‘We Love Lucy’s’: UAB honors coffee shop owner with scholarship

‘We Love Lucy’s’: UAB honors coffee shop owner with scholarship
We Love Lucy's (Source: UAB)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Lucy’s Coffee and Tea was a staple of mornings and afternoons for the UAB community for more than 25 years.

In March, the pandemic forced Lucy Bonds to close the beloved coffee shop. In tribute to Bonds and the small business she created, “We Love Lucy’s,” was launched. UAB is recognizing her for decades of service, and her longtime friends and customers are raising money for a UAB student scholarship in her name.

More than 27 years ago, Lucy’s started with a cart, serving the employees of UAB’s hospital, clinics and schools. Bonds opened her coffee shop in 1995, and you could always find students studying, and employees enjoying their daily caffeine fix. Bonds often said she had the smartest customers around.

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in March, Bonds shifted to providing hot, homemade meals to UAB health care workers on the front lines, including the 1917 Clinic.

But without her thousands of customers on campus every day, Bonds made the difficult decision to close the shop.

UAB’s Shannon Thomason wrote, Regular customers at Lucy’s could order on prepaid credit — their tally kept on a giant chalkboard of names — when they may not have had a wallet handy, then grab whatever fuel they needed with the words “It’s on the board.” Lucy’s customers were so loyal she was able to drive off a national coffee chain, which opened, and then closed, right next door.

Now the UAB community can put money “on the board” in Bonds’ name for deserving students and keep that spirit of support alive for future Blazers.

UAB is hosting a livestream dedication ceremony on UAB’s Facebook channel at noon Wednesday, Dec. 16. Bonds will be gifted a commemorative plaque, along with an honorary UAB employee 25-year pin, in a small, socially distanced event.

The community is also invited to express their messages of thanks, share memories and say a few words on the website www.uab.edu/welovelucys.

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