Justin and Derek
Justin: CEO/ Founder
Founded BLQK Coffee when he decided it was "our turn to give back". We are here to do our part. Our mission is to spread joy and inspire service through our coffee and a dedication to giving back.
We are dedicated to donating 10% of our profits to charity or directly investing in our communities.
The best way to support our mission is to subscribe to one of our coffee subscriptions and spread the word to your fellow coffee lovers. We are grateful for your support.
Built for service, Chief Operating Officer Derek Norman thrives in person-to-person conversations and embraces diversity at every turn. Customer service is more than just a phrase to Norman, it’s an action. He finds joy in helping others become their definition of successful.
Watson and Norman met during early high school years, then both eventually attended the Finance Academy (John Muir High School , Pasadena), and a brotherhood was immediately formed. Both attended San Diego State University on football scholarships.
Having over 3 decades of support in each other's professional and personal lives, it continues. Together , their life long missions have been to become the bridges to several communities. When Watson told Norman about his idea for BLQK Coffee, Norman jumped at the opportunity to assist/invest. Norman has been behind BLQK Coffee’s mission since its inception and recently amped up his support by becoming a partner and COO. “I had people in my life at an early age who felt the need to invest in me. So, I, in turn, developed the desire to do the same.”
Norman not only believed in his brother’s mission of helping children and bringing awareness to the needs of marginalized communities, he believes in the product as well. He enjoys the taste and is confident you will, too.
BLQK Coffee was born out of a desire to do good and feel
good at the same time. Founded using energy from the 2020 George Floyd protests, and all the other social concerns of that year, we came to the conclusion "if not us, then who? If not now, then when? If not here, then where?"
We wanted to do our part to make the world a better place for our children and all future generations.
Initially, we contracted several marketing agencies to help
us craft a refined, “clean” message that we thought would help “connect with our target audience.” We missed the mark.
That didn't resonate , because sometimes you have to organically
learn, and learning things organically is an opportunity to learn thoroughly.
So, what are we all about? Well, our founder, former NFL
player & Rams Superbowl champ, Justin Watson, literally will not stop talking about spreading joy and living joyfully. “Never let anyone steal your joy” is his motto - like it’s in his Instagram bio.
That’s what we’re all about here at BLQK. Being an active
member in your community, doing your best to help others, taking care of your
family (and for us, family is more than just our immediate families, although we pride ourselves on taking care of them nonetheless) and just generally doing our part to give back, while trying to live as fulfilling and joyful lives as possible ourselves.
We want to inspire a more joyful future for those who think they have none at all. We understand what that can feel like. We also know that life can and should be joy, at least some of the time. We knew to foster that joy we had to serve. That's it.
To put in more poetically, we defer to this quote.
"I slept and dreamt that life was joy. I awoke and saw
that life was service. I acted and behold, service was joy.”
- Rabindranath Tagore