Lori is a Chef, Supermom, Innovator, and Founder of Black-ology Coffee Company. She graduated from Johnson & Wales University with an Associates Degree in Culinary Arts in 2006 and is currently pursuing her Bachelor's Degree in Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship.
She also has experience working with startup companies across different industries focusing on process improvement, process documentation, UAT test and her overall favorite Customer Service.
Visit the website at www.black-ology.org. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok at Blackology Coffee Company,
And follow Lori on her personal page on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/loriajones85/
Mia LaMotte 0:00
All right, Lori Jones. You ready? She's ready. She's backstage. I'm gonna bring her up in a second or two. Guys, if you have any questions, put them in the chat. If you're watching this on replay or if you're listening to this on our podcast, make sure that you comment, share, download, do all of the things so that we can get more visibility and so that other people can get some benefit from these words of wisdom. So, all right, Miss Lori Jones, I'm gonna bring you up. How are you ma'am? A yellow leopard prints. Okay, I'm good. How are you? I'm doing well. You can get the even got the bright pink lipstick flow. And I see you. So how have you been?
I've been good. I've been good. We're in a new year and new beginnings. Kind of starting some new things this year. I guess this is the best. Best way to put it.
Mia LaMotte 1:05
I love I love your office setup. It looks really good. Thank you. Yeah. So tell us tell the audience about who you are, what you do. What kind of what kind of disruptions? Are you participating in this year?
All right. So of course, as always, thank you for having me. Yeah, and I am LoriJones, owner of black ology Coffee Company. I am a creator of all things. I am a chef, a baker, a badass mom, and a lover of people. So let's see black ology. Basically, we're here to cultivate a love of black coffee. And we do that through community engagement, education, initially, coffee education, but now we're incorporating some other types of education, as well as the development of relationships. And we have pivoted primarily to an online retail website store, as well as focusing on wholesale accounts as well in coffee and stores.
Mia LaMotte 2:10
So tell us about okay, you said the word pivots. Yes. So tell me like what happened that made you decide that pivoting was necessary? I don't know if it was a pandemic or something else? And then, like, what was the process of elimination or process of? Okay, this is how we're going to pivot? Like, how did you decide, as a business owner? What kind of pivots to make? Did you have support? Did you do it on your own? Like, how did that how did that happen? So
pivoting and this particular instance, was kind of, but when I got cold outside, I mean, pop up shops are awesome, you know, killing it and pop up shops, it's great, but it is physically physically draining. It's, it's well worth it for the relationships, of course, the people that you meet, but physically, my body could not take it. And I started having some health issues as a result of that. So I started to pivot into more of a, an online presence, while also focusing on getting my coffee into stores that fit my values. So, like flourish market is the first store that we really partnered with, to get our products into.
Mia LaMotte 3:27
Okay, you said stores that fit our values, let's talk about that. Because that's how that's what branding is all about. Right? And we're talking about brands, we talk about disruptions, and for you to make a conscious decision to say, these stores need to align with our company's values, or we're not gonna We're not, we're not doing business with you. Tell me how you came to that decision.
Um, I went through, I went through an interesting growth process while while working with you, where I was always someone was always in my head, making decisions, I was making decisions that weren't true to me, in my values. So by working with flourish market, for instance, going into a store like that feeling the vibe of just just you look around and you look at all these products, and you just see the badass or even women can bring minority women women in general. And and you know, how how much greatness it is you love the way it makes you feel like it's, it's an experience, everything for me is an experience. So if I walk into your store, and I'm not feeling anything, I don't want my products in there. Oh,
Mia LaMotte 4:39
that's really good. So, okay, so let's back this up a little bit. How did you determine so when we were talking with one of our guests earlier, they had some books that kind of showed them what their values were. What how did you determine what your values were besides the the feeling that you got when you walk into the store like But how else did you determine what the values are? Or what your values are?
So the other determination process wound up being when I went to therapy, and I got real clear, I still go to therapy but real clear on, I don't like this energy you're giving me so I'm not I'm not gonna, I can't do that if it disrupts. If it disrupts what's inside of me, then I'm not able to focus. If it's something that does not sit well with me, I cannot focus on what the greater picture is, which is a distraction, which is not a benefit to my business.
Mia LaMotte 5:33
Absolutely. So we so you're learning to gut check? Or you are gut checking, and acting accordingly. Yep. Yeah. I think that's a really big clue for the audience, on how to know if something is right for you. Like if it feels off? It's probably off, right? Yep. So you said you had other people in your head kind of telling you what to do and how to how to move about. And were these solicited? Was it solicited feedback or was like feedback given
to you never, never solicited? It was sometimes when you said something that I had struggled with that is still a work in progress is when you ask people for help, or when they volunteer their help. You have to first of all, you have to have boundaries in place.
