Reed’s Coffee & Tea House opened four years ago at the corner of Lancaster and 38th. Trolleys roll by every ten minutes, but people come in on foot throughout the day. From what we’ve seen, customers come looking for anything, taste something delicious, and then look to try more.
Reed’s makes great coffee. Behind the register are teas, and above them a menu of sandwiches, soups, espressos. In a display case facing the hungry street, Reed’s keeps its homemade cakes and pastries. They host open mics in the summer and on Saturdays make waffles.
When I first walked in eight months ago Kat was working the register. Her husband George, who designed the shop and manages the business, was busy in back. Kat introduced herself. The friendly vibe at Reed’s keeps customers coming back week after week. This month, we had the opportunity to talk with George’s sister and coworker, Tracey Evelyn Reed, about business.
Tracey comes to Reed’s from a career in the fashion and beauty industries, where she worked with well known names including Jill Scott and Adrienne Bailon. For six years she ran a spa in Center City. By popular demand, she began packaging her homemade, eco-friendly skin care products.
If you go to Reed’s you’ll notice a collection of silvery tins with green tops at the register. These are Tracey’s product, “Head to Toe Butter.” Today Tracey owns her own consulting and skin care company, Tracey Evelyn. In addition to managing a product line, Tracey keeps a style blog and hosts “Girls Nights” at Reed’s. Be sure to follow Tracey on Twitter to keep up with her many projects.
Tracey knows Lancaster Avenue well “It was a different corridor four years ago” when Reed’s opened. University City business was beginning to spread West, but crime and blight were high. Tracey sees Reed’s as part of better changes: increased foot-traffic, improved facades. “Our timing was perfect. Things have evolved a lot.”
George and Tracey their customers as part of a community. “People want to be a part of something,” Tracey said. That feeling of community is visible everywhere – in everything from the home-cooking to the “see-you-soon” as you walk out the door. Reed’s is a family business in two senses. George, Kat, and Tracey run it; but the customers are like family too.
“We’re at different stages in life,” Tracey said about her family. “Which means for each us there’s a different reason we love our customers.”