Mattie Wise loved Jesus, good coffee, home cooking, and sweet desserts. She baked amazing cakes and pastries, and taught the Good News in small south Alabama churches, despite the rantings of her husband, Mr. Robert. I was her ninth grandchild. Somehow--in one of those ways only the good Lord understands—she dropped her love of Jesus, coffee, and cooking on me when I was just thirteen and she moved up to Heaven.

Once grown, I found there weren’t enough people at my table to cook for, so I opened the original Miss Matties Tea Room in a charming 110-year-old house that flaunted its tin roof and gingerbread trim in true south Alabama style. People flocked from everywhere to eat homemade breads, creamy quiches, unique crepes, huge sandwiches, fresh salads, and enormous desserts.

I loved Miss Matties Tea Room like it was my child. After I sold it in 1987, I never had the heart to drive down that street again.

They say, though, the Lord likes to restore things. In January of 2000, I set aside 40 days to get an answer to one of my biggest questions yet: What should I do with the remainder of my life? The last morning, my eyes opened to see the blueprint of a store, then I found myself walking through it; there were books, gifts, coffee, food, and children being read Bible stories in the back. “Lord,” I squealed, “This is exactly me! I love books and coffee and the restaurant business!”

He spoke clearly, “Later.”

It's finally “later.”

MATTIES COFFEE COMPANY in The Village’s Casady Square, roasts top-grade beans right out front and brews them into amazing coffee, espresso drinks, and the best frappes you ever set a sip to. We are a café, serving salads and over-the-top sandwiches, including our almost-famous Chicken Salad Croissant or Loaded All-Day Breakfast Sandwich, and mouth-watering pastries such as scrumptious cream-cheese filled scones and homemade cinnamon rolls.

MATTIES touts a huge wall of beautiful local art for sale, a large book and gift store crammed full of titles by current and classic Christian authors, along with the coolest mugs, puzzles, and gifts. True to the vision, there is a kid’s fort chock full of books.

MATTIES COFFEE COMPANY isn’t just a coffee shop. It’s an experience. Come experience MATTIES with me soon.