at the forefront of that, that just ties close to our personal journeys and our professional lives, allowing us to fuel the boys that we saw in our personal lives.
Speaker 1 (05:33):
Awesome. Okay. So you started right before the pandemic a new business. And so, I mean, perfect timing, right, <laugh>, but let's talk about just the, the pressures of that. Like, you know, obviously you're married, you've got kids, you have, you have real world responsibilities and you're taking a big risk. So just walk us through that thought process and, and kind of the, the, the journey of that.
Speaker 2 (05:59):
Wow, man. Yeah. I mean, uh, rod and I are the same age, so paralleling that, you know, I, while I had a co-founder that, you know, I knew for over 20 years, we decided to jump into entrepreneurship in our early thirties, and Mark hit the nail on the head man, having to be as calculated as you can be with entrepreneurship, especially starting up <laugh> knowing that, hey, I, I, I, I grew up with not a lot, uh, but that doesn't mean I want to put my family in a situation of not having a lot
Speaker 1 (06:29):
Speaker 2 (06:29):
And so, you know, moving from and being in choosing to move from a very high growth, stable career path into entrepreneurship is one that, you know, we had to de-risk as much as we could. And relying on my expertise and Rod's expertise and truly believing that we can make an impact in what we were building is really what gave us the confidence to, you know, you can never eliminate risk in entrepreneurship, but to be comfortable in our skill set and our ability to be a part of the solution and monetize how we are able to basically buy time to continue to build, uh, what we believed in. And so, uh, it was tough. I'd say my wife is definitely my number one supporter. I like to believe I'm the same with her, but, uh, she was, you know, cheering me on along the path towards entrepreneurship, but we, we both had a moment where it was, you know, time to make the leap, and we, we hit the brakes and said, wait, are we sure we wanna do
Speaker 1 (07:23):
This <laugh>? And so,
Speaker 2 (07:25):
Um, but nevertheless, we moved forward and, um, you know, it's, it's one the immediate household and, you know, how do we, uh, we, you know, being as entrepreneurs, uh, make sure that we're not, um, being too blind optimists, uh, but also in having a greater purpose, at least in a black and bold entrepreneurial, uh, vision allows us to connect even bigger than just our household and how important it is to make an impact. And, um, I I'll yeah, I'll, I'll, I'll stop at that. I, I'll otherwise continue to digress on that one, but
Speaker 1 (08:03):
No, for sure. Um, okay. So I want to give you the opportunity to talk about that. So black and bold one, it actually actually turned out to be an amazing time to start what you guys were doing. Yep. But before we dig into that, I would love for you to tell people black and bold, what does it mean to you and what is that purpose behind it? Give us that passion of, it's not just coffee and tea, but, and go from there.
Speaker 2 (08:26):
Sure thing. Yeah. Black and Bold is a, you know, social impact driven, um, specialty beverage company that focuses on allowing you to have the best cup of coffee, tea, whatever beverage fuels, uh, your day, uh, and know that at the end of the day, you're making an impact back to your local community. And the, the model can be very complex, uh, and that's why we are hyper focused from the beginning to make sure that the authenticity of that vision, uh, stays intact. And so it's, it's a lot more than just selling a widget, if you will, that, you know, we like to consume, but it's also a matter of how do you connect closer to a brand, but how does that brand truly live up to the role and impact it can have in our society? And so we give 5% of our profits to youth programs across the US and markets that we have sustainable distribution or sustainable clients. That's, you know, again, part of being a startup, and how do we know that the decisions we make are sustainable and not just, you know, a moment in time or if you will, more on the side of calls marketing. And so, uh, we, we believe wholeheartedly in what we're building, and we wanna make sure that every step of the journey, any current or new consumer, any new person to our community can, can retrace our steps and, and agree with that and be confident to be along the journey with us.
Speaker 1 (09:50):
That's awesome. That's great. Okay. So culture and core values. You started in big time, corporate America kind of went to the other side of the coin with entrepreneurship and now on your own. So just talk to me about what did you love about big corporate? What did you maybe not love from culture and core values, and how has that influenced with you starting your own business and make you either more passionate, or I'm gonna do this, or I'm not gonna do that. Unpack that for me.
