In its latest collaboration, a Des Moines-based coffee and tea wholesaler meets a progressive, national ice cream company and a piece of legislation in the House of Representatives.
Blk & Bold is partnering with Ben & Jerry’s on a cold brew coffee ice cream with marshmallow swirls and fudge brownies. The limited edition flavor called Change is Brewing is being used to attract support for the People’s Response Act, a bill Rep. Cori Bush, D-Missouri, introduced to the House of Representatives in June.
The flavor was revealed Monday at an event in Washington D.C., according to The Hill, where Bush said the bill would establish a division within the Department of Health & Human Services for a “health-centered approach” to public safety.
In an interview with Ben & Jerry’s, Blk and Bold co-founders Rod Johnson and Pernell Cezar said the collaboration aligns with their company’s mission to donate proceeds to community and social service efforts.
“We started this business to support people who had run up against the kind of obstacles that we were fortunate to overcome, and to be able to reinvest in the organizations that are attempting to service that community,” Johnson said in the interview.
Earlier this year, Blk & Bold also announced a partnership with the National Basketball Association and joined as an inaugural member of e-commerce giant Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator.
Johnson and Cezar started the coffee and tea wholesaling business in 2018 in a Des Moines garage, quickly establishing themselves as the first Black-owned coffee company with nationally distributed products.
Their products can now be found in more than 1,400 stores across the U.S.
“It’s very rewarding to have that amplified times X by way of our partnership with Ben & Jerry’s,” Johnson said in the interview with the Vermont-based ice cream company. “Again, I don’t have the words to fully describe that, but the more that our business grows, the more our support grows for that very vulnerable demographic.”
A portion of the proceeds from Change is Brewing will go to grassroots organizations “working to transform public safety in America,” according to a press release from Ben & Jerry’s.
When purchasing Change is Brewing on the Ben & Jerry’s website, a template email form is available for customers to express their support of the People’s Response Act. It’s also available at select grocery stores in Des Moines.
Hannah Rodriguez covers retail for the Register. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @byherodriguez.