How Private Equity Has Helped Black Rock Coffee Adapt and Meet the Challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – Today, the American Investment Council (AIC) released the fourth video in a new series of interviews conducted by Hill TV examining how private equity investments are supporting businesses and workers across America. Today’s video features Jeff Hernandez, the CEO of Black Rock Coffee. Hernandez discussed how Black Rock Coffee’s recent partnership with The Riverside Company has helped the business adapt and survive the difficulties caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic:

By far the biggest thing our private equity partner did for us was not abandoning us,” said Black Rock Coffee CEO Jeff Hernandez. “[Private equity] stuck with us. They saw through the madness and chaos of everything going on in the world. They saw that connection our customers have to our brand and our baristas was almost unshakeable and they followed through and made that investment. They gave us some great shortcuts in the long run of how to adapt to this massive change in our industry rather quickly.

Black Rock Coffee operates more than 70 locations in seven western states, including California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. Hernandez also discussed how private equity has helped Black Rock grow at more than 20 percent annually and compete against more established coffee chains:

We don’t have that wide-ranging experience that’s sometimes needed for the decisions to be made at this scale,” Hernandez continued. “It’s been incredibly helpful to know that I have someone else in my corner. I can call up the Riverside team anytime and know that they’ve got advice for me. If they don’t have it, they can connect me with an expert in the field and I can get the answers that I need.”

Hernandez’s interview with The Hill is the fourth in a new series of videos featuring the leaders of private equity-backed businesses who discuss how private equity has played a crucial role supporting their companies grow and hire new workers.

Click here to watch the first interview in this series with Minnesota-based Victory Innovations CEO Chris Gurreri.

Click here to watch the second interview with Ingersoll Rand CEO Vicente Reynal.

Click here to watch the third interview with Truck Hero CEO Bill Reminder.