22-year-old Nicholas Wilks told Channel 8 he is preparing to open a coffee shop after winning a Downtown Muskogee small business competition. It will be next door to his parents' antique shop, which celebrated an expansion Saturday.
Wilks will name the shop, "Erly Rush," after his grandmother.
"The meaning behind that is when Nick was little, he started calling her Erly and we never could figure out why or where it came from," said Wilks' mother, Sherry. "But she loved it. He was the only one that called her Erly."
Wilks won more than $5,000 worth of help from Downtown Muskogee and other local organizations, including a free one-year membership to the Chamber, architect consultations, and more.
Executive Director for Downtown Muskogee Jonita Mullins said the committee chose Wilks over nine other people, because he had a good support system and plenty of coffeehouse experience. She said community members have been asking for a downtown coffeehouse for quite some time. Wilks agrees.
"I think Muskogee needs a coffee shop, because there's not anything like it," he said. "There's not a good place where somebody can go and grab a cup of coffee, a muffin, or a scone and go to work, especially with about 1500 employees working in the downtown area."
Wilks said Erly Rush will open on Main Street October 7, 2012.