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The Corona Diaries: Lucy’s Last Cup

The last 6 weeks have been the hardest of my life. I have cried so much and slept so little.  I have made the decision not to reopen Lucy’s. I feel such a wide range of emotions…sadness, anger, confusion, fear and loss. I have spent 27 years of my life at the intersection of University and 20th.  Owning that little coffeeshop has given me the greatest joy and the hardest challenges. I have made life long friends and had the best of times there…art shows, concerts, Inauguration viewing, 20th anniversary party, End of Starbucks celebration. I MET MY HUSBAND THERE  But even in the best of times, making ends meet was often elusive. I know every small business owner knows exactly what I’m saying.

For me, the times ahead are too uncertain for me to wrap my head around financially,  emotionally and health-wise, as I have a pretty bad case of asthma.

Thank you to my husband, Brian and my family and friends for always believing in me. My Mama, Frances, for being just the best. Thank you to my brother Graham for co-signing my business loan at The People’s Bank of Greensboro. Thank you to my sister, Polly, for helping me keep the shop sparkling and stocked. Thank you Jimmy Tracy, for allowing me to put my coffee cart in front of your restaurant even though you didn’t even know me! Royal Cup Coffee for always being there for me, even going so far as to help me set up a mobile espresso rig so I could make coffee for Michael Stipe at a REM concert. Craig Smith and Todd Green…my first regulars and dearest of friends. Arris and John Jebeles for being great landlords, especially during these trying times. The Cusicks for their love and support. My cousin and best of friends, Elise, for helping me set up the shop…painting, furniture shopping. Through that shop,  I’ve met the best group of friends one could EVER ask for. My heart swells when I think of their love and support.

To the folks, past and present, who worked with me at the shop…thank you for always supporting me. Thank you for taking ownership of the shop and loving it as much as I did. For taking care of the shop so I could relax and have some down time. Thank you for being my FRIENDS for life.

My customers. My UAB family. It has been my honor and privilege to serve you. Over the years, I have met thousands of people from all around the world. Brilliant minds working to solve problems and make our world a safer place. I loved walking through the shop and hearing different languages being spoken, the scientific languages as well.  I often said I had the smartest clientele in Birmingham. I will miss you desperately but I’m gonna figure out a way to stay involved with you.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your help over the last 6 weeks. ‘m sorry if I have let you down.

Pivot. This word is being used a lot these days. Lucy Bonds will pivot, but Lucy’s will not. I’m gonna take my 27 years of memories, before hand sanitizer, masks and thermometers, and tuck them away.

What will I do? I’m gonna forge a new path for myself. Maybe I’ll come up with a product line. Maybe I’ll work with Brian in real estate. Maybe I’ll see if I can be of help to a whole bunch of folks. Volunteer. I love this city so much and I am so grateful to be part of this community. Thank you so very much. Please stay safe and healthy.

I want to thank everyone for all the kind words of support and love I have received in the last week. It has been an emotional rollercoaster to say the least. —Lucy Bonds

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