Coffee and tea are just some of the items that make up the recipe for success at a business in Tucson that has been operating and growing since the 1980s.
If you visit Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, you are also likely to hear poetry readings or enjoy the works of local artists that are prominently displayed on the walls as part of exhibitions that change every month.
Owner Jo Anne Schneider says it's all part of her belief that the arts are an integral part of a vibrant community.
She began holding poetry readings at the coffee house in 1984. The events eventually morphed into "poetry slams" or competitions in 2006, and they have been afforded a home at the establishment on Speedway Boulevard near Campbell Avenue ever since.
"When we started the coffee house almost 30 years ago I think it was just following the tradition of what coffee houses do and that is be a place and a venue for artists," Schneider says.
Bentley's was recently recognized by the Tucson Pima Arts Council with a Lumie award. The winners are seen as "luminaries" who support and contribute to the arts, and Bentley's takes the honors in 2012 in the "Small Business Partner" category.
Local poet and performing artist Logan Phillips is the director of Tucson Youth Poetry Slam which works to encourage local students to become part of the poetry scene. He is grateful for the efforts of Bentley's House of Coffee and Tea, and he encourages others to do likewise.
"We need allies in the community who work in the non-for-profit sector, in the for-profit sector, in the public sector to be able to see the commonalities and come together and that's something that I think that Bentley's has been really great about doing," Phillips says.
And now Jo Anne Scheider is taking on a new project: She recently bought La Cocina Restaurant, Cantina and Coffee Bar in downtown Tucson's Old Town Artisans where she is adding musical performances at least five nights a week to her selection over there.
Food, drink and the arts all make up parts of her menus.