Interview shorts with the founders behind some of our favorite brands.
ÁM: What makes your brand and products special?
Justin Doggett (JD): Kyoto Black is the oldest existing company in America that focuses on Kyoto style cold brew coffee. It seems like the cold brew craze has been around forever but, it’s only been at this level since 2017. I started Kyoto Black in 2015, and even now, all the coffee is made by myself, or my younger brother, in small, artisanal batches. And the coffee is really tasty, if I may say so.
ÁM: What motivates you?
JD: I’m motivated by all the die-hard fans I’ve been blessed with over the years; their excitement and positivity give me that extra gas I need to power through the tough times.
ÁM: Are there unique challenges or triumphs to being a Black business owner?
JD: Fortunately, the people around me just treat me like I’m one of them, so I can’t recall anything that stands out, in particular.
ÁM: Top three traits an entrepreneur should have?
JD: You have to be resourceful if you’re going to make it anywhere. Aside from that I’d say it’s important to be optimistically pragmatic and know how to forgive yourself without making excuses for yourself.
ÁM: How do you define success?
JD: Knowing what you really want, getting it, and being able to enjoy it in the present moment; then doing that process with something else.
ÁM: Advice for other aspiring Black entrepreneurs?
JD: Stay Black!
Street smarts or book smarts? Street
Careful planning or chance and luck? The better you plan, the luckier you tend to be.