Speaker 2 (10:18):
Hmm. Yeah. What I'd say is what I, I loved about Big corporate was helping level set what career development norms could be. Where you have access to mentors, you have access to hierarchy, you have, you know, really a lot of proof points on where you can learn where your strengths and opportunities are. But also, you know, does as you continue to discover yourself, does it align with the, the, at least the company you're with, let alone big companies, um, or corporate, uh, or smaller businesses, an entrepreneurship. And, uh, being at Target gave me the space to learn myself as a young professional and have, because mentors along the way, whether <laugh>, they were formal mentors or people that, you know, saw something in me that I didn't realize that I had the potential for, and helped nurture that, uh, as well. And so, um, couldn't be more grateful and thankful for my time at corporate for that.
Speaker 2 (11:20):
But I also learned around where structure can be a barrier to growth. And, you know, corporate needs policy structure, it needs operational efficiency, um, in order to, to continue to sustain what sizes that it is. Uh, but that, as I learned, the entrepreneurial spirit that I had and the results oriented way I was wired, uh, it became a challenge when, you know, redundancy is what, you know, was the day to day <laugh> or group think became the day to day. And, um, you know, I I, I knew that I enjoyed being in spaces where problems hadn't been figured out or problems hadn't been unpacked to understand that they were problems that could be solved. And, uh, the more I worked with entrepreneurial companies, um, that were brands within retail, uh, the more I realized that there was a possible lane in entrepreneurship that could empower that, that kinda say that curiosity in me.
Speaker 1 (12:26):
Yeah. Awesome. Okay. So day one, or maybe even before you started Black and Bold with your, with your, your main guy, right? What were your conversations about like, man, when we get a team, we want it to be like this? Like were you thinking about the culture of it, the core values? Or was it more just like, theologically speaking about what the business is gonna be like?
Speaker 2 (12:49):
<laugh>, man, we, we were thinking about it from the jump, it's a matter of do we understand what those thoughts really meant in practice? Right, right. <laugh>, um, because that's, you know, today where we have a, a team, uh, you know, hindsight 2020, but one thing I I, I'll, I'll acknowledge, um, is we were very intentional early on with, um, looking at validation of what we wanted to build. And B Corp is a certification that we pursued very early on. We were very fortunate to receive B Corp status our second year in business. For those that don't know what B Corp is, it's a global third party certification for businesses that prioritize their stakeholders as equal to their shareholders. And, uh, it's a very arduous audit. Um, the process is basically, did you do what you said you do <laugh>. Um, they look across, you know, your impact to your employees, environmental, uh, your governance, um, many different key areas of society.
Speaker 2 (13:54):
And so, uh, we knew that there were many businesses that have stood up, B Corp such as, uh, Tom Shoes, Warby Parker, Bennett, Jerry's, uh, Patagonia. And to be a part of that community not only helped validate to our, our stakeholders, uh, who we saw us to be, but what we wanted to be is we continue to grow up, uh, but also build a lot of discipline for us to be intentional as we started hiring people and, and, and looking at things like benefits. And I'd say we, we, we learned from the processes to understand the human element of the decisions we make, and we look at even benefits and how we build our benefits. And healthcare, for example, in the sense of that, where we have a lot of, you know, light manufacturing employees that are young in their careers. And, you know, there's one thing to provide access to healthcare in a, in a policy, but if the premium's too high, then they still have to make that decision on if they're gonna going even have healthcare or not.
Speaker 2 (14:52):
And if we want them on our team, and we're building a company that we wanna be sustainable, we wanna make sure our employees can be sustained as well. And so, you know, it's the kind of the development of our thoughts along the way where we may not be able to have, you know, the history of culture written across the walls, but the decision making we have, just making sure that we can prioritize our, our team and people with the, the policies we create as we create them, believe we have the right confidence that we'll make the right decisions on that.
Speaker 1 (15:20):
Right. So my perception is your brand, I mean, your brand is a culture, like your brand is, it's both the culture that you guys are building, but it's also closely tied to just culture in general, currently in, in the us. And so are you constantly kind of using those influences to make decisions not only inside your business, but outside of it? And so, like, when you think of culture in that sense, I mean, it's big, it's, it's much bigger than just our team. And so what, what's the thought process on a regular basis to kind of shape that?
