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A Cup of Coffee…with Evelyn, Black Coffee’s Director of Operations

by Leslie Rose (CreActiv)

A Cup of Coffee is a new series inviting you to get to know our team, partners, and friends.

Evelyn gladly notes that she does whatever is needed to keep The Black Coffee Company running smoothly. While she has an extensive background in managing logistics, her passion for the work is rooted in supporting the brainchild of her former schoolmates and seeing the business and surrounding community flourish in tandem.

She met co-founders Jamin and Leonard in high school, later reconnecting with them when she became an early investor in the company. One day while checking her email, she noticed they were hiring for a warehouse position and decided to apply. Her resume, however, led her to another critical role, and she was offered the job of Director of Operations.

The Black Coffee Company experiences rapid growth, so Evelyn’s role is evolving. She operates in an all-hands-on-deck fashion while noting that her experiences will allow her to teach others and continue the growth cycle.

“The more I know, the more I can teach whoever is the new person. So, then I can continue to grow, learn new things, teach someone else what I've learned, and then move on,” she said.

Grab a cup of coffee and read about Evelyn’s operations strategy and methodology for The Black Coffee Company.

Building community As we have grown and evolved, the coffee shop has grown. I respond to every email and work to figure out how we might help a particular community with their request. Things like, what are we going to do to help the kids in the community as far as working, volunteering after your school, doing career day seminars on how to build businesses. I basically connect all those dots. Every day we're growing in, every day we're putting something else into the community.

Paving the way Everyone that works here also gets all the same networks as us. We're here to help you grow. We're here to help you with your business. We're here to show you how we did it—paving the way and helping you in your own personal life, including being here inside the coffee shop. Our employees get to work for other vendors. The Black Coffee Company is a family. We're going to help you grow.

Always Learning No matter how big we get, we're always learning, trying to improve, and we want others to learn from our mistakes. So, when we have employees that work for us and have their businesses, we always communicate with them like, OK, well, this is what you need to do. If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready. And we live by that. We do everything our way, then modify and refine it as we go.

Authenticity is important We want everyone to know that we started from the bottom, and now we're here. If someone comes in and if we make a mistake, we're human, we're learning, we're going to fix it, we're going to make it better. And we're going to teach everyone that is coming along with us. Like, hey, make sure when you're doing this, you think about this. So, it's not just about us learning, but it's about us teaching. And when you tell people the truth, and you're not trying to fake it to make it, people appreciate that more.

I’m motivated Supporting people that I grew up with and in the same environment that I grew up in is important to me because when we were young, the statistics were like, oh, they're never going to make it. Or it was harder for everyone in the hundreds to make it because all the odds were stacked against us. So, when I see them flourishing, having their own business, having their master's, doctorate, to me, it's motivating. And although that was almost 24 years ago, I'm still motivated. And how they come every single day motivated to run the company. What else can you ask for? So, I'm helping them, but they're helping me.

Evelyn facilitates hiring and onboarding and creates policy. She also manages inventory, vendors, and event scheduling and replies to every email, among all other items, as needed.

"CreActiv PR & Storytelling is a boutique communications firm founded by journalist and comms strategist Leslie D. Rose. The firm specializes in writing, consulting, storytelling, and creative activism initiatives/education tools. Leslie shares consultancy responsibilities with multi-genre writer, strategist, and organizer Donney Rose."

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