Who's Who of Professional Women


Judy Lu

In her previous profession as a high-level sales executive, Judy Lu traveled extensively throughout the world and realized that food and beverages, no matter one’s race, color, or country of origin, are universal to every culture and have the power to unite people. This concept ultimately fed her desire to build Black Sugar Caffé, where she is the founder and chief executive officer of her own award-winning and popular chain of three coffee shops in the Texas towns of Cedar Park, Georgetown, and Round Rock. Black Sugar Caffe was born “based on humanity,” Ms. Lu says. It aims to unite the people in the various communities and consistently helps the less fortunate as well as animals—actions that are consistent with Ms. Lu’s personal philosophy.

Ms. Lu and her team proudly offer far more than the usual variations on a cup of joe. An array of teas, tapas, desserts, and other delectables grace the menu. Each far-from-ordinary shop has become the lifestyle venue of choice and a haven for legions of loyal patrons to enjoy an elegant ambiance of new-age trendiness combined with old-school charm, live musical entertainment, and, most important, community togetherness, just as Ms. Lu envisioned. Praised in the press and receiving multiple honors, Black Sugar Caffé was recently inducted into the City of Cedar Park Hall of Fame. The business also was named Best Coffee Shop in the City of Cedar Park as well as Best Coffee Shop and Restaurant in the State of Texas for two years in a row.

Ms. Lu attributes her success to discipline, grit, and her fearless, can-do attitude, declaring that people, especially women, need to stop making excuses not to follow their dreams and visions. Her daily duties of overseeing operations, building business structure, managing and mentoring employees, maintaining the quality of products, ensuring staff members are valued, and keeping the paying public satisfied seem less like work when she sees countless customers smile and write reviews to express their appreciation for Black Sugar Caffé. Ms. Lu advises others who seek to open their own business to have a clear vision of how they want their lives to play out so they can stay on course, never give up, not be afraid to ask questions, and always look forward.

Ms. Lu views her coffee shops as a legacy for her son and daughter and an opportunity to fulfill her personal mission to positively impact people’s lives today and help provide places of peace in the world. Desiring to find more time to serve those in need, she contributes to local food banks and animal shelters. Believing in giving, Ms. Lu’s motto is, “Live to give and never ask for a return, as the ability to give is a privilege in life itself.” It is based on this concept that she insists on coaching about life and impacting people positively, as well as giving without ever expecting anything for herself.

Born in Taiwan with modest means, Ms. Lu’s father brought her to the United States for a better life when she was 14 years old and spoke no English, which made school an extreme challenge for her. She remembers feeling culturally out of place, being the only non-white student. Not knowing a word of English and completely naive to the American culture, Ms. Lu not only had to learn the language but also the culture. Life was difficult as Ms. Lu chartered through a territory completely unfamiliar to her.

With perseverance, Ms. Lu excelled academically and graduated high school at the top of her class. She always had an entrepreneurial spirit that was inspired and modeled by her well-respected father, a businessman, and her mentor. Watching her father at work and commanding respect gave her immense motivation to do the same, as he was instrumental in her success in life and business, having been her role model.

While in college, Ms. Lu endeavored in her first business adventure, which would become the beginning of her series of many businesses to follow. On this journey, she would learn to maneuver through the different companies by understanding each industry and integrating and applying various business elements to make each one successful. Her wide-ranging ventures spanned many industries, including skincare, hospitality, food, fashion, and manufacturing. Each industry was completely different from the other, yet one common denominator remained constant: humanity.  Rooted in humility, Ms. Lu developed a keen sense of compassion and has always run her companies with empathy for people and animals.

Before opening Black Sugar Caffé, Ms. Lu enjoyed a long and successful career in the corporate retail sector for major brands, including but not limited, to being the vice president of sales and development at Yon-Ka Paris; an account executive at Clinique Laboratories, LLC; district manager of A Pea In the Pod; manager of Albert’s Hosiery; and a manager and buyer at Robinsons-May. Ms. Lu’s other entrepreneurial enterprises included Emily’s, a bodywear company; Rebel Club, a junior sportswear company; Romante, a high-end eveningwear company; Fantasy Shots, a glamour photography chain; Wild Harvest, a gourmet nuts and desserts retail shop; and Sizzle Dazzle, an online gift company.

In the coming years, Ms. Lu hopes to participate in speaking engagements to motivate people who might not be as fortunate and give them pointers on how they can have successful lives and elevate to the next stage of their careers. One of her wishes is to also offer advice to emerging professionals on how to make choices that will catapult their lives in the right direction. It is not how much wealth one accrues, she asserts, but it is how deep of an impact one person could leave behind that matters.

Ms. Lu’s leadership has been highly respected throughout her respective careers because she has always led by example—never asking for any task to be performed that she would not handle herself. Strong leadership, she says, also means respecting others and being humble. Further, she understands that while people are all created equally, each person is unique, so different approaches must be utilized with everyone to achieve the desired results.

During Ms. Lu’s lifetime, she has created hundreds of jobs and employed thousands of people. She has been recognized in various published articles as a person of influence, and her outreach has been called immense and impactful. Even with the prestigious acknowledgments, Ms. Lu remains grateful, compassionate, a true professional, and a humanitarian. She ultimately wants to leave a legacy as a true and genuine entrepreneur whose successful ending all started with her being an immigrant maneuvering through unchartered territory to ultimately impacting tens of thousands of people in America—a humble beginning that would come a full circle at the end.


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