Mia LaMotte 6:27
Yeah, that boundaries in place, you have to stick to those boundaries. But also, you don't have to take everything that they say, as this is what this is what it should be, because I'm helping you this is what it should be. I mean, you know, it's you, it's yours. If it doesn't align with you. It can't be
Mia LaMotte 6:51
help us help should be like, love, unconditional, like, if you're going to help somebody help them, because you want to help them. Like you shouldn't have expectations, other than the expectations that are set out by the two of you. Right? Yeah. So when you when you figure that out, right, you figured out that that wasn't working for you? And you put some boundaries in place? Was it hard to stick to the boundaries? Was it hard to keep them out of your head? I'm sure. It was on repeat for some things like because I still hear my mom sometimes, even though she's not even around anymore, nor nor would I actually, like at this point, for business, even listen to what she had to say. Right, right. So for you, what did you decide? Or when did like, what was the? What was the point in your life where you were just like, You know what? I'm done. Like, whatever this is, it's got to stop, because it's causing me more pain than it's causing me. Or that is actually being helpful. Yeah,
it is a let's see, how do I put this? How do I put this? I realized that not even that I can just say no, but like, I don't, I don't have to put my energy into it. I can if they call in and they want to give their advice. I don't have to answer the phone, or I can hang up the phone. You know, it's I choose. I choose what what I put my energy into.
Mia LaMotte 8:26
I love that. So you're making conscious decisions about how you're going to interact?
Yep. Yeah. Because I know that I can't I know that in the space that I am in, because I'm still working on on specific areas, that with the boundaries, I won't be able to keep my boundaries while I'm growing, working on creating these artists secure and the boundaries, if I'm allowing this stuff to continue to happen. So.
Mia LaMotte 8:56
So did you feel like you had to cut some people off? Yeah, yeah, yeah. And audience like, this is one of the big things that I think a lot of us struggle with. Sometimes we have to let certain people go and have certain people not be a part of our lives, while we work on the construction of keeping them out, or keeping the noise out or keeping their opinions out or keeping their judgments out. Like sometimes you just have to separate yourself from that person. And that's okay. It doesn't mean that you don't care about him, it doesn't mean that they don't care about you. It just means that you care about yourself enough to have the boundaries as Lori said, and you know, stick to the boundaries because that's, that's a whole other good set of gifts that we get. Yes. Boundaries. Yeah. So let's talk about black ology for a little while and then we'll get into whatever you have going on. What's coming up for you. So Black ology started out when
Black ology started? Well, the name was created back in May of 2019. But the company actually started July of 2020, in the midst of the pandemic.
Mia LaMotte 10:09
So during the pandemic, you decided I'm gonna I'm gonna launch Coffee Company.
Yeah, I lost my job as a chef and was forced to sit still, which I don't do well still sit with myself and figure out why. Yeah, yeah. And I made a spiritual connection that I had long left behind. And I mean, my Creator. God actually brought the idea to me in my sleep. And it was like, it all came together in a week. From there. It was already in my head, but how?
Mia LaMotte 10:48
Well the house showed up. The house showed up. So how did you do it?
I started with a five pound bag of coffee. And I was talking to my friends. But I kind of realized after the fact, it started long before that, because in the corporate jobs that I had, I was the one different person who everybody came to my desk for whatever I had, I had a Keurig on my desk, I had a variety of K cups. I had a snack cabinet, like I had a little side hustle going on at work. But I was educating people on coffee at that time. It wasn't it wasn't always Starbucks coffee was different brands, different types. But people came and they're like, Okay, like, I'm not really sleepy. But I want something that tastes good. Like I'm making these recommendations as we're going along. So when I launched providing samples to people was how, like, that's how it's been going. You can't, somebody is not going to buy something to consume if they can't taste it. Yeah. I mean, that's reality of it.
Mia LaMotte 11:52
So you took your love of building relationships, hanging out, hustling, as you called it, and your love of coffee? And you brought that to black algae Coffee Company? Yes, yeah. And you did this online, in the middle of a pandemic? And so you sold coffee directly to the consumer guess? Correct? Yeah. And then you have. So the business has grown from that to what are you doing now?
So right now, we're still selling coffee online. But we've expanded it to Canada and the UK, since there was a lot of interest peeking over there. And a lot of stores have reached out. So I have purposely been slow in the process of vetting each store to figure out if it's somewhere that I want my products to be. You know, it's funny, because the there are people in my ear, like you should be moving faster. You should be jumping on this, you should be doing, like, No, I shouldn't be doing anything other than what I'm doing right now.
