A growing chain of local, independent coffee shops is bringing “good coffee without the fuss” to coffee lovers in Oklahoma City, Edmond and Yukon, Oklahoma.
In November 2018, Partners Kenny Wooldridge and Preston Moon opened the first Coffee Jerks in Oklahoma City.
They learned how to open a coffee shop through our 7 Steps to Success coffee shop startup program.
Investor Chris Rutherford was so impressed with the first Coffee Jerks that he decided to back the partners in developing more locations.
Less than two years later, they opened Coffee Jerks Deer Creek in Edmond, Oklahoma.
With two successful shops up and running, the team developed a third location In July 2021, Coffee Jerks Yukon opened in the Oklahoma City suburb of Yukon.
“Our passion is delivering you the best cup of coffee with a smile,” Moon said. “We’re humbled by the welcome we’ve received from customers in Oklahoma City, Edmond and, now, Yukon!”
Following the 7 Steps to Success
Our 7 Steps to Success program grew out of a book written by Crimson Cup Founder and President Greg Ubert.
Now in its second printing, Seven Steps to Success: a Commonsense Guide to Succeed in Specialty Coffee has guided over 200 entrepreneurs in 30 states to open and run profitable coffee shops.
“It’s our great pleasure to work with Kenny and Preston in starting and expanding Coffee Jerks,” Greg said.
“Their dedication to serving terrific coffee and supporting their local community has earned them a stellar reputation and loyal customer base.”
As a one-stop shop for independent coffee shops, Crimson Cup supplies award-winning coffee, coffee business expertise and industry leading coffee shop supplies.
Our 7 Steps team turns entrepreneurs with little to no coffee experience into owners of thriving coffee shops.
“We teach new owners everything they need, starting with choosing a profitable location and writing a strong coffee shop business plan,” Greg said.
“From there, we consult on an efficient layout, choosing equipment, hiring and training employees and more.”
Hands-On Training Gets Coffee Shops Up and Running
The initial consulting concludes with a full week of hands-on training by a 7 Steps consultant, who travels to the new shop to teach drink preparation, customer service, cost management and marketing, among other topics.
The trainer stays on site to help through opening day, then returns a few months later for grand opening celebrations.
After the grand opening, Crimson Cup consultants remain just a phone call away to answer questions and help resolve any issues.
Coffee Jerks Yukon was one of 10 new independent coffee shops that opened through the 7 Steps program in the first half of 2021.
At least eight more plan to open before the end of the year.
Coffee Jerks Joins Crimson Cup’s Multi-location Customers
The Oklahoma shops join a growing number of Crimson Cup customers who have opened more than one location.
“Crimson Cup has given us the confidence to grow knowing we have our coffee supplies consistent and taken care of,” Moon said. “They offer an excellent product, training support and access to continuing education.”
“We wouldn’t be in the position of growth or operate three locations without Crimson Cup in our corner.”
Creating a popular local brand is another key to the shops’ success. “We’re known for our friendly staff and terrific coffee,” Moon said.
Owning multiple shops helps lower supply costs and increases brand awareness. “One challenge is the communication between shops. We’re working on that.”
The partners agree the best part of owning a coffee shop comes from being a positive influence in the community. Among other initiatives, they sponsor events and offer a discount to public employees.
Honoring Family and Community
The name Coffee Jerks comes from a job Wooldridge’s grandmother held as a teenager.
Minnie Colleen Wooldridge worked as a drugstore soda jerk in her hometown of Watonga, Oklahoma, where she met husband Melvin Wooldridge.
Growing up, Wooldridge spent most Friday nights with his grandparents. Saturday mornings, he baked with his grandmother or took a trip to a local coffee shop with his grandfather, where he ordered a maple donut.
“The funny thing is, I hated coffee,” Wooldridge said. “But because my grandpa was drinking it, I wanted to drink it. So, from a young age, I forced myself to drink coffee until I liked it. Now, I absolutely love it.”
When he came up with the idea to open a coffee shop, he decided to honor the grandfather who showed him the value of work and the grandmother who taught him to love and be kind.
“I wanted to create something that would continue their legacy and create a conversation about their life and the love they showered daily on their loved ones,” Wooldridge said.
“A lot of people think jerk is an offensive term, like ‘You’re a jerk.’ The term actually comes from the jerking motion that soda jerks used to make sodas.
“So, when customers come into our shops and are greeted with a smile, sometimes they’re confused. It’s kind of funny because they expect that we’re jerks.
“My hope is, Oklahoma City, Edmond and Yukon are full of jerks, and everybody comes and visits our coffee shops.”
The shops use the hashtags #beajerk and #drinklocal on social media to promote their brand to Oklahoma coffee lovers.
Serving Terrific Coffee with a Smile
Customers say the coffee, roasted by Crimson Cup, is “better than the big coffee chains.”
Among other national honors, Crimson Cup won 2017 and 2020 Good Food Awards, which recognize the country’s best-tasting, most sustainably sourced coffees.
As an owner of three independent coffee shops, Moon offered this advice for prospective coffee shop owners: “You need to be involved in the daily operations or you’ll lose control of your brand.”
All three Coffee Jerks locations serve coffee with a smile seven days a week.
- Visit the new Coffee Jerks Yukon at 825 East Main Street in Yukon. Follow the shop’s Facebook and Instagram pages for news and updates.
- The original Coffee Jerks operates at 2820 Northwest 122nd Street in Oklahoma City. Follow their Facebook and Instagram pages for the latest news.
- Coffee Jerks Deer Creek is open at 17784 North MacArthur Boulevard in Edmond. Learn more at the shop’s Facebook and Instagram pages.