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Bold & Gritty coffee looks to make great brews and tell great stories about Black men


Dr. David Paul is one of a handful of finalists in a nationwide small business contest.

A senior neurosurgery resident at the University of Rochester Medical Center, Paul began a new coffee business last fall called Bold & Gritty, which is about more than just a strong brew. Paul says he wants to tell the stories of Black men who have persevered against all odds to achieve their wildest dreams and visions.

"For the African American men that we highlight, it's healing. It's healing to be recognized by your own community by others," Paul says.  "It's just a way to elevate our culture and share. Like I said, the stories that people may not have even heard of, you don't have to be a celebrity to be bowling gritty, you just have to sort of be doing your daily grind, no pun intended, and making a difference in your community.

"What you hear in the media now is that, you know, African American men are getting disproportionately killed in the hands of police. You hear about crime, you hear about, individuals going to prison, dying early. That's not really everyone's story. That's not all of our stories. And I think that we as a group of individuals, we have to take ownership of our history."

Credit WXXI/Zoom interview
Dr. David Paul, founder of Bold & Gritty, during a recent interview with WXXI News

Bold and Gritty's coffee comes in packages that highlight stories of Black Men between the ages of 18 and 40.

Paul is one of five finalists in the UPS Store Small Biz Challenge; the final part of the competition is on Thursday, July 29.  At stake is a chance to win up to $25,000 and a feature in Inc. magazine. 

Paul says if he takes the top prize, it will help Bold & Gritty reach more people.

"We really want to advance the way that we're able to tell stories and do it in different ways and in different mediums, and we want to make coffee accessible to everyone," Paul says. "One of the things that we're really thinking about is sort of a single serve, kind of option for people that's easy, that's accessible, where the packaging really highlights our ability to do storytelling."

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.