Iowa Board of Regents

UNI graduate making impact one cup of coffee at a time

A cup of coffee in the morning is a daily ritual for millions of America, but for University of Northern Iowa alumnus Pernell Cezar, it’s something more.

For Cezar, that cup of coffee is a vessel to fulfill his ambition to support underserved communities, equip youths to succeed and blaze a trail for the next generation of Black business owners. In just two years, he’s gone from a first-generation college student at UNI to the co-owner of the first nationally-accessible, Black-owned retail coffee brand. His company received national media attention, shelf space in more than 350 Target stores nationwide and celebrity social media shout-outs, including from a member of Destiny’s Child. 

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