Where can you go for morning coffee, nod to the barista, grab your cup and go? If you’re a regular at Lucy’s Coffee and Tea, you can! Lucy Bonds tells us all about this beloved University Boulevard small but very tasty business.
I am the sole owner of Lucy’s Coffee & Tea and I currently have five employees! I moved to Birmingham in 1992 after living in Seattle for 3 years. I’m originally from Greensboro Alabama.
I opened a cart in front of Tracy’s (now Sitar) in February of 1993, then moved into my shop in August of 1995. During the time I lived in Seattle the coffee world was exploding. When I decided to move back to Alabama I thought it would be a good business; so I picked Birmingham and, more specifically, the UAB area to locate the cart.
We have a typical espresso/coffee menu. From 7 til 10 we offer a breakfast sandwich and from 11 to 3 we have soup salads and panini style sandwiches. Our soup is always vegetarian and we have several veggie sandwich options. In addition, bagels and assorted pastries are offered all day.
We have what’s known as The Board at the shop. Regular customers prepay and get their names on The Board. When they come in, we write down what they get, then that’s deducted from their balance.
UAB provides a wonderful customer base. Folks come from all parts of the world and they find their way into the shop so there’s a constant flow of new faces and cultures through my door.
The hardest thing is the stress…both financially and physically. It took many years for sleep to come more easily and for me to let go a little bit. The best thing about owning this small business is being part of the community. Most of all, providing a home away from home environment for people is extremely satisfying.
I think we’ve only just begun! It’s so exciting to watch our city come into its own!
Here’s a recent Small Business Monday post