We are proud to continue our Local Legends business spotlight with our friends at Lucy's Coffee based in Birmingham, Alabama!
We think the term small business is a little misleading. They're not small and typically they are more than a business; they are a passion. As a family owned business (since 1896) we at Royal Cup love the independent business owners who work so hard and provide the stable backbone for our amazing nation.
This month we talk with a business who is near and dear to our caffeinated hearts; Lucy's Coffee! We've been proudly working with Lucy's for years now and have loved watching her passion grow and flourish in our own backyard. Everyone say hi to Lucy!
Tell us a little about your background and your business:
I was born and raised in Greensboro Alabama, attended the University of Alabama and graduated in 1986. I ended up moving to Seattle in 1989 and lived there until 1991. I witnessed the explosion of the coffee scene of Seattle during that timeframe when I decided it indeed rained too much for my tastes. So I moved back to Alabama. I thought Birmingham and UAB would be the place coffee would work if I decided to start something. Things started to fall into place and I opened a coffee cart in front of Tracy's cafeteria at University and 20th. Jimmy Tracy let me use his power, water source and customer base without a blink of the eye. So, the cart started in spring of 1993 and I continued until June of 1995 when my current location became available. I opened shop in August of 1995.
What all do you offer on your menu?
I have scones, muffins, quick breads, cakes and a breakfast sandwich called the Egg McLucy (English muffin, cheese and choice of bacon, sausage or veggie sausage. I also have brewed coffees, tea and a full espresso menu. From 11 - 3 we serve lunch with soup, sandwiches and salads. My soups are always homemade and vegetarian. I would say the peoples' favorite items are the egg McLucy, the club sandwich, soup and the Viennese coffee drink. I'm also really proud of our cold brew coffee.
Why Birmingham? What do you love about the city?
It was the natural choice because it's the big city! I indeed love Birmingham. so much has happened in my almost 25 years here. It's nice to see it come into its own; we've had such an inferior complex for so long. Yes we have major issues to address but the energy in the city right now is palpable,
What sets your business apart?
Hmm...I've always had a wonderful group of folks working here. I think they become attached to the shop and feel a sense of pride to work there. It's hard being a super small business, i.e., I can't offer standard benefits, but I try to balance that with other nice touches. Also, this is hard to verbalize but it's real in the coffee shop. I don't act like I have the best of anything, cause do I? Probably not but we take special care to make sure every cup of coffee, every sandwich, is personal. It's also a home for a lot of people. Great science happens there as well as romance.
Also, this is hard to verbalize but it's real in the coffee shop. - Lucy
If you could give someone a one sentence summary on why they should stop by Lucy’s Coffee what would it be?
There's a high probability we will call you by name on your next visit.
Thank you Lucy and everyone over at Lucy's Coffee who make Birmingham the special place that it is!
Lucy's Coffee - 2007 University Blvd. Birmingham, Alabama. 35233