West Homewood has been experiencing a surge of wonderful new shops and restaurants coming to the area. Buka, a unique Birmingham store that was recently opened by the team behind Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, is the most recent addition. We were able to ask the crew some questions about this new venture.
Could you give us a brief description of Buka?
Buka is a wine shop, market and take away cafe. We opened Buka with the hope and intent to be a one-stop shop of daily essentials for those who live in West Homewood or visiting the area!
How did the idea for Buka start, and was Homewood always in the vision?
The idea for Buka grew in the midst of the pandemic. We had to pivot from what we knew, which was Woodlawn Cycle Cafe, into a model that could withstand time. We have admired the growth in West Homewood and the true neighborhood feel it has, so it felt like the perfect location for our transition into Buka.
Can you tell us more about the transition from Woodlawn Cycle Cafe to Buka?
We brought elements from Woodlawn Cycle Cafe to Buka that we have had for years - from wine, to our meat and cheese selection, to the house-made goods we sell daily. Now, we just get to focus it into a retail concept!
This is a different venture than Woodlawn Cycle. What are the biggest changes you've experienced in running a wine shop/market compared to a cafe?
Our vision for service and quality in our product hasn’t changed, we just get to put our focus more in a retail concept rather than unpredictable turn over food service.
What do y'all offer that is unique to the city? What are your go-to items?
While in our home section we offer exclusive brands such as Aesop and Frama, the focus isn’t necessarily to be unique, instead it is to offer good quality essentials and be a reliable and welcoming shop. Our go-to items for summer lately have been the Veggie Sandwich for lunch, or our Market Picnic with a bottle of wine to take to the park or with friends!
How has the experience in Homewood been so far?
The neighborhood has been so warm and welcoming - we cannot wait for the years to come.