Speaker 2 (15:53):
Yeah, you know, we, black and bold early on, we, we, we talk about values. We had four core values, quality, convenience, and then community and diversity. The first two focuses on product core values. The other two focus on brand and, and just people values. And when you look at, to your point, culture and society, one, you know, community and diversity, we look at diversity in the sense of, you know, from our lens and being in society considered diverse or underrepresented or minority shape, you know, that definition hits different when you're starting from that lens already, right? And so inclusivity is just embedded in who we are and what we do. And it naturally kind of defaults that way with the teams we hire, but also how we stay in tune with the voice of society, if you will. Um, I'd say from a humor lens, uh, well, as people, you know, we, per personalization is, is very real and very important to us, whether we acknowledge it or not.
Speaker 2 (17:01):
And when we are making our purchasing behaviors, we want things that are relevant to us. We get targeted all day on social media and, and in the digital world, and we start normalizing that expectation. And so as a brand that is here to serve, you know, consumption for people, uh, it, it's very real in how we speak to, you know, people, uh, and how we reflect our values to people. And again, I may say this way too many times, but it's also about the authenticity. Not only that we portray, but that we feel about ourselves and how we show up for work. And that ultimately, I believe, manifesting and the voice of, you know, how people receive us as well.
Speaker 1 (17:42):
Right. Um, so you said, I, I love that you said it's your lens that you're starting from is already different, and that leads to, with Amazon, you got a black owned business, uh, certification or what, talk about what that means and, and yeah. What did you have to do to get that? What did that mean for you and the team?
Speaker 2 (18:01):
Yeah, you know, I, and I'll, I'll build, I guess I didn't add a little bit to the last, uh, question as well. And, and a sense kind of for, for Black and bold, we, we look at, you know, we're very aware of our role in representation, uh, in particular for the black community, uh, whether it's representation, uh, on behalf of the black community, which we definitely don't speak on behalf of <laugh>, the entire black community. Uh, but also the representation we have within the black community, and, you know, trying our best to be the example of how, um, we can uplift each other, but also how we can be parts of, um, uh, greater narratives and, and impact in society. And so, uh, we've been fortunate, uh, with, as larger corporations have built, you know, development programs such as Amazon and their, you know, black own business accelerator, um, we were already doing business with Amazon, and so we had a lot of great conversations with them on, you know, what could the program look like, what should it look like?
Speaker 2 (19:01):
And also kind of grandfathering in <laugh> ourselves into the program to continue to benefit on learning a very niche space that if you can unlock doing business well at Amazon, there's a ton of upside, but there's also barriers for if you don't have that thought knowledge on how do you build a sustainable business there. And so, um, we continue <laugh> to benefit from that team and just day to day business, but also just becoming better strategic, uh, thinkers. And as we build a team and their resource with, you know, thought leadership from Amazon, it's, it's actually a really big point of difference for us in our, our professional development culture, because not everyone's privy to have an, an actual human <laugh> that they speak to that works at Amazon to help them get better at, you know, um, what their roles are.
Speaker 1 (19:55):
That's so awesome. And honestly, Parnell like, I can't think of a better person to help influence what that program could look like for someone like Amazon. That's awesome that you guys are at that level. So congrats. All right. You've had some pretty amazing things happen relatively recently. So I wanna talk about the NBA partnership, and you were on the Ellen, the generous show. Like, I mean, holy cow, like that's, that's doesn't just happen to anybody. And, and I picked up in the show you said, what is happening? And, and I think we've had our version of that, but I loved how you just said, like, you look at Rod and you're like, what is happening? And so just maybe unpack all that. There's so many awesome things in there, but you've had a ride.
Speaker 2 (20:35):
We have to do that all the time. And Rod, rod gets on me a lot around, like just, I, I don't reflect often. I'm kind of worried about if I reflect or I become stagnant <laugh>, and, and, and Rod is always my accountability partner on taking the pause. And so, uh, that's usually as much as I give him is those moments, <laugh>, then we continue on. Uh, but it's getting harder to just continue on, uh, from the examples that you mentioned. But, uh, I go in order with the nba. That was, that was a big one for me because, uh, I, I'm a huge fan. Rod and I both, we we're basketball junkies and, uh, the NBA reached out to us. Rod took the first call, he probably had two calls in, and the third call he told me that, you know, they were having dialogue around, um, us being a potential license partner as they were looking at, you know, build more of their food and bear space, but also with, uh, supporting diverse businesses.
