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Category: Coffee

You are 9. Happy Birthday

The first weekend in May will always be special. Not only does my dad turn a year older, it also is the weekend we opened EVOKE. May 1st, 2012. That was the day that felt like the beginning and the end and the in between all at the same time. That’s strange, I know. But it is true. May 1st, 2012 ended the long planning process (you know, that 10 or so years of dreaming I’ve talked about before). It started the next phase of my coffee life and a time for which I had no idea what was coming.…

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Uptown Espresso and that Velvet Foam.

Coffee post for you on this Friday! I bet you thought I did not write about coffee these days after the past few weeks. Sorry – coffee still is all over my brain and this morning it smacked me upside the head as I walked out on the sidewalk around 6:30a. It never fails. When my feet hit the pavement in the early hours of a crisp, wet day, my mind ends up at Uptown Espresso – a long time Seattle coffee staple . that I guess is now owned by Fonte Coffee Roasters (that was news to me –…

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Just something pretty to hold your coffee

In 2019, we set out to do something we hadn’t done since we opened.. That was to get away from the rubber stamp on each take away cup and into something that would be a HUGE statement on the sidewalk as people left the shop. I loved this project and I think Scott Hill did an incredible job bringing it to life. A Little History – Cool? In 2011, we had this idea with our first NotNeutral order to have each size of cup (espresso, capp, latte, mug) all carry a different colored logo out of our brand deck. I…

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It wasn’t surprising. I had seen it before.

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” —Eleanor Roosevelt. I am a dreamer. stubborn one at that. A visionary of sorts I guess. When I get something in my mind, it consumes me and I want to see it happen. I know it can be done. No matter how many steps I have to take to get there. I often wonder what other people are thinking about and feeling in their heads before their “huge thing” happens. What is the night before like? What is that thing they are visioning before they sleep? Are…

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This Is Oklahoma: Jason Duncan

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to sit down and chat with Mike Hearne on his This Is Oklahoma podcast. This podcast is dedicated to telling the stories of the people of Oklahoma. This podcast is full of the stories of the people who embody the spirit of Oklahoma. Hosted by Mike Hearne During this hour long conversation, we talked about coffee, business, music, art, and community. You can watch the video below or check out the audio version tonight on your way to sleep. Thanks to Mike for having me on the podcast. I enjoyed the conversation…

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Take it. We’ll Just Come Back Stronger Than Ever.

I talk to a lot of people about EVOKE, it’s story, and why we did it. How did it all happen? What did I learn? What successes did I achieve along the way? What hard things did I overcome? What advice do I have? So many questions! Which, turns out, I really enjoy answering. There is one thing that I sometimes forget and, today, was thinking how relevant it was to what EVOKE ended up becoming. Looking back, it was a blip on the radar of the EVOKE journey – maybe not even a chapter. But, at the time, it…

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It Was Free: And it Happened Every Monday

Lots of coffee flowed through our shared studio space in the Plaza District during those early days. The T-Shirt Mafia showed up. Business owners showed up. Friends old and new showed up. It was just a time to hang, sip, and shoot the shit really. I honestly can’t remember why we started this thing or how we came up with the idea but it stuck and for a decently long season, was a weekly community buzz event that was seeing 50-100 people show up. Crazy. What was it? Free Coffee Monday. I know I know… creative. It was – I…

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Looking Back And Smiling.

It was 2012 and a day I never thought would actually happen. My wife Jenni and I had worked for SO MANY YEARS to create this space we called EVOKE. It was going to be a place for coffee. For people. For friends. For life. As we were building out our location in Downtown Edmond, we had some friends film some of the details. I would have said things different today but that is how life goes. You grow. You learn. You appreciate far more than you ever knew you could. It was a dream time for us and EVOKE…

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Preview Day: April 28th, 2012

It had been YEARS in the making – really. Draft after draft of our business plan. Meeting after meeting with mentors and friends and advisors. Denial and denial with bank and SBA on loans. We got knocked down. We got up. We worked on this dream day in and day out. Everyday. For years. It was late April and we were behind our target open date – as you would expect. We had to get opened and we had to do it ASAP. I was in Reno, NV helping my pals at Old World Coffee launch their new coffee catering…

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