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Category: Stories of EVOKE

The symphony of coffee.

There is something special about coffee. Look around your local coffee spot and you’ll see what I mean. They are vibrant, energized, and unavoidable for most people. But there is something more and as I keep reflecting back on my time in the cafe each day, it is yet another thing that can’t be replaced. We are all a part of it and, to me, it is something that makes the entire cafe experience work. You may not even realize it but you’d miss it if is wasn’t there. It’s the symphony of coffee. Take this journey with me. Each…

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This is a long story.. I’ll keep it brief.

I would say one of THE MOST asked questions when I sit down to talk coffee, business, etc… with other is this: How did you get into coffee? The answer? I have no clue. No, really. I think I have written before that I really backed into coffee more than blazed some known path from college to coffee shop. I was a music guy (well, more like someone that liked to host, plan, promote and manage music) and this was the day of the “Daily Buzz, Java, Grind” sort of shops. You know.. the ones with the little stage for…

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Babylon, Belmont, and the banner years that followed.

Hey friends. It’s been awhile. There are lots of reasons that words seem to evade me these days but that’s another time and another post probably for an entirely different blog. Before you read further, will you take 4 minutes and 29 seconds to watch David Gray sing? (Yes I know… it’s a Howard Stern clip. (As an aside) He has THE BEST music guests and quality on the internet right now. Prove me wrong.) You watch it? That song was off David Gray’s 1998 album White Ladder. It was then re-released a few years later which gets us to…

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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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