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Category: Stories of EVOKE

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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Proof that it was more than just coffee

Whew… take a breath. It was only mere minutes after writing a bit about my cousin’s dad -a giant in the Oklahoma City Metro hospitality world – passing away that I got more hard news. I want you to meet Harry and Carol. They mean the absolute world to me and have been a fixture around EVOKE since basically the first day we opened in Downtown Edmond back in 2012. They were the sort of special guests that I could have only dreamed of for our little coffee company. They took care of our staff, knew our staff, kept up…

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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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The tunes that made it all happen.

I think it was 2005. My wife Jenni and I had been working hard on the business plan for EVOKE. What was clear was that we needed to learn… alot.. about coffee. So, we loaded up and headed to Portland for a week at the American Barista and Coffee School (This would actually be a great stand alone post so I will talk WAY MORE on this in the coming days!). This was my first time in Portland. My first time to really engage with the national coffee scene. So many firsts! But, this post isn’t about business planning or…

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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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It Was A Sing (And Sip) Along: Carols + Cocktails

One of the things I liked best during my EVOKE Days were the events. I am going to give space on this blog for each event to have it’s time to shine but we did them as often as we thought we could pull them off. Sometimes. they became “annual” and those always were the best. Carols and Cocktails We dreamed up this evening that we could have our friend bring her guitar and get everyone together to sing, drink, and… well, be merry! The first time we did this was in 2017 and we invited our pal Sherree Chamberlain…

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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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