Speaker 2 (21:31):
And by the time I got on a call, I, I <laugh>, I definitely derailed like the intro because <laugh> like, before we get in the business, everybody, I wanna let you know I'm a huge fan and told my whole basketball story, you know, <laugh>. And then I'm like, okay, alright, what are we here for <laugh> right now that I got that out? What are we here for? Uh, but you know, that is, it's, it's, it's, it's the fun stuff that doesn't get seen as often in this journey. There's a ton of challenging things, but to see a, a an organization that you, you know, are consumer of and admire as a fan to see how intentional and how well, uh, operated they are in living those values and being part of the, uh, how you say, uh, uh, culture of society is really cool. So as we further our, our opportunity with them and, uh, they ultimately put the cherry on top with matching our 5% of our profits to the youth organizations we support with the sale of their goods.
Speaker 2 (22:35):
And, uh, it's multi-year agreement. The league is complex. So we're, we're happy to have that time to continue to unpack the opportunity, but it's, it's validation like that not only for us, but to our consumers, but it's tangible in a way, in the sense of the impact that we can make today. Not, you know, just thinking, you know, big cloud, what can be. So, uh, Ellen DeGeneres, man, I still, it's, I'm, I struggle with talking about that one. It's <laugh>. I'm still trying to figure out what happened <laugh> with that. And I was in awe the whole time, uh, receiving the call when they, they told us that, um, uh, d Wade, uh, was going to be the, the, the guest host, like 24 hours before the, the, the, the show and just being there in the, in the back room on set it, it's man, I, I watched that over. I'm like, dang, I was very out of body <laugh>. It was a very out body experience.
Speaker 1 (23:38):
For sure. Well, and as a dad, like, think about in the future when your kids can grasp that and showing them that moment, you know, cuz it, it's kind of a culmination of like, I started a business and your kids will never understand how hard that was to get even to that moment, but they're gonna be able to capture a little bit of that feeling and, and hopefully share some of that pride of, of what happened, which is kind of a different perspective, but I've watched it and had so much pride for you.
Speaker 2 (24:05):
Uh, thanks Mark. Yeah, man, you know how it goes with, uh, having to go outta town and I'm trying to explain to my six year old, you know, Hey, gimme two days, I will see you again. She's like, no. So it's good to have some subject matter to give back to her <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (24:22):
Totally, totally. So how have these things, I mean, you've had these big things like you're growing rapidly. I mean that's the, that's a, that's pressure on the culture that you're building internally with the team. It's pressure on processes. Are you, it's gonna challenge your core values. There's gonna be tons of attacks on all those things. So how are you addressing those? Are you talking about it constantly with your partner, with your team? What's your process for that?
Speaker 2 (24:48):
For us, we revisit, um, the org structure that we have with the resources we have, but how we continue to plan for tomorrow. And, uh, you know, we have a lot of talented people, uh, within the org, but, you know, just like when there was just a founder of two, we all still wear multiple hats, <laugh>. And so, uh, I'd say our, our latest reorg, um, it's been a couple of months ago where, um, rod and I, you know, shifted our, our C-suite, uh, roles. Rod is now our chief values officer. We also, uh, promoted someone to a director of planning commercialization, which essentially is a, a more fancy way of saying there are cross-functional team liaison where they help make sure that is the speed that we need to go and the experts we do have in respective areas. Um, we continue to try to see it as glued together as possible from within. Right. And, uh, our team, you know, is aware <laugh> the pace that we move, um, but also that pursuit of being a better version of us as a, as a team internally so we can be able to show up our best externally. So it's always practice, as you mentioned. And, um, I think the, the executive alignment piece helps us stay even further in front of how we need to sharpen our thinking.
Speaker 1 (26:07):
Okay. You just said something really interesting that I want to just dig in a little bit more on. So you said Raj has changed his title to chief Values Officer. Yeah. I'm gonna assume that that is not just internally, but also the values that you want to uphold with that donation component and, and the, and giving back. So can you talk a little bit more about the why you had him change his, his title to that?
