Local shop makes room for coffee and studying

Employee Ben Schoenbachler makes coffee at Lyons Coffee Roasters. The roastery is in Court Street Market.

by Life Editor Tyler Hargett

While places like Rivertown Coffee Co. and Turbo Coffee can sometimes get noisy and crowded, there is one place that offers plenty of room for quiet studying for upcoming exams.

Located in Court Street Market, Lyons Coffee Roasters provides a larger environment for study groups by taking up the entire first floor of the building.

Owner and manager Scarlett Lyons said the large space is great for students who need a place to study.

“It’s a big, open area (with) tables spread out, perfect for small or big study groups,” she said.

Freshman Abbie Hargett said it is good to have a place to study away from campus.

“(Lyons is) definitely not as loud, and you’re not going to have as many distractions from students,” Hargett said.

The shop is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lyons said the shop is busiest around lunchtime.

Besides hot coffee, the menu includes cold brew lattes, nitro cold brew and their signature “coffee floats” made with warm coffee and vanilla ice cream.

Lyons said the shop does not usually have food, but students are welcome to bring their own. Student discounts are also available.

The shop holds the honor of being the only place in the entire Shoals area that roasts coffee onsite to sell.

Because of this, it sells roasted coffee to several nearby establishments, such as Bookmarks Coffee Shop, Blank Coffee, Comics and Records, and others located in Huntsville, Tuscaloosa and Tennessee.

Lyons said her roastery stands out from other coffee shops because of its quieter atmosphere.

“It is a quieter work vibe, since we are focused on roasting,” she said. “We always have music going and the coffee roasting in the background. Some students really like to study in that kind of environment.”

Lyons said she and her family moved to Florence around five years ago from California and found that, unlike Los Angeles, the city had no local roaster.

“While in L.A., we were spoiled with fresh roasted coffee and missed it after we moved back,” she said. “So, we got a small home roaster and started roasting for ourselves.”

Her family began selling the coffee at the local farmers market soon afterward, only to receive with high demand. This led to them deciding to open their own roastery.

“I think that them not being a franchise kind of gives them a different name,” said junior Ben August. “Originality is always something that some people look for.”

Lyons said the decision to name the establishment “Lyons” was not because of UNA’s lions, but from her family drawing inspiration from the industrial era of Florence, where owners would usually name their businesses after their names.

Besides making customers happy with good coffee, Lyons also reaches out to people in need.   

“Giving back to the Shoals Area is a key component of our mission,” according to the Lyons website. “A portion of sales goes directly back to non-profits helping local children and homeless.”

Lyons said if students are not busy studying, she is happy to talk with them about coffee processes.

“Students are welcome to come and learn about the roasting process, learn how to do a pour-over brew or talk about coffee farms,” she said. “We’re always up for talking about coffee.”

Lyons said the shop’s roasted coffee is also sold at College Street Farmers Market on Thursday evenings and at Killen Farmers Market on Saturday mornings.