For the Love of Coffee – A Conversation with Lori Jones, founder of Blackology Coffee Company

Written by Rinnie Orr, Associate Director

Rinnie: Hey Lori. It’s so good to talk with you. Thank you for agreeing to do this interview. I want people to get to know our WEBB Squared entrepreneurs and I’m also excited to get to know you better.

Lori: Thank you.

Rinnie: Let’s start with the basics – who are you? What do you care most about? What are you most passion about?

Lori: So…who am I?

I’m a mom. I am a creative. I am a hard worker in anything that I do.

Also, I am really, really focusing my life on giving the love that I desire to receive and return – I want to leave people better than I found them.

Rinnie: I love that answer. Tell me about Black-ology Coffee Company. How did that come about?

Lori: For about five years now, I have been obsessed with coffee, and also the culinary world. So taking my love for coffee and the love for culinary – I put the two together to find and create flavors that I prefer. I like my coffee on the darker side of things – less acidic yet still packed with flavor.

I felt like I was giving Starbucks a lot of my money. I just felt like there were things that I could do differently, or do better, to meet my needs.

Rinnie: If I wake up tomorrow, and say “Hey I want some Black-ology this morning” where do I go to find your coffee?”

Right now, Cha House Raleigh on Hillsborough street uses our beans for their espresso, for all their coffee drinks, as well as their cold brew. A Place at the Table downtown Raleigh serves our cold brew full time.

If you follow us on our Instagram or Facebook at Black-ology Coffee Company, you’ll find out about different events where we’ll be. That’s another way that you can get it.

Rinnie: I plan to buy a couple bags at our WEBB Squared event on October 23. I can’t wait to try it. And I would rather support you, since you are in our network, than to buy coffee at the grocery store.

Thanks, I know where to go now.

Lori: Yes, and we primarily sell online.

Rinnie: What are some of your biggest challenges as an entrepreneur?

Lori: The biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is constantly having to pivot. Pivoting is an ongoing, constant, uphill battle. It’s important to have an open mind as an entrepreneur – you may have to shift and change at any given moment.

Rinnie: Do you feel comfortable sharing a time you had to pivot and change direction?

Lore: Yeah…we had a little coffee shop set up inside of the Black Farmers Hub last year, and when things with COVID were getting more intense, we decided to pivot to an online platform – coming up with creative ways, like pop up shops, to serve our community and our customers.

Rinnie: Okay, COVID was the world’s biggest pivot. Everybody had to like change directions in one way or another.

The biggest challenge as an entrepreneur is constantly having to pivot. Pivoting is an ongoing, constant, uphill battle. It’s important to have an open mind as an entrepreneur – you may have to shift and change at any given moment.

~Lori Jones, Founder of the Black-ology Coffee Company

What are your current aspirations and dreams for yourself and for Black-ology? What would you like to see happen?

Lori: As far as my personal vision is concerned, financial freedom is at the forefront – creating a debt free life – as well as creating savings for my children. From a business perspective, I’m actually hoping that by the beginning of next year, we can get a coffee trailer, so that pop-up shops are a little easier. Also, we’ll be gearing up for a coffee shop to open February 2023.

Rinnie: Where can we find you on social media?

Facebook and Instagram is @Blackology Coffee Company?

Rinnie: Where do you find inspiration?

My primary go-to for inspiration – when I really feel stuck – is to go outside in nature in my garden, which I’ve been neglecting a little bit lately. The other is actually a TV show called Queen Sugar – it’s about making the right business decisions, wrong business decisions and overcoming those obstacles. That’s that’s a big one for me.

Rinnie: Okay. I like to wrap up with some quick rapid fire question and response. You don’t have to think too much about the answers.

Lori: Okay.

Rinnie: What is your favorite day of the week?

Lori: Saturday.

Rinnie: Where’s your next vacation?

Lori: Gatlinburg.

Rinnie: Oh, nice. I like Gatlinburg. I’ve been there. Do you listen to podcasts?

Lori: I do. I have a favorite – the Robin Sharma Podcast.

Rinnie: What is your superpower?

Lori: Being able to pivot.

Rinnie: Andy Warhol said that everybody will have their 15 minutes of fame. What are you going to do with your 15 minutes?

Lori: Give back.

Rinnie: If you were to get a fortune cookie, what would you want the fortune to say?

Lori: I won the lottery.

Rinnie: That’s a good one. Do you have a catchphrase?

Lori: The Black-ology Mission “cultivating a love of black coffee.”

Rinnie: That sounds good to me.

That’s a wrap. I appreciate that you are a part of WEBB Squared and our entrepreneurial network. We appreciate you and look forward to meeting you in person on the 23rd.

Thank you. See you soon!

Lori: Thank you much. All right.

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