Speaker 2 (26:28):
Sure. Yeah. I mean, rod and I have done a lot of restructures well from starting with a team of two, him and I, and you know, they just become more visible of course as we build our team, but also our external community. And because of us forging a path with our values and, and being very overt, um, around our values and, um, our key stakeholder being youth in need, uh, we have to have deliberate focus on how we continue to coalition build around that, but also make sure that, um, we are prioritizing bandwidth and at all levels, let alone at the most strategic level to resource ourselves to do such. So, um, chief Values Officer that, that encompasses, you know, our chief people officer, if you will, is also, uh, the head of, uh, what is soon to be our foundation, which is our reference coalition built will give us the right roof, you know, to, to sustain sustainably, uh, make our impact even more concrete and more tangible, uh, even to how we look at, uh, our advisory board and, uh, the, the uniqueness of any advisory board, let alone ours that has a very, you know, over overt for profit and for purpose element to our business.
Speaker 2 (27:49):
So, uh, you know, he's hyper focused on executing what we are today, but making sure we build the right roadmap around our values and and welcoming our, our, our stakeholders into that, that, um, that space as well.
Speaker 1 (28:03):
Yeah, awesome. That's really, really, that's a good evolution, uh, with the dream you guys started with and really seeing action with it. So I think that's, that's awesome. So good job.
Speaker 2 (28:13):
The, the cool part about it is he's super fueled, uh, by it because it, it speaks very closely to his background, uh, prior to black and bold. Uh, and so we're now hitting the stage where it's not where every single hat possible to keep this thing going and build a proof point, but how do we structure with our strengths and, uh, also hire for our weaknesses and continue to be like, say the best version of what our company can be. So, uh, he's excited about it, which, you know, builds even more excitement for everybody else in the sense of, you know, where, where the impact of our values are actually gonna gonna go.
Speaker 1 (28:47):
Yeah, that's great. Plan to your strengths is critical. And I think you said something too that's really valuable for any leader. It's what are you not good at and hiring for those, and that's okay. You don't have to apologize for not being good at something and fake it. You gotta surround yourself with the right team. And I always use the basketball analogies from the nba. It's like the Warriors didn't win championships by accident, and it wasn't just because they had a team of all stars. It was because they knew how to play together. They were a true team. That's how they won. And I loved when they played the Raptors that year, because those were two teams, not two all star teams, just two teams, that it was just hard to beat either one of 'em. And so it was a really, really great scenario to come out, and that's applies to leadership teams in a huge way as well.
Speaker 1 (29:34):
Um, okay, so when you guys started, you had this dream, whether that started in a basement or on a porch or whatever, right? How have you recalibrated that? I'm gonna guess you've had to recalibrate that dream a little bit. I get asked this question all the time, did you think you'd be where you are 22 years into this? No, of course not. Like we couldn't have dreamed as to where we've gotten. Um, so, you know, I think that you've kind of recalibrated and you've got gone on a rocket ship. So what is the recalibration of the dream been like for
Speaker 2 (30:02):
You? Wow, man. Uh, I love this question by the way, but, uh, you know, the, the vision of our impact, um, doesn't really have a destination per se, right? That's an ongoing journey as long as we can build the most viable engine, right? Our for-profit side of, of the company and where we dreamed for the business to be is much bigger than what we are <laugh> quite honestly, uh, living through it, holy smokes, <laugh>, and that's the, the recalibration is living through, you know, what we believe is possible and you are testing ourselves, you know, you know, all the way through it on, you know, our individual ability to let alone, uh, our ability to, to, to welcome other people into this, this journey and this this challenge as well. So we, I mean, I'd say we recalibrate often and, you know, you got, you know, your traditional, what are our goals for next year?
Speaker 2 (31:12):
What are our three year goals? But in the sense of, uh, pivoting, especially in all the crazy happening in the world, man, whether it's pandemic to supply chain, nothing that's unique to just black and bold, but being a young company, you know, having a very different approach to how do you build a coffee community, uh, consumer community, and how do you normalize domestic social impact where it's not a, a a, you know, there's not a lot of case studies that prove the same type of model. That's, that's where the art of pivoting really happens and making sure that we have our fundamentals in place, so we don't know what we don't know and what's possible. These partnerships that we talked about earlier are example of that. We didn't know the NBA was gonna call us, man, that wasn't a part of our business model, right? <laugh>.
