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Keeping it Local in Oklahoma.

What is Keep it Local OK?

I think it was 2008.. maybe 2009? It was a time in Oklahoma City that mimicked spring. You could feel that something was ahead.. that good things were coming.. growth was inevitable..

We were operating EVOKE in the Plaza District – in a studio we shared with great friends Lindsey Gibson and Josh McCullock we called 1708. It was early and the survival tactic at the time for small businesses like ours was to collaborate and work together to help spread the word on what was good and what was coming.

Keep it Local OK

Cafe Evoke Feature

My good friends Chris and Bryce came to me one day and told me about this idea they had to rally around small and local businesses to help increase sales and publicity. They wanted to do a card that people would buy (member business would sell them) which would then put them in a club of sorts to get inside deals at local businesses – a special offering from each business only available to Keep it Local card holders. They wanted to start this in Oklahoma City and then see how far and wide it would reach.

They wanted to have an app and website that would allow customers to search for and find exactly what they wanted for dinner, for that gift they needed or for services. Seemed like an awesome idea to me.

So, Cafe Evoke Catering jumped on board as the first business member of Keep it Local OK and man did that program spread like wildfire.

So many businesses joined and it became a narrative at the counter..

“Do you take Keep it Local??”

Many companies did 10% off (which I ALWAYS thought was crazy boring) but others did crazy cool stuff. My favorite? The FREE flatbread from The Wedge. DAMN!

EVOKE was a member for years and years and we did so many things together to help spread the word on Oklahoma City’s best businesses. It felt like the glory days in Oklahoma City when anything seemed possible. You woke up fighting to prove that what you had to offer was worth it.

From concerts to dinners to shopping events – the guys at Keep it Local were on the front lines each and every day to help us all grow into what has become some of the City’s most cherished spots.

What is your Keep it Local story? Your favorite deal?

This program is still alive today and, damn… what an effort.

2 Comments

  1. Marcy Boudreaux-Johnson Marcy Boudreaux-Johnson

    When we moved here in 2015, we soon bought a keep it local card to guide us to visit local establishments. Not knowing anyone, it was a fabulous way to insure you were supporting the community and getting incentives while doing it. We found many of our “faves” because of the Keep it Local card.

    • That is awesome to hear! That was exactly what Chris and Bryce set out to provide – that key connection and introduction between the great things happening in Oklahoma and those looking for their favorite new spots.

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