Called St. Andrew’s One Cent Coffee Stand, it served a half-pint of coffee (plus milk, sugar, and a slice of bread) for a penny.
Within months, four more one-cent coffee stands appeared on busy downtown intersections.
The menu included hearty fare like beef soup, pork and beans, fish cakes, and fish chowder—with no item costing more than a cent.
The concept sounds like a 19th century version of today’s sidewalk coffee and donut cart. But St. Andrew’s wasn’t catering to busy commuters.
The clientele was the city’s down and out—the “newsboys, emigrants, poor families, and street waifs,” as one writer put it inFrank Leslie’s Sunday Magazine.
Founded by Clementine Lamadrid, the stands helped feed struggling residents who might be too proud to accept free meals.
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