Speaker 2 (32:00):
Um, but, you know, as we were, you know, in a good spot from how are we building our manufacturing capabilities, where are we on living out our values? Do we have the right strategic clients on board? Right? We always have a strong foundation to continue to, you know, make the right moves that we believe in as we learn about them and as they come up along this journey. So, you know, the, the speed of will change, of course, uh, well at some point <laugh>, it will have to change as we continue to get larger and having, uh, more infrastructure. Uh, but, uh, the, the, the foundations that we build from, we, we, we look to make the best decisions possible that we don't have to regret not having, not being able to maximize what may be the next best strategic thing out there. Um, because we didn't make the right decision two years ago. So it's, it's a lot of, you know, trying to make the best solid, sustainable decision, whether it's employees, whether it's, like I said, manufacturing capabilities, whether it's capital deployment, um, that we can continue to, you know, see the best of our values through the, the for profit side.
Speaker 1 (33:11):
That's good. It's good. So good. Well, listen, thank you so much for being here today. Uh, I think people are gonna really enjoy this conversation and learn a lot from it. It's gonna be inspirational as well. You, whether you realize it or not, you've inspired me from a distance. It's just, again, it's been so fun to watch you go through this. I had zero doubts that you were gonna just go out and absolutely just kill this thing. Uh, zero surprise for me that, that you're just killing it. I'm gonna continue to root for you. If somebody wants to know one, where should they buy your coffee or to your products from, and then also just follow your journey. Where can we watch you from a social perspective?
Speaker 2 (33:47):
Sure. Uh, watching us and following us. Um, really any social platform, um, ig, Facebook, LinkedIn, and or YouTube. Uh, it's black and bold. B l k a n d b o l d. Uh, you can buy us on our, on our website, uh, B l k a n d b o l d.com. We're also available on Amazon. And most major retailers across the US targets our most accessible retailer partner. We just launched two new product forms, curic K up, and, uh, ready to drink Cold Brew. Uh, so you can find both of those at Target. Uh, but really most grocers that you shop, if we're not there, they're likely on our list for the near future <laugh>.
Speaker 1 (34:38):
Love it. Awesome. Well, again, thank you so much. This has been great and, uh, just can't thank you enough for being here. Thanks so much.
Speaker 2 (34:45):
Yeah, thanks Mark. Appreciate it, man.
Speaker 1 (34:48):
All right. I hope you all enjoyed that as much as I did. Cornell had so many amazing things to say and I just can't reiterate what a, what a pleasure it's been to watch his growth for himself and black and bold from a distance. So here's a couple things that I, I left the conversation with. Uh, something that we talked about after he stopped recording was just commenting on celebrating the small wins. Him and his partner Rod, they talk about what is happening. That's their celebration. That's the pause of, Hey, holy crap, that just happened. And it's a big achievement. It's something happening that's remarkable. And so that's something that we need to do better at Speedy Tech. I always tell our team, like, celebrate the small wins. I know I'm not very good at it. It's such a great message. And he also kind of mentioned that's, you know, you don't wanna become complacent and complacency is just, it's a silent death that can sneak into an, an organization.
Speaker 1 (35:38):
I love that he kept saying, you know, creating the best version of themselves and their company. And, and that is a great, it relates to our core value. We get better every day very, very closely. The other thing I wanted to comment on was, I've known Parnell for about 12 years, probably. He's the same dude. Uh, I knew when I met him, uh, at a U N I advisory board all the way back then. He's remained humble and he's been put into a spotlight, um, and probably some undue pressure put on him because of that. Um, but he has remained humble, and that is just such a great characteristic as a leader that I think should not go, uh, without comment, and it should be emulated by a lot of people. It's, it's a, a really hard, it's kind of something you have or you don't, if you teeter on that, I would man model the way that he's approaching. It's just, it's really great to see. So again, thanks Fornell, great guest, great points. I hope you all enjoy that as much as I did. Thanks for watching or listening to another great episode of Culture Starts With You. This is a podcast all about culture and core values. I just want to challenge all of you to make sure you're getting better every day. You're inspecting and challenging the norms of your culture and core values to make sure that they're being upheld and lived and they're authentic.