It was a pure coincidence that stories on both Jenni and Shannon Neffendorf, and Gary and Lauren Nitschke (and their respective companies, Nitschke Natural Beef and Oak Cliff Coffee Roasters) wound up being published in the Advocate this month in the same edition. The two couples have a lot in common — Oak Cliff residents who are trying their hand at innovative small businesses, whether with coffee beans or on an Oklahoma ranch. (By the way, if you haven’t seen the photo slideshow of the Nitschkes’ ranch, you should take a look.)

As it turns out, these entreprenuers are joining forces to create some type of "go local" initiative or merchants guild in Oak Cliff. Lauren Nitschke tells me that she and Shannon Neffendorf are working on a plan to present to the Oak Cliff Chamber, and want to extend the program to include other efforts besides food.

"We’re sort of unique over here — historically underserved by all that the rest of Dallas north of the river takes for granted, yet blessed with an amazing neighborhood full of fun, creative, supportive and surprising people," Lauren Nitschke says. "We think the two should come together for a net mega-gain!" To find out more, contact the Neffendorfs or the Nitschkes.