In today’s episode, I am speaking with my client, Lori Jones. Lori launched a coffee company in the midst of COVID after losing her full-time job earlier this year. At a time where people were holding back, scared, and uncertain.
Each month I want to highlight one of my clients to make sure that people know who they are, share their story, why they became disruptors, and how they are disrupting the status quo right now. Lori is no exception. She’s showing people how to enjoy black coffee.
We discuss how Lori launched her business, the disruptions she faced, and how she came out of it stronger than ever.
Lori didn’t let her excuses hold her back. She discovered that the only thing holding her back was her. When you let go of the fear, and just go and DO IT, it’s amazing what can happen.
She uses her business as something to focus her time, energy, and attention on. Something that she truly has a passion for and she is rewarded for that. She took a risk, a leap of faith, and found that it was all worthwhile.
In closing, if there are any other single moms out there that have a dream, want to start their own business as well, Lori recommends starting with research. Research your industry, a great place to start is Instagram. Follow the people and industries that you want to be a part of, and start building those relationships. Get a mentor! And lastly, NO EXCUSES! Every time you have one pop up in your head, shut it down! Lori not only prays for clarity daily, but she also takes action.
And no matter how successful you become, never change who you truly are.
5 Rapid Fire Questions for Lori
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Speaker 1 (00:00):
Hello, and welcome to this episode of brand disruptors. I am Mia Lamont, your host. And today I am here with Lori Jones of black ology coffee. Laura, why don't you tell the audience a little bit about yourself? Hi everyone. I'm Mia. Thank you for having me today. See a little bit about me. I I launched a coffee business in the midst of coven after being laid off from my full time job earlier this year and yeah, have been kind of developing and kind of going along with things as things come to me. Yeah. So that's really interesting that you opened, you started a business during Kobe, right? Where people are taking things and they're like, Oh my God, I just need to shut down. I need to restrict, I don't need to be spending money, but you said, you know what, I'm actually gonna launch a business.
Speaker 1 (01:01):
How about that? Yeah, it was it was a difficult decision, you know you know the uncertainty and of course, a lot of the negative things that have come with I did decide to find a positive in the midst of all of this. So, you know, focusing my time, my energy, my attention into something that I've been passionate about for a while was all worthwhile to, to keep me kind of in a very positive space, if you will. Yeah. Yeah. Alright. So let's just jump into the round Robin questions where people get to know you based on the answers. And then we'll dive a little bit into your story about black ology and anything else you want to talk about today? Okay. Okay. Sounds good. Alright. So what would you say is your mantra? My mantra. Don't settle. Love it. Alright. What three words would you use to describe yourself or your brand? And I know that you have more than one, so you can just pick black allergy, right? So black biology creative I'll say I'll even say innovative and very unique. Awesome. What mode of communication is your least favorite?
Speaker 1 (02:28):
Face to face? Like on the camera? So video. So video exchange. So like our video interview more of an interview, it's a, an unusual setting if you will. Yeah, it is for sure. All right. So what outfit makes you feel like a badass features? James and Tom's, that's my bad ass outfit. And what will you just never,
Speaker 2 (03:01):
Ooh, never wear. I don't, I'm not really a dress kind of gal. I won't say that I won't wear one, but I will fight tooth and nail to not wear.
Speaker 1 (03:14):
I see. I see. And that I'm just the opposite. I would wear a dress everyday. Alright. And then what are your brand colors and how did you come to choose them?
Speaker 2 (03:25):
Brand colors are black and white. I chose these colors for the reason of unifying black and white together. Meaning a lot of different connotations behind it. Everything to the clean look of it, like white pops off of black, black pops off of white. So
Speaker 1 (03:49):
Yeah. Yeah, because they're, you know, total opposites, right? Yeah. What does absent of all color? And one is the, is all color. Yeah. Alright. So let's talk, let's talk black allergy, right? Let's talk about your new business, your new venture. And so you want to talk, I want to, I want to hear about how you first got started with the coffee business. Cause I know that your license plate has either a coffee lover or something. Don't, don't say it because I don't want people to know what it is, but you can tell that she loves coffee based on her license plate. And just say that. And did you start this this year or was it like a relaunch?
Speaker 2 (04:34):
I actually initially started three years ago under a different business name. I had worked for a year trying to find roasters that could roast what I was looking to achieve since I did not have access to the equipment. And finally landed on someone that I had worked with for quite some time and, you know, placed the, my first large order and never received a product. The guy disappeared off the face of the planet. That, that was that was kind of a blow to you know, achieving, achieving a dream for me. I did count it as a loss. And I did get discouraged actually for a couple of years up until about a year ago. Bag created the black ology name a year ago, June, and it was not the time to release black algae. It wasn't time to launch. I had some hesitations and things like that. And then this year I'm sitting at home having plenty of time to reflect on life. The answer came to me one night and it was like, now it's time, you know, it's, it's the climate for it. So, yeah.
