Princeton’s only female Black cop launches ‘BLM’ coffee company
Princeton's only Black female police officer has created her own coffee line that's designed to bring awareness to racism and break down barriers that have existed for far too long for people of color.
South Brunswick resident Toni Mitchell is the founder of BLM Brew Co. — the BLM stands for "Black, liberated, motivated." She's currently selling online only, but hopes to one day open shops in cities like Trenton and Newark.
Working 12-hour shifts as a cop for the past six years, and being the mother of two busy daughters, Mitchell says she's wasted too much money on bad coffee — this new venture, she says, delivers people a high-end product and a much-needed message.
"The way we've been treated and looked down upon, it's just not fair," Mitchell told New Jersey 101.5. "People saw me as brown and they expected me to have all these negative traits."
Mitchell, who grew up in a predominantly white community in Essex County, says she doesn't want any children today dealing with the same conversations and attitudes she had to endure as a child.
Mitchell, 34, supports the actual Black Lives Matter movement but says her message with BLM Brew Co. doesn't focus on violence or police brutality towards people of color — she's "happy to have those conversations" with people who want them, though, she noted.
The name of each of the brews sold by Mitchell comes from the language spoken in the country where the beans were sourced — her t' ik' uri (Black) coffee originated in Ethiopia, for example, and the Moreno (brown) coffee comes from Costa Rica.
Customers can also find motivational apparel for sale on Mitchell's website. "Drink Coffee & Don't Be Racist" is among a list of sayings found on her products.
"Too much time has been wasted in regards to race and everything that's going on in this country," Mitchell said.
The BLM Brew Co. website launched on Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.