We had the good fortune of connecting with Lori Jones and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lori, how do you think about risk?
Wow what can I say… I have always been a risk taker! From childhood I always dared to do what others wouldn’t do. I feel that for me, life without risk isn’t life at all. Great things, ideas, businesses, and investments all come from taking some sort of risk.
I took a risk launching a business in the midst of a global pandemic! That risk was so worth it too! I was laid off from a Head Chef Job at a sorority house that I absolutely loved and had a choice to make. I took the risk to live uncomfortably for a while and invest the excess unemployment funds the government issued into a dream that was in my mind for the longest time! From this Blackology Coffee Company was born. We increased revenue [250%] from 2020 to 2021. Currently we are up 100.10% from last year…Year To Date.
This risk resulted in a lot of sleepless nights and mental struggles as a single mother of two, but has and will continue to pay off in a major major way!!!
What should our readers know about your business?
In June 2020, I was laid off from my job due to an international pandemic. I had two choices: try my best to live off the government assistance that was provided to us OR be courageous and invest it in hopes for a better life for me and my boys. At Blackology Coffee Company where we help people create connections to black culture through exceptional black coffee.
We are different:
With “Urban Revitalization” (known as gentrification in the Black Community) on the rise in SE Raleigh ,NC in addition to crime, It’s imperative that we have front facing black businesses that create more jobs to sustain the black wealth that’s being passed down.
Blackology is thriving because of customers like Angela. Angela is our avatar of our customerShe’s a stay-at-home mom, entrepreneur and community advocate. Of course she loves the variety, lack of bitterness, smooth and bold taste of our coffee [not to mention] the special brewing techniques, highlighting the natural flavors. But More Importantly, she gets to shop her values and support a black-owned business while starting her day with exceptional black coffee. Therefore…Blackology is a pathway for customers like Angela because they believe in keeping the dollar local while advancing the mission of local organizations that share their values.
There have been so many challenges throughout this journey and the pivoting of the business model to accommodate the shut downs, Covid restrictions, lack of funds initially, and more. The journey has not been easy in any sense, but it has been BLESSED. The magnitude of blessings that have come and continue to pour in have been breathtaking. Overcoming these obstacles has been an exceptional learning experiences in life, creating boundaries, adaptability, and confidence building.
Blackology is here to bridge the gap between historical and future black wealth by helping people create connections to black culture using the vehicle of exceptional black coffee.
Build a bridge
Create a connection…
Learn a thing…
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my friends were coming to Raleigh, NC, I would take them to Morgan Street Food Hall for different food experiences. I would take them to A Place at The Table for a delicious community impactful experience. We would go shopping at The Flourish Market to purchase amazing items created phenomenal women locally and all over the world. We would visit Black Friday Market to shop for amazing products created by exceptional black businesses in the area!
I would take them to the Halo Salt Lounge in Cary to unwind and clear their minds followed by a massage at Spa Sanity!
There is so much to do that I can’t sum it all up!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow there are sooooo many people here that deserve recognition. I know that I cannot name them all, but:
Books: You are a Badass
TV Show: Queen Sugar
Friends: Shalisa Clifton (Best Friend), Ken Branson (Mastermind Productions), Maggie Kane (A Place at The Table), Alli Leggett (St Mary’s School), Tyree Lipscomb (Rocthespot events), Zena Conway (The Gr8tness Router)
Mentors: Ryan Ray (Year of The Black Entrepreneur) , Mia LaMotte (Mia Lamotte international), Stephanie Terry (Webb Squared), Lisa Yebuah (Southeast Raleigh Table), Van Sure (Angus Barn), Stephen & Natasha Zinnerman (TCE Coffee), and Chris McCauley (Getchusomegear)
My family and sooo many more!
Amy B Paulson, Melinda Harkley