Speaker 1 (06:00):
And then you had, I think you had like this television interview right with local stations and it changed everything. Right.
Speaker 2 (06:13):
So launched on July the 13th of this year and the news channel came out on the 19th. Julie Wilson I'm with ABC 11 inch really awesome high energy. But she did a segment on me and it went on air the same day. And I mean like instantly, I mean, it, it was, the phone was dying and the social media was going crazy. I was like, what's going on? But that was, that was really, really big for getting black ology on the map. But that was huge.
Speaker 1 (06:55):
And would you say that you were nervous when, when you had to appear in front of a television camera and be interviewed by, by some local celebrity? Are you nervous?
Speaker 2 (07:07):
Yes. However, conveniently the camera crew was unavailable for this. So Julie actually did the interview with her iPhone and recorded different segments and that's where I kind of operate a little bit better. It wasn't so much pressure on me if you will.
Speaker 1 (07:25):
Oh, that's good. So you were able to use the iPhone and so you didn't have that intimidation of God is standing over you with the cameras. Oh, that's awesome. From that interview, like what did you learn in that interview about yourself?
Speaker 2 (07:42):
I learned that they're the only thing holding me back is me. I've always made excuses for not doing things, which I learned about myself. And when you let go of the fear and just go and do it, it's, it's amazing what can happen. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (08:05):
Yeah. That's very good. I was listening to that cause that's, that's one of the things that I think a lot of us kind of struggle with, especially right now, a lot of people are really fearful, so they don't want to jump out. They don't want to do anything. I want to take any risks, but you get a risk and it actually paid off for you. Yeah. That's awesome. All right. So what else, what should the audience know about your coffee? Like why is your coffee so special?
Speaker 2 (08:33):
My coffee is special because I have a, so I have this gift that, that developed in the culinary world prior to the coffee. Yeah. Yeah. That's my other tray. But I have a knack for finding really good things. It doesn't matter if it's something that I made, something someone else made. I can look at it, taste it or create it in my mind. And once it comes to fruition, the taste of it is impeccable. A lot of the feedback that I've gotten from my customers is that the coffee is amazing. Some of the best coffee that they've ever had. And I was, I was determined to find a roaster that could help me out until I get my own equipment that could do the really dark, bold flavors of coffee with the chocolate and vanilla undertones. That's not something that's easy to do. So yeah.
Speaker 1 (09:41):
So you found someone to do that for ya and that, is that what makes your coffee different? Is it so it's your impeccable taste, right? To find these things, but what, is there a different process that you're putting your coffee through or anything else that somebody else might not be doing?
Speaker 2 (09:59):
So as far as something that other people might not be doing, so I'm supporting primarily supporting small businesses in the process. I am a single mom that is apparently the only black female on the East coast. That's in really big and coffee right now. And, you know, I was going to let the fact that I did not have access to a roasting machine for me to roast my own coffee deterred me. And I was like, there's, there's another way. Yeah.
Speaker 1 (10:32):
How did you get to that? How did you get to I'm a, I'm not going to do this because I don't have the equipment to, let me think about how I can make this happen. What was the thing that, what was it, what happened in between there?
Speaker 2 (10:45):
So from February of this year up until even, even until today, I've been praying for clarity and I've asked for clarity in all aspects of life. And I promise you, I was awaken one night by by God. And he said like, now's the time there's I'm like, but I don't have the funding. He's like, no. Now is the time to do it. I'm like, but I don't. I had, I had an answer for everything I tried to come back with. And then within a week, you know, everything came together because it was already in my head. It was just a matter of bringing it to life.
Speaker 1 (11:22):
So you had to change what was going on up here to change what was going on out here, right change. What was going on in her head in order to change? What was going on in her physical space? Yeah. So what, what three things would you say to somebody who is thinking about starting a new business or wanting to revive one? And they have, they have some of the same stories that you have single mom. I don't have any, I don't have the funding. I don't even know what I want to do. Like what would you say, give me three things that you would say to somebody who might be thinking about doing something like this.
