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Table Talk


Coffee lovers are sure to get a lot of latte at Urban Bru Café in Guymon, Okla. Photo by Grant Leatherwood


B Sip of the A


By JuliAnn Graham U


rban Bru Café, a coffee shop in Guymon, Okla., is a sip of the big city where one least expects it—the middle of No Man’s Land. The small café located less than a block west of Main Street on 21st Street, offers gourmet coffee, fresh-baked cakes, pastries and entrées


with vegetarian and vegan options. Patrons will fi nd local artists featured when they walk in—whether through art on the wall or local music nights. Just like one would fi nd in the big city, any visitor can take advantage of the café’s free Wi-Fi Internet and relaxed atmosphere. The only business of its kind in the rural community, the café sets a high standard for its coffee and food.


“Urban Bru is more than just a coffee house nestled in the heart of the


Oklahoma Panhandle,” Rick Roberts, an Urban Bru regular and a member of Tri-County Electric Cooperative said. “It’s a Guymon destination where the young and old can join together for a celebration of life, fellowship, coffee and more. It’s a place that brings an urban fl avor to our proud and culturally rich community.”


The café’s owners are Tri-County Electric Cooperative members Susan and Manny Barias. Just like the cooperative that serves them, the owners are committed to their community.


“We try to connect everything back to our communities,” Susan Barias


said. “Occasionally, we will match the tips our employees receive during a given month and choose a local nonprofi t organization to receive them.


“We feel it is important to participate in the annual Livin’ Green 5k race. Every employee who isn’t working that day walks or runs with our team and we donate coupons for participants. We also take part in the YMCA races.”


The café recently joined Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s Connections program, which offers discounts to co-op members across the nation. Mem- bers who show their card at Urban Bru can buy one, get one 50 percent off any coffee drink from 9-11 a.m., Monday through Friday (conditions apply).


Not only is the Bru a great cooperative member, it’s proven to be an out- standing member of the business community as well. In the year it opened, the Guymon Chamber of Commerce awarded it 2011 Small Business of the Year.


“Dr. Manny and Susan Barias offer a great service to our rural com- munity,” Jada Breeden, executive director of the Guymon Chamber of Commerce, said. “Susan organized a group to do a dance performance at the 2012 chamber banquet Sock Hop and is eager to step up to the chal- lenge of organizing a dance performance for this year’s banquet with a jazz theme. Susan was also voted in as a Guymon Ambassador in 2013.”


Although the business isn’t located downtown, Urban Bru is a Main Street Guymon member. Main Street Guymon Project Director Melyn


30 WWW.OK-LIVING.COOP


ig City in No Man’s Land


Johnson said, “Manny and Susan Barias represent who we are very well. It’s funny because they’re newcomers but they’re open and friendly to every- one, they help their neighbors, and they try to take care of others. To me, they’re Guymon.”


Johnson said the couple has been integral to several Main Street pro- grams, including the Transformers group for youth and several health classes. The Main Street Guymon Board of Directors named them the Main Street Heroes for 2012.


Manny Barias is a medical doctor in Guymon but, according to his wife, he’s also the espresso machine mechanic at the Bru. Their daughter Cai helps with the baking and the books when she can. It’s a family business but Susan says the employees matter most.


“Urban Bru is what it is because of our employees,” she said. “They help the business to adapt and innovate. Everybody’s input and talents are important.”


Café manager Liz McCulloch is famous for saying the café’s signature phrase: “We’re having a great day at Urban Bru, how about you?”


“We love it when people come in and sit and relax. We all get so stressed so it’s lovely to see people take a break,” McCulloch said. “Our employees love their jobs. That helps create an atmosphere where people enjoy their experience. We’ll go above and beyond to make sure that happens.”


Tri-County Electric member Dorothy Countryman attests to the way Urban Bru employees go above and beyond for their customers.


“My husband Jim recently died after 52-and-a-half years of marriage,”


she said. “I stop by the Bru two to three times a week. One day when I was by, I mentioned I was having a rough day. When I got home, I received a bouquet of fl owers. The employees really make it what it is. They are all delightful.”


While Urban Bru has all the amenities you might fi nd in the big city, its people are still from No Man’s Land. They’re caring, open and friendly. Whether someone is local or a passerby, Urban Bru is a must-stop on their journey.


JuliAnn Graham is Tri-County Electric Cooperative’s communications coordinator. She is also a contributing writer for Oklahoma Living magazine.


WATCH! Click to watch this Table Talk Video.


If viewing our digital edition, click here to watch “A Panhandle Pick-Me-Up,” an Oklahoma Living magazine original video featuring Urban Bru. Access our digital edition at www.ok-living. coop or fi nd our FREE app at the Apple Newsstand, Google Play or Amazon.


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