It’s a good one… the story, that is.
Our name comes from our founder, Dr. Henry Bright. Dr. Bright loved coffee. He was a successful orthodontist in Birmingham for 30 years. In his late 50’s he decided to share his love of “the bean” with others. Tens of thousands of others as it has turned out.
In early 1992 Dr. Bright started researching all it would take to open a specialty coffeehouse in Birmingham. He read voraciously, traveled and talked to industry leaders and experts. Early on he decided that offering the best product meant controlling the key product; coffee beans. He went back on the road, did more studying and found people who would teach him how to roast coffee beans.
A location was found in downtown Homewood, AL on 18th Street. 18th Street in 1993 was not at all like it is today. Henry directed the construction himself. No surprise in that. He hired the plumber, electrician, millworkers and painters. He personally pulled down all the original metal ceiling tiles, sanded off the rust, re-painted them and put them back up. He sand blasted the plaster off the south wall which hid the beautiful brick we see today. The little red roaster was placed in the front window and fired up. Birmingham’s first specialty coffeehouse was nearing completion.
Dr. Bright, his wife, daughter and a handful of employees opened the door in November of 1993. A small black cup of coffee was $1.50. Over 30 just-roasted coffees were in the brass bins mounted on the north wall. They didn’t know it then, but a Birmingham landmark had just opened for business.
Mary and Randy Adamy purchased OHenry’s Coffees and the little roasting company, Red Mountain Coffee Roasters, in 1999. Dr. Bright agreed to help Randy learn green coffee buying, roasting coffee, accounting, purchasing, payroll and “how to be a barista”. Mary joined the business a few months later to help with everything accounting and pretty much everything in general. 17 years later, the Adamys and Brights are best of friends and Randy still seeks Henry’s guidance and opinion.
More locations and a much larger roasting business have developed over the years. What hasn’t changed is the legacy Dr. Bright gave us so many years ago. A building is only as good as the foundation it was built on. Henry gave us that, and so much more.