“Goodness for Goodness’ Sake!”

Let’s start with how perfect is that slogan? That’s the tagline of Luci’s Healthy Marketplace, a Phoenix area market, coffee bar, bakery and restaurant all in one. As a full-time college student (and now blogger!), I’m always looking for good places to park myself and my laptop for a few hours. Good coffee, decent music and comfy chairs are all site requirements, while good things to snack on, quality lighting and friendly employees are great bonuses. Luci’s has every one of these things.

I initially tried Luci’s for lunch on a late Saturday afternoon, enjoyed a fresh salad and hot coffee with my father, and then returned the next evening for a delicious dinner sandwich. The menu is posted on digital screens, enabling the kitchen to update their featured special dish daily. The staff is personable, there’s the largest community board I’ve ever seen posted near the restrooms, the lighting is relaxing but bright enough to read and comfortably conversate, and they even have a large garage-style open door for fresh air that leads to additional outdoor seating. And get this: breakfast is served all day, and there’s free wi-fi access (where are my college kids at?). If you’re still not sold, there’s an in-shop market: shelves stocked with local and unique ingredients for at home cooking or baking, along with exclusive trinkets, gifts and alcoholic beverages available for purchase. I promise I don’t work for them, I’m really this impressed.

After I fell in love with this adorable establishment, I did a little research to expand my knowledge beyond the observable stuff. Luci’s opened in 2009, and then re-opened a few months later after a neighboring store fire damaged the building. It’s known for it’s wide variety of gluten-free options, healthy grab-and-go entrees and award winning coffee bar items. In additional to tables and booth seating, an inviting counter wraps around a part of the kitchen, where guests can enjoy a view of the food prep process.

Cooking classes, an online blog of Luci’s favorite recipes, and catering services are also offered. Now if you’re anything like me you’re wondering: Who’s Luci?

According to a 2012 article published in Raising Arizona Kids magazine, her full name is Lucia Schnitzer, mother of three young children at presstime and a breast-cancer survivor. Her marketplace prides itself on healthy portions, organic offerings, locally sourced ingredients and a casual atmosphere embracing a modern-retro feel.

If you’re in the Phoenix area, check it out at 590 East Bethany Home Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85014.