Non-Profit Spotlight: Not Your Average Joe

Have you ever strolled into a new place and instantly felt 100% comfortable and at home? If not, you should immediately head over to Not Your Average Joe for a latte. This place is like walking into a big hug that smells like fresh roasted coffee beans and joy. Never heard of it? That ends today!

This local non-profit has blazed a trail into the OKC coffee scene with its house-roasted beans, homemade ice cream, and light breakfast/lunch menu – and I promise your first time won’t be your last. NYAJ’s mission is “to inspire community by including ​adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the creation of exceptional coffee in an encouraging atmosphere”, and they certainly accomplish that! Each of their five locations serves up delicious caffeinated cups of joy (and decaf for those who thrive on sadness), by their welcoming, wonderful staff. You can sit for as long as you want to and work, talk, connect, and build relationships in your favorite new hideaway.

NYAJ employs and celebrates people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and given the heartfelt welcomes, hugs, and relationships I’ve been able to build just by drinking coffee there, I hope more organizations take the hint and do the same.

As a mom to a child with special challenges, places like this are a breath of fresh air. Not only does a mission like theirs allow my mama heart to rest a little easier knowing there will be options for her as she grows up, but it’s also amazing to see these amazing people have grown into their new roles. Depending on the location you choose, you may just get that hug from your new best friend, NYAJ Founder and Chief Coffee Drinker, Tim Herbel. Tim’s boisterous laugh and welcoming spirit draw you in, and before you know it, you’ve made an unexpected new friend.

Need to find your closest NYAJ? The flagship location is at NW 12th and Walker (with the cutest walk-up window!), inside the new Homeland at NE 36th and Lincoln, inside Homeland at Britton and May, in the Sooners for Christ building on Elm in Norman, and the newest location in Broken Arrow just opened a few months ago.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – when is inclusion not the answer? Go by and give the honey vanilla chai a try, and thank me later.

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Kelli is a native Okie with a larger-than-life personality and an unhealthy dose of sarcasm. She married Bobby in 2011, and they welcomed daughter, Maevyn, in 2013. Maevyn is autistic, and every day is a new adventure in discovering how her unique mind works. Life on their NE Oklahoma City acreage is never dull, and they enjoy RV camping and Sooner football. Kelli is a former law enforcement officer who now works full-time facilitating programs that keep people safe on Oklahoma roadways. She also enjoys consulting for Beautycounter, advocating for tougher legislation in the US beauty industry, stifling inappropriate profanity, managing her RBF, sharing inappropriate memes, looking for the nearest restroom, hiding her love of Taylor Swift, and trying not to sing Disney songs out loud in public.

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