ely loves local

Okay Yeah, Co. + Plant Shoppe

By Ely Fair / Photography By Ely Fair | October 25, 2017
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Tucked away on Film Row lives an Oklahoma City community gem, OKAY YEAH, CO.+ PLANT SHOPPE. As the name suggests, this coffee shop and eatery co-exists with a plant shop. Potted plants, succulents, and cacti are interspersed with picnic bench seating. Plants and people are tucked in here and there. Everything is connected. Everything blends together with harmony. This is the perfect and purposeful arrangement for the communal togetherness that Chad and Jen Grubs set out to foster with their unique establishment.

Business Name: OKAY YEAH, CO.+ PLANT SHOPPE

Your Names: Chad and Jen Grubbs

Where can we drop in and say hello? We are located at 705 West Sheridan Avenue in the historic Film Row District. The hours for coffee+eats are Tuesdays through Fridays from 6:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The hours for plants are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

OKAY YEAH, CO. is a unique name for a restaurant. Where did the idea behind that come from?

It is more of a response that you give when anyone asks, “You wanna go grab some coffee and a bite to eat?” The response for us is generally, “OKAY, YEAH!”

Can you tell us a little about your thought process and journey for OKAY YEAH, CO. as it came into fruition?

Jen and I, well, maybe just me, are always dreaming of exciting new things and concepts. Jen loves curating and I’ve always loved being around people. I feed off energy. Almost anytime Jen curated events for Plant Shoppe, which was in existence before we added the coffee and the eats, people would ask about food and beverage. It really just seemed to make sense. I know we are two different businesses that have different philosophies, but in my brain, we are just one big family hanging out and doing life together. Most of us all have to go to work or have some kind of job in order to sustain our lives. I say, why not be around the people you love the most? We are pretty lucky that we were able to create a concept, a way of working, that allows us to pay the bills and be around each other.

OKAY YEAH, CO. was birthed because I asked one question: where have I never had a bad time? The answer was simple; I’ve never had a bad experience around coffee, which brings us back to the name, OKAY, YEAH! I don’t want to classify OKAY YEAH, CO. as a coffee shop, per se. I feel that we are much more than a coffee shop because we strive to serve quality coffee and food in the best, most creative way we can with what we have to work with.

What made you decide to open your business on Film Row?

I think timing. We looked around for a long time and considered several other districts. We didn’t really have much money to work with and knew we needed to be in the best area we could for the budget we had. To us, that meant that we might have to be pioneers in an up-and-coming district. And I guess we guessed right. A lot has happened within the district over the past four years since we have been here!

In talking to you, it is apparent that OKAY YEAH, CO. is community focused. What are some of the ways that you foster that community?

Jen hosts a lot of workshops. We also host local (and non) musical talent. I would say that a bulk of our business is providing services for people when our doors aren’t open for normal operating hours. We allow our space to be rented for special gatherings and provide custom services in the food and beverage department, and Jen offers her services to help curate the space to the individuals or group. This allows us to get to know people on a more personal level. We have had the privilege of hosting weddings, receptions, baby showers...great moments in people’s lives that we get to experience alongside them.

If it was our first time to visit OKAY YEAH, CO., what is the one item on the menu that we hands-down would need to try?

I always ask the question, how hungry are you? Our hand tarts are kinda a staple item, but honestly we prepare foods that excite us. Currently, we offer a breakfast burger that really gives most people an impressive first-time experience. If you're hungry, then our breakfast sandwich is the item to get. We are striving to make the right farmer connections to offer a seasonal menu. It really is exciting for us, the future that is.

I’m a pretty simple guy when it comes to my beverage habit. Almost any shop or restaurant I visit, it is going to be espresso, black coffee, or tea. However, we hands-down have the best milk in the state. We carry a local milk from Marak Family Farm that is delicious. Awesome milk. Awesome people. We are on a journey every day to find things that excite the staff and our customers.

Mariposa is a local roaster. We carry and use their product. We can provide a coffee beverage in several different ways: espresso, batch brew, manual brew, and cold brew. We also carry a company called BootStrap Coffee on our pour over bar and as an option for purchasing bags of coffee.

What is the coolest thing that has ever happened in the shop?

I’d have to say that’s people having an experience as we hoped they would. We offer up ourselves. Jen has always said it best, “This is an extension of us and our family.” We feel that we have brought something unique to the city. I think when people truly believe and give themselves to their passions and dreams, it will always be a great experience. May not always be the outcome you want, but it will be a great experience. I love it when people from other states and cities such as New York and Los Angeles enjoy our spot like they enjoy their home spots. But if you’re looking for one specific event that might be the coolest, then I’d have to say when several players of the Spurs team came in and just hung out and played cards for a while and then came back again during their next visit. One of them has an Oklahoma deck of cards that he takes as his traveling deck. They were some of the nicest people that have ever set foot in our shop.

What would you say is the thing you are most proud of with your businesses?

We are most proud of our staff. We know we ask a lot from them and challenge them in all areas of employment, but they step up to the plate and exceed expectations. They all would do almost anything for a customer. I’m honored and excited to help guide them in their everyday adventures at the shop and happy to consider them part of our family.

In what ways have you strived to make OKAY YEAH, CO. stand out in your industry?

I think one thing that makes us unique is our passion to always improve or try to stay in tune with what excites the entire staff. If we don’t enjoy something, then it is hard to offer it up. So, I try to always ask the staff if they would do stuff differently or prefer something over the other because at the end of the day, if you don’t enjoy it, then what is the purpose? I know we run a business and often times everyone says the typical thing, “it’s a job.” Many people see the hospitality business as a stepping stone. We try to show individuals that it can be a solid career. If we can be the best at what we do, we can truly grow a company that offers other options in the future. I know this seems like rambling but in the end, our vision is to create a culture that does honestly give people the freedom and passion to connect with the task at hand, the team members around them, the patrons, and a passionate future.

“Cheers to the Day” seems to be your motto. Where did that come from? My hope is that no matter what, good or bad, that if you come into our shop, you can have a moment that can make you “cheers.” I think we all know life is an adventure. We just hope that a positive experience is what awaits you at our establishment: a cheers worthy experience.

Anything fun or new we can be looking forward to from OKAY YEAH, CO. + PLANT SHOPPE?

I do think 2018 will be our most collaborative effort to date. I think as we still truly strive to unfold our vision for each business, we are also still figuring out how to maintain the flow of our separate businesses as a single unit, residing in the same space. Our goal isn’t for one to come to our shop to either get food, coffee, or plants, but hopefully it is one experiencing all these things together. That is what makes us, us.

Thanks so much to Chad and Jen for creating such a beautiful and welcoming space for our community!

Article from Edible OKC at http://edibleoklahomacity.ediblecommunities.com/drink/okay-yeah-co-plant-shoppe
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