Speaker 2 (12:03):
One is research your industry. So Instagram, which is where a lot of my connections have come from, follow the people and the businesses that you want to be a part of and start making developing relationships in that area because you don't know who's available to help you. You know and that, that kind of rolls into the, the second one is find a mentor you know, having a mentor you know, they can, can guide you get you in contact with people that can help somebody who's where you want to be that you can look up to and no excuses like I have. I was, I was saying the other day I have a sticky note on my computer from, from this moment. Like from the time I launched up until now it says bullshit. I mean, it's, it's every time I have an excuse, I look over at this bright yellow sticky, and I'm like, okay,
Speaker 1 (13:08):
Bullshit, I guess. So you're not even waiting for anybody else to do it. Right. I love that. So you're actually saying, you know what, I'm quite, I'm looking for the guidance, right. I'm trying everyday for clarity, but not only am I praying I'm also into action. So when I get scared or when you get scared, you're saying, you know what, this is just fear and it's bullshit. Like I can do whatever it is I want to do. Yep. Absolutely. Absolutely. Okay. So what's your favorite flavor of your coffee? Dark, dark, yellow, stand down. Do you drink coffee with a cream bar or do you have lattes? Like how do you drink? You're civically just black or typically
Speaker 2 (13:52):
It's black with potentially a sweetener, like a Gavi. But I've tried everything black first and foremost. And that was a part of the, the black allergy piece. Cultivating a love black coffee. So I purposely wanted to find and create coffees that could be, you know, consumed black. Most people won't drink a dark Rose Black, but so far it's been quite a few people that are like, okay, it doesn't have the bitter aftertaste, you know? But I also like lattes, like this is my favorite time of year, the fall. So pumpkin spice, everything is one of my favorites.
Speaker 1 (14:34):
So you've already, could you, I saw it on Instagram. You've already created a recipe for your pumpkin latte.
Speaker 2 (14:40):
Speaker 1 (14:41):
So tell us where you're going to be. Well, I know that this probably won't go live before your next event, but where can people find you typically?
Speaker 2 (14:53):
I advise everybody to follow me on Instagram or Facebook, cause I'm always releasing pop-up information. Currently, because we are online only at the moment the website www.blackologycoffeecompany.com. You can also subscribe there and receive email blast of events that are coming up new products, things like that.
Speaker 1 (15:18):
And what happens at these lab events? What happens?
Speaker 2 (15:24):
So the popups I give customers prospective customers, an opportunity to sample all of the coffees. There's apparel that's available for sale. The bags of coffee are there. I demonstrate pour over coffee, which is my preferred way to brew coffee. Hands down, I do a comparison of, I take the African coffees for instance, because they're, they're bold and flavor. They have citrus and you know, floral undertones. So I let them drink it when it's brewed, like they would brew it at home and then I let them sample it through a pour over and find out what the distance the difference is. And you know, a lot of people providing that education helps cultivate that love of black coffee.
Speaker 1 (16:12):
So what's next for you, Laurie? What are you doing next as you conquer the coffee world?
Speaker 2 (16:19):
Working on storefront we're, we're getting closer and closer to this to this goal. There there's have been roadblocks, but I've actually been contacted by a company out in Seattle that I'll be chatting with after this call. They've got something big. I'm not sure what it is, but hopefully, you know, it'll help help, help me reach my goal.
Speaker 1 (16:48):
Yeah. All right. One more question. Do you have, is your coffee available in stores or is it just on the website?
Speaker 2 (16:56):
Right now it's available at a local coffee shop called Nora cafe. I'm in Raleigh, North Carolina. I do have the organic blends there, the dark roast and breakfast brand organic. So currently that's it for the moment, but stay tuned for some, some upcoming locations.
Speaker 1 (17:15):
Awesome. Okay. So guys go and check out black allergy company, coffee.com. That's how you can buy your own coffee from Lori. And by the time we publish this, if she has some pop up shops or her storefront, we'll make sure to put that stuff in the store in the, in the show notes. Laurie, it's been a pleasure. Is there anything else you want to tell the audience before we end this interview?
Speaker 2 (17:43):
Aside from you know, thank you for all the love and support to the people who have supported and the people who want to support and when you're achieving your dream, don't let the increase in success change who you are. I'm still a very shy person in public. I love to talk about my coffee, but I don't want to change who I am. Yeah,
Speaker 1 (18:11):
Yeah, absolutely. And I mean, I think that when people get money or success, they just become the same version of themselves. It's just, I think it's more pronounced, right? Yeah. so, you know, there were assholes before they're assholes, you know, and people who are generous when they didn't have they're even more generous when they do
Speaker 2 (18:33):
Right. Yeah. For sure.
Speaker 1 (18:36):
Thank you so much for joining me today. This was a pleasure. I'm going to go make me some coffee too. Right after we get off of here. My favorite is a dark Rose as well, so,
Speaker 2 (18:45):
Speaker 1 (18:48):
Thanks so much, Laurie. Thank you guys. You can reach [email protected] and you can also find her on Instagram and Facebook under black allergy coffee company. Yep. All. Alright, we'll see you guys next time.