Mia LaMotte 12:57
Oh, my God, Lori, that is so good. Like, let's, let's pause for a moment and talk about that. Like you're actually living into, like, you're trusting yourself to know like, No, I'm moving at the right pace. It doesn't need to go faster, even if faster means more success, or more money or more something that you think you need. You're like, no, I need to sit with this. I need to, I need to make sure this is right for me. And, and like what made you decide that this is what you need to be doing right now?
It was there. So from from the beginning of January, so actually New Year's Eve up until a couple of weeks ago, there has been this fog that I've been in. So I haven't there wasn't a vision board. There wasn't like this list of goals. There was this weird energy and mercury and Mercury Retrograde maybe. But there was this weird energy that like really made me sit still. And what when I finally got to the point where I could sit still, that's when the wheels started turning. And that's when like emails just started flooding in about people wanting to carry products, corporations reaching out wanting to purchase coffee for their offices, and things like that. So I'm like, Well, again, maybe maybe it was sitting still in that meditative space. And also starting to do these affirmation cards that I do on my my Instagram page, providing myself and others with inspiration that that made that possible.
Mia LaMotte 14:29
We're gonna give you the Instagram link people so don't get all hung up. We're gonna make sure that you guys have her Instagram link if you don't have it already. But so you decided to actually take some time for yourself. Yes. Meditate. Do affirmation. Sounds like there's some prayer going on. So it sounds like you have like a morning routine. daily routine. Yeah,
it's it's steadily changing. I actually We just joined the gym, I'm trying to trying to get my my priorities in check with, with within a budget. But I know that I really truly have learned from a lot of instances from last year and this year that if I am not okay, then nothing else is okay.
Mia LaMotte 15:18
Right. Right. And being able to take care of yourself and sounds like the practices that you're putting in place, or that you have in place already is part of that. But you know that, okay, I need to take care of this physical part of me too. And then what are you doing to nurture the rest of your soul with your creative nature? Because I know you create a lot of stuff, because you mentioned being a chef and a baker. So talk about a little bit about that, too.
Yeah, so I'm actually working with my circle of friends has kind of dwindled down. But there's one friend in particular, where we are now working hand in hand to support each other and each other's businesses, but also working on a podcast, where we are talking about what it is to build and become a high value woman.
Mia LaMotte 16:04
I love that. Love that. So when are you guys gonna launch? When is it gonna happen?
We haven't figured out the date the date just yet, or the or the location, we're still ironing out the details on that. But yeah, it's, it's something that we want to, we want to like kind of incorporate a spiritual aspect of it as well. So it's not just, you know, point, point, point, point point. We also want to, like teach you how to manifest like you, you've taught me how to manifest like, I truly, like in the morning, when I go when I go live, or don't go live. And I take my breathing exercise, and I read this card, like I truly believe what is on this card. So giving people that give that energy because I mean, we have to share it with share the knowledge.
Mia LaMotte 16:56
Absolutely. Like, I mean, all of this knowledge is out there for anybody to go look for. It's it's really about finding the person that's going to deliver it to you in a way that you understand it. Right? And then being open to doing the things because it sounds like you've taken a lot of the stuff that we've talked about and put them into practice, right? Yeah. Being willing to do the things in order to have the stuff that you say that you want to have. A lot of us will will get coaching our role will be a part of a program or we'll get a lesson from someone, and we'll just sit on it. We'll just sit on it instead of going and actually doing the thing that's going to take us to where we want to go. Because we're afraid of where we're going, or we're afraid of actually doing the work. That's fact
Unknown Speaker 17:39
has held me back time and time
Mia LaMotte 17:43
again. But yeah. And are you saying like as a woman of worth? Because I think that's what is that the new podcast?
Well, yeah, well, we haven't titled it. But that's for something like
Mia LaMotte 17:55
that. Do you? Do you feel like you finally understand that your value doesn't come from anything? Other than you? Yeah. Yeah. That's awesome. That's awesome. So the cars that you're talking about, are those going to be part of your thing? Or is that somebody else's manifestation cars are?
So these actually got these from flourish market, but I am working on my own. I've been on Pinterest, finding things that align with me in areas that I want to improve and create my own deck. Yeah, these are these are in this moment cards.
Mia LaMotte 18:32
Tell us about them in this moment card in this moment cards.
