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Coffee shop employing those with intellectual disabilities opens in Broken Arrow

not your average joe
BA coffee shop grand opening.jpg
not your average joe
Posted at 6:12 PM, Nov 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 19:39:21-05

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Not Your Average Joe, a coffee shop that employs people with disabilities, is now open in Broken Arrow.

This coffee shop is a nonprofit run like a business but it goes beyond coffee.

They have a mission to employ those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Kate Coffey is one of those employees and she is excited to be working here.

“They are really, really friendly, and they are really, really supportive. And like it’s very, very nice to have friendly coworkers and such enthusiastic people,” Coffey said.

She says she works differently from most people but here they accept that.

“They have some idea what to expect from me and so with that I can progress more,” Coffey said.

Progress is what they hope to see in their employees as they feel included.

Plus, they are able to reinforce the skills the employees have learned growing up to help them be successful in life.

“We are teaching them a point of sale system, so we’re teaching them how to learn to work with technology. We’re teaching them how to reinforce the math skills they learned in school," said Maggie Bond, the Tulsa area manager for Not Your Average Joe.

Now they are making an even bigger impact in the community since this is their fifth location in the state.

“We have 40-plus adults with special needs employed now and that’s incredible,” said Tim Herbel, Not Your Average Joe executive director.

Located inside Emerson Orthodontics, Not Your Average Joe has drinks for all taste buds even if you're not a coffee drinker.

“You're not going to get an angry barista. You're going to get somebody who wants to be at work because they are happy to be at work," Herbel said. "So they are just going to transfer that joy over to you with that cup of coffee.”

Eventually, they will be expanding to offer pastries and ice cream.

They are open Monday through Friday from 7:30 in the morning to 6:30 at night.

“It would be a huge opportunity to come here and taste their drinks. I hear that the sherpa chia is very, very good,” Coffey said.

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