I'm rebuilding this site right now. So a lot of things may look broken. But what better motivation for me to finish it?

Stay OK 1: Coffee Shop

This is the start of a series for me: Stay OK. These posts will be reasons why I want to or why I don’t want to stay in Oklahoma after I graduate college. I’ve got a few semi-options right now that would take me around the country:

  • Go to Chicago with my friend Britt, who is going to seminary at Wheaton.
  • Go to California with my roommate Sean, who will be trying to get a sports media internship with a college out there.
  • Go to Denver or Boulder, because I’ve wanted to go there forever.
  • Tour South America with Ted Bado, of Scroundsbags.com.
  • Stay in Oklahoma.

So what possible reason could I have for sticking around Oklahoma? I’ve been asking myself that question for a few years now, as I’ve planned my escape through the above avenues. Just recently, I’ve come up with a couple reasons to stick around.

[images from old posts got lost when I switched servers 🙁 I’ll try to get them back soon]


A few months ago I was complaining to my dad about the lack of places in Edmond open past 10pm. It’s either IHOP, Denny’s or driving to OKC to find a cool place. Edmond is a ghost town at night. There are two colleges and more than four high schools in Edmond! Why would the town be so dead? So these kids just go to Starbucks until they close and then go home and drink? It’s disturbing to me that there isn’t a cool, open-late, coffee shop in Edmond. So I feel the responsibility to fix this problem. One of my favorite parts of college is going to Aspen Coffee in downtown Stillwater and hanging out for a few hours, just talking to people at all hours of the night. When I was in Orlando this summer, my favorite place was Stardust, a local coffee shop, open late and always full of interesting people.

There isn’t a good place in Edmond for people to chill and hang out, and of course drink coffee. There are a lot of cool coffee shops in OKC or in the Paseo: Sauced, Coffee Slingers, Cuppies and Joe. So why is Edmond so deserted? So many rich high school kids, and poor college kids need coffee and community. So I want to fill this need.

  • Good, fair trade coffee.
  • Cool, chill place for people to form community. Open late every night.
  • Local art and design for sale – super cheap. No one buys $300 student work. We’re talking $20 paintings/prints.
  • Original screen printed shirts – all organic. Discounts if you wear one in.
  • Constant flow of good music and space for a small acoustic venue.
  • Free basic bike repairs and discounts if you ride your bike to the shop.
  • Everything recyclable or sustainable.
  • Ask UCO sculpture class (or local 2nd grade class) to sculpt our coffee mugs.
  • A place to live/do freelance design work, above or behind the shop.
  • Promoted entirely by social media and word of mouth on UCO and OC campuses – no paid advertising.

Also, I will have the power to name coffees whatever I want. Black coffee will be named, The Vader: a bit on the dark side, but I can still sense the good in you.

[images from old posts got lost when I switched servers 🙁 I’ll try to get them back soon]

Even if this never happens, I’m taking this on as a marketing project. I want to brand it, plan it, design it, price it, etc. Working on a name and an identity set this week. Next, a business plan. Ideas, tips, real estate and furniture are appreciated.

12 Comments

  • Tate says:

    You should check out the blog for the soon to be Gray Owl Coffee in Norman. My friend Mike has been documenting his process as he opens a local coffee shop.

    http://grayowlcoffee.blogspot.com/

  • adbrad says:

    That’s incredibly helpful…and intimidating to look through. Thanks a lot! Wanted to come to the ride today, but had some family stuff in Edmond. Hope it went well.

  • Matt says:

    This is awesome. You should open the shop as close to our office as possible. I will come in three times a day. I will purchase something almost every time I’m in. I will drink the Vader. Thank You Brad.

  • Shane says:

    I own a bike and enjoy coffee very much. I would work there for fun. Enjoy the day Bradford.

  • We should hang out. Just sayin’ <3

  • Jeff says:

    This is an awesome plan. I love hearing about people that want to improve their community. It really sounds like it would be successful too, given the current lack of options.

    Here’s another idea: Maybe take a year or so to go live in one of the other cities you mentioned. You could work at a coffee shop to learn the “ins and outs” of the business, satisfy your urge to explore, and continue working on your business plan. When you return, you will be much more prepared.

  • Megan says:

    I grew up in Norman and loved the scene except for it’s unspoken curfew. The cool businesses in most corners of Norman went to bed well before I did and with it the community quieted down too [excluding pretty much The Hookah Bar and The Pita Pit].

    When I moved to Dallas I was blown away by a place called Cafe Brazil- you can google them. They were a 24-hour chain coffee shop/restaurant that I really liked. I always wished that someone would open one up somewhere in/around Norman. Maybe they had and I didn’t know it. Never the less, I think your concept sounds **phenomenally** better.

    In a few years I plan to move back to Norman after I get more traveling done. My dream was to open up my own coffee shop/music venue there so I can REALLY see where you’re coming from. If you decide to go through with it I know I will be taking time out of my weekly routines to travel up to Edmond just to hang out there. If not for the sake of living my dream vicariously through your endeavors [assuming you go through with it], then for the sake of drinking a goddamn cup of vader. [You should definitely serve an earl grey tea named in honor of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, maybe simply “Tea, Earl Grey, Hot” or “Picard’s Favorite”, I dunno, just a thought. haha]

    Sorry to ramble! <3

  • I did this for a project in business school, wrote the business plan, and it was feasible! The main thing is just getting peeps in your door. Once you figure out what your average unit price is and how much that costs you compared to the profit per unit price, you can figure out if you can keep your doors open or not. And how much money you might need to get started. Fun!

  • @youngandvacant says:

    An interesting read on the subject: Slate, My Coffeehouse Nightmare (http://www.slate.com/id/2132576)

  • adbrad says:

    Thanks for the comments and insights everybody! Keep them coming!

    Matt & Shane: we seriously need to brainstorm soon and make this happen.

    Tate, Aaron, Y&V: Thanks for the links and info.

    Megan: Thanks for the encouragement! Have you read Tate’s comment link about the new shop in Norman? http://grayowlcoffee.blogspot.com/

    TC: Sure thing. Loved your blog & followed you on Twitter!

    Keep the conversation going. Warnings, insights, links, tips, coffee names. Thanks for all the input!

    -adbrad-

  • I love to drink a good coffee whenver i am tired.I get energised soon.

  • Joseph Waterman says:

    If I ever come through Edmond and this shop of yours is open, I will come and spend money at it. ‘Tis a very inspiring idea…good luck!

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