Title: Co-Owner, Chief Listening Officer
Company: Black & White Coffee Roasters
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Lem R. Butler, co-owner and Chief Listening Officer at Black & White Coffee Roasters, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Business Owners for dedication, achievements, and leadership in coffee roasting and entrepreneurship.
After winning his first Southeast Barista Championship in 2005, Mr. Butler was impressed by the scope of the coffee industry and began to develop an interest in starting his own business. He began his career at Counter Culture Coffee, a café and a coffee roastery, handling everything from bagging coffee in production to consulting, education, wholesale operations, and customer support, and found his passion in customer care and outreach. He went on to win the Southeast Barista Championship again in 2007, 2010, and 2012. After being the first black barista to win the national barista competition and representing the U.S. in the world barista competition in Dublin, Ireland in 2016, he knew it was time to turn his dreams into reality.
Since 2017, Mr. Butler has been the chief listening officer of Black & White Coffee Roasters in North Carolina and an educator for the Barista Camp China & Japan. Using his company for civic good, he donated $5,000 to help farmers in Ethiopia to build a school in 2020 and hosted a virtual competition that raised $1,500 for Grounds for Help. Looking toward the future, Mr. Butler hopes to use Black & White Coffee Roasters to support coffee professionals across the industry and become one of the top coffee roasting companies in the U.S. Mr. Butler is backed by a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1999 and currently maintains membership with the Barista Guild of America and Specialty Coffee Association.
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