NYAJ Celebrates Five Years of Being Accept-ional: including people of all abilities!

A party will be held at Midtown Wednesday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a celebration ceremony at 11 a.m.

NYAJ introduced an anniversary logo, where teal balloons wrap around their original logo and a birthday banner beneath.

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - Not Your Average Joe (NYAJ), a local nonprofit based in OKC, started as a promise and has grown into a symbol of hope for so many friends and families of loved ones with disabilities. NYAJ began with one store and a handful of employees in 2019 and has grown to employ over 150 students and adults with intellectual, developmental, and physical disabilities in six coffee shops across the state. Through the support of our community, two new locations will open in Edmond and Moore to encourage the world to be more accept-ional: including people of all abilities.  

NYAJ is honoring their five years of accept-ional people and exceptional coffee at our Midtown location Wednesday, May 29 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tim Herbel, NYAJ's executive director, will speak at 11 a.m. along with Danielle Robinson, NYAJ's first-ever hire with special needs.  

The crew is planning to celebrate the day in a big way - with a party to thank our community for their continued support! NYAJ is offering $5 drinks all-day, including lattes, smoothies, frappes, and refreshers. A $5 sundae bar will be set up outside, alongside a portable espresso bar and affogato station. For those feeling hungry, a $10 box lunch special will include our famous turkey club with chips and fire-roasted salsa or a personal charcuterie box will be offered. NYAJ's regular menu will be available inside.

"NYAJ's mission has resonated throughout Midtown and Oklahoma, creating spaces where diversity is celebrated and where everyone can contribute to the creation of exceptional coffee and community. As NYAJ celebrates its five-year anniversary, it continues to catalyze the power of a community-driven mission that serves great coffee, drives economic development, exemplifies inclusion, and serves the greater good," Chris Fleming, owner of Midtown Renaissance, said. "NYAJ's mission-driven growth over the past five years has set a strong foundation for its future, which will undoubtedly enhance its impact in the community and continue to inspire other businesses and individuals to showcase the capabilities and contributions of all people."

Andi Parnacher is one of NYAJ's lead coffee roasters. She is a Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) certified roaster and the first female Native American certified roaster in the world. Parnacher is working on a limited edition five-year blend to celebrate the milestone in NYAJ's journey. NYAJ's roastery produces around 450 pounds of coffee weekly and distributes across the state and beyond, including six NYAJ stores.  

NYAJ was honored as OKC's 2022 Employer of the Year by Mayor David Holt and his Committee of Disability Concerns. Other notable awards within the last five years include The Arc of Oklahoma's Advocacy Award 2022, Shoppie Award for Best Community Advocate 2023, and 405's Best Charcuterie Board 2024.  

NYAJ feels incredibly honored to celebrate five years in Midtown, and we cannot wait to celebrate more years together in the future. Thank you to our staff, community, donors, families, board and advisor members, and everyone else who has supported us in our journey thus far. We are beyond excited to continue serving you caffeine, and hope, daily!  

In the next five years, we have big plans in the works. We plan to expand our patio area and add more seating in Midtown. We also plan to open additional stores in the OKC metro and beyond, and hope to send several of our friends with special needs to a special coffee training program at the Academy de Baristas in Puerto Rico.

NYAJ will be offering $5 off our bagged coffee, clothing, and mugs in our stores May 29. Limited edition anniversary stickers will be available in Midtown as well as a commemorative Simple Modern trek tumbler!  

For more fun with NYAJ, join us for Not Your Average Fundraiser at Chicken N Pickle Tuesday, July 16 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. This is an event fostering movement and inclusive play for those with special needs.

To learn more about NYAJ's mission of inclusion and support through a donation, visit our website nyaj.coffee.