Lucy's Coffee and Tea
Bonds, a graduate of the University of Alabama, launched her Birmingham coffee business on February 9, 1993, shortly after returning to the state from Seattle, Washington, where she had worked at an advertising firm. She began by selling hot drinks from a cart parked on the sidewalk on 20th Street South adjacent to Tracy's Cafeteria.
A couple of years later she began leasing her current location. In 2004 she began providing wireless internet service to customers. Later that year she opened Lucy's Next Door in the former Pangea Pizza space, and began offering soup and sandwiches as well as bagels from the New York Bagel Café on the corner. She also operated a kiosk inside UAB Hospital.
Although the kiosk and Lucy's Next Door closed shop, the popular panini (served toasted on ciabatta bread from Edgar's Bakery), salads and soup remained on the menu and helped the café survive a three-year period during which the national coffee chain Starbucks was operating from the corner space which had formerly housed New York Bagel next door. Starbucks opened in 2005. Lucy's regular customers took pride in walking past it to patronize a locally-owned business. In July 2008 Starbucks announced that its University Boulevard store was one of 600 underperforming locations that would be closed.
- Goynes, Aminta (April 22, 1997) "Coffee shop's becoming fav' spot." Kaleidoscope. Vol. 68, No. 5, p. 8
- Branigan, Erin (July 1, 2004) "Cool Beans Coffee House and Lucy's Coffee and Tea." Black & White
- Estes, Cary (September 8, 2006) "The WiFi Highway." Birmingham Business Journal
- Tomberlin, Michael (July 10, 2008) "Starbucks closing 2 Southside Birmingham locations; 2 homegrown shops nearby survive the competition." The Birmingham News
- Blalock, Bob (July 13, 2008) "Lucy's survival over Starbucks an American success story." The Birmingham News
- Horn, Jason (March 28, 2011) "Ten spots: To get a good cup of joe." B-Metro
- Lucy's Coffee and Tea on Facebook.com