Prior to the pandemic, Lori Jones was the head chef for a sorority at the University of North Carolina. However, when the pandemic became widespread and affected businesses and the purchasing power of people, Jones was one among several people who were laid off.
After losing her job, Jones set in motion to operationalize her vision of creating a coffee company. “I’ve always loved coffee and I’ve always wanted to start my own coffee company and create my own flavor profiles,” Jones said, according to Daily Coffee News.
She started Black-ology Coffee Company in June last year. According to her, “Black-ology is the study of black coffee, so providing education on how to enjoy a good cup of coffee– black coffee.”
The business is still in its infancy but Jones is hoping to move into brick and mortar stores soon. She told Daily Coffee News last June that she is operating out of her own kitchen, which is filled with coffee grinders, brewing equipment, and coffee ready to be bagged, packed, and shipped.
She also holds live online tutorials and informational sessions to draw more coffee drinkers into the joys of pure black coffee, she said.
“I knew Blackology was going to be the name of the company. It embodies who I am and what I do,” said Jones. “But also, you know, it’s the study of black coffee, so [it’s about] providing education on how to enjoy a good cup of black coffee.”
This is not the first time Jones has attempted to start a coffee under the Blackology name. Her first attempt ended in an unpleasant way after making a large order from a toll roaster in Florida which never came. “The roaster just took my money and disappeared. I never received the coffee,” Jones said. “So I sort of gave up for a little bit.”
After some months, Jones linked up with a fellow North Carolina coffee professional, Chris McAuley of getchusomegear, an organization that gives donated coffee gear to baristas from marginalized communities.
“They’ve been super supportive of my business from the start,” Jones said of getchusomegear. “It’s truly an amazing organization and it’s been a rewarding and humbling experience.”
Jones bounced back to successfully launch her coffee company and she is now exploring ways to raise grants and business loans to expand her business.