Livin La Vida Lucys

By / Photography By Shannon McMillen | September 26, 2017
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Bright signage and warm hellos aren’t all that welcome friends and neighbors as they drift inside Lucy’s Coffee Co. ( in San Luis Obispo. Guests are immediately greeted by the inviting aroma emanating from the espresso machine. This cheerful coffee shop is breathing new life into the Laurel Lane shopping center and caffeine-seeking locals have shown only overwhelming support, with a line out the door on opening day.

In a community home to countless coffee joints, how has Lucy’s Coffee Co. found a way to stand out?

For one, they’re a family affair. Proprietor Lisa Hess named the shop after her 10-yearold daughter, Lucy (who was pretty excited about the idea). As you step inside, nearly everything you see was handcrafted by Hess’s husband, Tyler. From cozy tables and benches to wall-mounted planters and the retro bar, he helped bring Hess’s vision to life and she couldn’t be more grateful.

“His support is endless. He’s a handy guy to have around.” The result? Industrial diner vibes with cheeky splashes of color.

When it comes to ambiance and guest experience, Hess says, “I want people to feel comfortable and warmly welcomed here— families, students and dogs too! We don’t only cater to one crowd. Lucy’s Coffee Co. serves everyone.”

And serve they do, delectable treats from both SLO Baked and Back Porch Bakery. Popular choices include fresh lemon blueberry muffns, maple scones, morning buns and avocado toast, not to mention the goat cheese and house-made pepper jelly toasts popular among regulars. For those curious about the integrity of the menu, Hess says, “We do everything we can to use local and organic products. Our milk is organic, our paper products are compostable and all our syrups are house-made.”

Beyond community and inclusivity, what else does Lucy’s Coffee Co. stand for? Simple: coffee. “Coffee changed my life. I love everything about it. the taste, the ritual and the people it has brought into my life,” says Hess. What about the challenges? Hess levels about those, too. “It’s hard, to own a business. To be a mom. It can be tough to wear all these hats and be everywhere at once. At the same time, so rewarding too. It’s all about  nding balance. I hope my commitment and hard work will inspire my daughter a little bit.”

Hess says Lucy’s sources beans from Coastal Peaks Coffee ( because “We’re family owned and want to support other family-owned businesses as well.  e folks there are fantastic.  ey helped us with the espresso machine and training sta ; they’ve given so much help and support.  e best thing about opening up this co ee shop has been meeting all these amazing people and hearing everyone’s story. To see how much everyone is contributing to the community is seriously incredible. We plan to put up a wall of vendor stories so people can see the journey of how everything got here.” 

Lucy’s Coffee Co. invites readers to visit on weekdays from 6am to 6pm and on weekends from 7am to 3pm.

Article from Edible San Luis Obispo at
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