Yeah. So in this moment, they sell these at the florist market downtown Raleigh. This is a woman owned company that of course the lighting is off in this moment. Yeah, we can see him. Um, basically I mean, it's it's all different things. So like, like the cards for today. I find comfort in the discomfort otherwise I would have never moved.
Mia LaMotte 18:57
That's so true.
I don't have to prove anything. I choose being me for me.
Mia LaMotte 19:04
Love those. Those are amazing. But they're all got me spending money today.
Unknown Speaker 19:11
Mia LaMotte 19:12
Yes, yes. So anything so what was the biggest lesson for you as an entrepreneur? What would you say your biggest lesson has been
the biggest lesson has been being true to myself like Be true to yourself and boundaries like boundary boundary ban. There's there's one word that I hated in life growing up and that was potential and yes, boundaries, but boundaries are so necessary. I hear the word all the time, but it's so necessary. setting boundaries like like even right now, in this moment, I'm sure you guys are knocking on the door. The kids gotta have some boundaries, right? Because when the doors closed, you don't come in but but having the boundaries sticking to them. That's the That's the biggest, that's been the biggest changes my, my answer to that question always changes. But more recently, it's been foundries
Mia LaMotte 20:09
you have a dog scratching at my door that I could totally ignore. But kids think that they come first all the time. And their emergency is your priority. And sometimes it's not. Right. Yeah. Yeah. So, so that you can attend to your children. That's going on. How did you how did you discover? To be true to yourself? Like, I believe that a lot of women, especially women of color, like we have been taught not to be ourselves. How did you get back to what is true for you?
So how do I, I don't even I don't even know that I want to sugarcoat it. I think I just want to,
Mia LaMotte 20:58
you know, we don't sugarcoat here. Like,
I got tired of being treated like shit enough to really stand up for myself. And it's always things that go on, you know, in the silence, but I literally had my breaking moment last year, towards the end of the year, where I was like, I will not be treated like shit anymore.
Mia LaMotte 21:23
Yeah. And how do you know you've been treated like shit?
The way I feel if I feel small, if I don't feel confident, if I don't feel like a badass bitch that I am. That's, that's not it. You got to go. If you're not giving me the if you're not giving me the energy or the love that I deserve, and I start to feel small, then that's a boundary that you cannot cross with me. Because no, no, I gotta protect me.
Mia LaMotte 21:51
Oh, my God, this so good. That is so good. Because I believe that a lot of us have been we got it backwards, right? We think that our validation comes from someone outside of ourselves. And when we realize that, if something feels like shit, or someone or something makes us feel bad, like we get to check in to see okay, well, is this an area I need improvement on? Or is this their stuff? Right? We get to check in with ourselves about that. But it sounds like for you, you realized that it wasn't you. It was them? And they had to go? Yep. Yeah. Yeah. Good for you. Very different from the conversations where you absolutely because I mean, I don't even this is this is new information to me, right. We haven't talked about this kind of stuff since I think we talked in the fall. So we haven't really talked about this. But this is this is a new, this is a new version of you. Right? It's you actually living into the person that you came here to be. And that's what we're all here for. That's what that's what that's what building a brand is all about. It's all about becoming the person that you came here to be. Period. Okay. Anything else you want to let the let the fans because Dave was talking about she's a fan. The audience know about any promotions, you have coming up black ology coffee, your catering, like, I know you do a lot of stuff. So is there anything that you want to tell the audience?
So at the present moment, we are in black history month. So if you go to the website, you will receive 10% off automatically in your shopping cart when you purchase any of our African based coffees, or actually pretty much all of them, if I'm being quite frank, anything that has a black business name, the disruptor in recognition of myeloma, the disrupter, that one is also 10% off. That is, that is one that a lot of people really like and you know, they really talk about I encourage you to try it. It's a little sweet with a little smoky just something like ooh, like 3030 off your game a little bit. But you can visit the website at WWW dot black dash ology, o l gy.org. We now have equipment available for purchase, we have apparel, we have sneakers, all kinds of stuff up there, as well as the coffee. And then on our social media platforms. You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Tiktok at Black ology Coffee Company, as well as me on my personal page on Instagram at Lori a Jones 85.
Mia LaMotte 24:36
She's everywhere. Yeah, she's everywhere. So we have the Instagram, I believe is what we're gonna share with you guys. And then you can find her in all the places that she just mentioned, and we'll put this in show notes on the on the podcast. Lori, thank you for coming. Absolutely. I guess I guess you'll attend to that child that's knocking on the door or not. Maybe you'll sit in meditation or do something else. Let's go and stick around and watch the last watch Cynthia when she comes up so thank you for being here thank you so much yes yes
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