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Hite Digital Norman

(37 reviews)

513 SW 156th St
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73170
(405) 701-9245

Just north of OU on Elm in Norman, there’s a coffee shop that’s redefining what it means to be a community hub. Not Your Average Joe (NYAJ) is more than just a place to grab a quick caffeine fix; it’s a sanctuary of inclusion, empowerment, and “accept-ional” people. With Peyton Kapavik at the helm of marketing and Tim Herbel as the visionary founder and Executive Director, this exceptional establishment is brewing hope and opportunity, one cup at a time.

A Mission Born from the Heart

The story of Not Your Average Joe is one of profound loss and unwavering determination. Tim Herbel, the driving force behind the shop, experienced a personal tragedy when his nephew Braxton, who had special needs, passed away at the tender age of 11. This heartbreaking event ignited a spark within Tim, inspiring him to create a space where individuals like Braxton could thrive. “It just touched Tim’s heart, and he realized that he wanted to do something for people like Braxton, who can do more in life, get out in the world, experience more, not just be confined,” Kapavik recounts.

Empowering Lives, One Cup at a Time

What sets Not Your Average Joe apart is its unwavering commitment to empowering individuals with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities. With eight locations spread across the metro area, the shop employs over 100 individuals with special needs, offering them a supportive environment where they can work, socialize, and contribute meaningfully. “We have over a hundred friends with special needs employed at Not Your Average Joe, working to create an encouraging atmosphere and inspire others through really great coffee,” explains Kapavik.

I must admit, that every single time I visit their locations, I’m engaged and inspired by their team members. Peyton says the feedback of their families is one of her greatest joys. Many of their team members had contact with friends and peers throughout school, but after school, there aren’t a lot of places for them to connect in a meaningful way. The parents say that seeing their adult children reconnect with people again and find purpose and smiles in their daily lives has been completely life-changing for them. This is what it’s truly all about, y’all! Making a difference in another person’s life. 

We have over a hundred friends with special needs employed at Not Your Average Joe, working to create an encouraging atmosphere and inspire others through really great coffee.

Peyton kapavik

A Brew That Stands Out: Female, Native, The ONLY in the world 

Not Your Average Joe’s dedication to quality extends beyond its mission. The coffee is LEGIT. (Read: Amy’s favorite drink is the Horchata latte. It’ll change your life. And if you’re looking for something a little spicy, check out Joseph’s favorite, the Dragon’s Breath Mocha. (And did I mention their Suspicious Sandwich? okay, enough drooling, sorry.)

NYAJ sources its beans from ethical sources around the globe, and the coffee is roasted by the very first ever SCA certified Native American female coffee roaster in the world, Andi Parnacher—and it’s all done right here in Oklahoma. From light Ethiopian roasts to rich, bold dark roasts, each cup is crafted with care and expertise. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the warmth of the shop’s inclusive atmosphere, creating a truly unique experience for every person who graces their doors.

Turning Controversy into Triumph

Not Your Average Joe’s journey to success hasn’t been without its challenges. A recent fundraiser at Deer Creek High School, intended to support the shop, unexpectedly thrust Not Your Average Joe into the very bright national spotlight with every media outlet from People Magazine to the local news. The event, which involved students performing outrageous stunts, quickly became a conversation-sparking sensation, drawing both criticism and curiosity. However, despite the controversy, the fundraiser proved to be a financial success, helping to fund the opening of yet another NJAY coffee shop location.

“It was crazy… But it’s just cool to see how the press can be either flipped so negative or so positive. And for us, it turned out to be a great thing,”

Kapavik reflects. 

I’m personally reminded of the time when a local church pastor had the police called on them for a noise complaint… They were “rocking for Jesus” too hard… The news came out to investigate, and his church grew! You just never know where someone’s complaints will take your personal mission. 

That concept was demonstrated right after the local news spot, when the line at NYAJ’s midtown OKC location was out the door and around the block with people looking to support & encourage this nonprofit. 

A Bright Future Ahead

Under Tim Herbel’s leadership and with Peyton Kapavik’s marketing prowess, Not Your Average Joe is poised for growth. Plans for expansion and new coffee lines are on the horizon, fueled by the unwavering support of the community and successful fundraising efforts. Kapavik encourages everyone to get involved, whether by visiting the shops, making a monthly donation to the mission, or just letting someone know about what they’re doing. 

They are so much more than just a coffee shop & an employer of accept-ional human beings. NYAJ stays hooked up and plugged into their community by offering delicious catering, complete with a mobile coffee-bar, of course… They offer bulk & home-sized ground coffee & whole beans along with their MIO products and merchandise in store, and they’ll even white-label their coffee lines to your brand. 

If you’ve been to a local event where their wrapped VW van-turned-into-old-timey-photo-booth is, you know how much FUN it is to be with the NYAJ team. (You can rent that van for your events, btw.) There are endless opportunities to help this organization flourish, & we challenge you to stop in the Norman (or any other) location and say hello. You’ll leave with a smile.  

Get Involved!

Not Your Average Joe is more than just a coffee shop; it’s a testament to the power of combining business prowess with social purpose. What could be more Oklahoma than that? That’s our Oklahoma Standard. Every cup of coffee served at Not Your Average Joe contributes to a broader mission of inclusivity and empowerment. For those in Norman and beyond, a visit to this extraordinary establishment is an opportunity to enjoy exceptional coffee while supporting a cause that truly matters.

In the face of adversity and even “bad” press, Not Your Average Joe has proven that community strength and positive action can prevail. This remarkable coffee shop is transforming lives, one cup at a time, and inviting everyone to be a part of their inspiring story.

To learn more about Not Your Average Joe, check out their featured business profile below. You can also find them on social media here:

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Amy Singleton is a contributing author and online editor for Whirlocal South OKC, Moore, and Norman. She’s the host of the Queen Lead Podcast, a motivational & marketing keynote speaker, and the CEO at HITE

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