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Warm up, or power up, with a drink from Charlie’s Coffee

TUSCUMBIA – Wednesday marks the second anniversary of the opening of Charlie’s Coffee at 506 North Main Street in Tuscumbia. Owner Bri Milby said the experience has been better than expected.

“It’s been amazing so far,” Milby said. “I love it and I love my customers and this town.”

Charlie’s Coffee is cozy and warm, featuring wooden tables, helpful and friendly staff, menu boards listing different coffee types, and shelves lined with festive gifts from other small businesses in honor of the season.

Named after owner Milby’s pit bull rescue and service dog, Charlie’s Coffee serves coffee of all kinds, kickers energy drinks, specialty lemonades, tea, breakfast items, and pastries. 

Milby and her husband, Jacob, moved from the Seattle area to Tuscumbia in April 2021. Soon the opportunity to open her own business presented itself.

“I accepted it and just ran with it,” she said.

Those kickers drinks, a Pacific Northwest staple, helped keep the energy up during the weeks of getting the shop ready, she said. 

“They are Red Bull based with organic Lotus energy products,” Milby said. “I guess I brought a piece of home to the South.”

Something else she brought was a love of coffee, of course. Starbucks was created in Seattle, after all. It’s only recently that people in this area began trying something other than gas-station or fast-food coffee.

“Coming from Washington, where coffee is a big deal, to this area, where people haven’t experienced it as much, has been a change,” Milby said. “It’s been interesting watching people discover the different types of coffee and seeing the shift to it becoming routine to order a latte or a cappuccino or Americano.”

In addition to its regular selection of drinks, each month Charlie’s Coffee creates a special menu of coffee and energy drinks. For December, it salutes the Christmas Cast. A few samples:

  • The Griswolds – mocha latte with hazelnut
  • Mrs. Claus – spiced chai with cookie dough
  • Rudolph – maple latte with vanilla topped with ground cinnamon
  • The Grinch – green apple and caramel
  • Kevin McCallister – cranberry and vanilla

“It’s a team effort to curate and create the monthly drink menu,” Milby said. “We play around with the flavors and names and colors until we find what works. And it’s a lot of fun.”

Past menus have included Mother’s Day themes, a “Harry Potter” theme, and staff favorites on their birthdays. Keep a look out for January’s menu that may feature girl power from the place “where dreams come true.”

Charlie’s Coffee shop also includes the Pharmhouse and a selection of gifts, including items that support Deshler High School. 

The Pharmhouse is a functional medicine pharmacy run by Dr. Mary Margaret Holmes, PharmD, that offers in-person and virtual appointments, specialty functional diagnostic testing, and lab result consultations.

“I try to support small businesses and woman-owned businesses as much as I can,” Milby said. “The Pharmhouse is here, the gifts are from other small businesses, and the stickers for our drinks are made by a local small company. It’s good that we have that connection here. 

“I couldn’t be happier with the last two years of this journey,” Milby said. “Our customers and our staff are the best parts of this business. I love them. I hope to create a happy environment for our staff and our customers.

“I want Charlie’s Coffee to be the best we can make it.”

Charlie’s Coffee Co.

  • Location: 506 N Main St., Tuscumbia
  • Hours: Monday through Friday 6:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. 
  • Phone: 256-320-5230

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