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A new coffee shop is replacing Marblehead’s Atomic Cafe

Stephanie Mahoney stands at what will be counter of the Blue Canoe Cafe, which she is opening at the site of the old Atomic Cafe in Marblehead. (Spenser R. Hasak)

MARBLEHEAD — A new coffee shop is floating into town in a Blue Canoe.

The site of the former Atomic Cafe on School Street will once again feature brewed beans when resident Stephanie Mahoney opens up her new coffee shop in early March.

“I just can’t wait to be in here at 3:30 in the morning starting to bake,” she said. “It’s a beautiful time of day — driving in and nobody’s on the road, a pot of coffee brewing. An hour later it’s bustling and crazy.”

After more than a decade in business, the Atomic Cafe closed in October. Mahoney, who is related to the shuttered cafe’s owners, jumped at the opportunity to get back into the business. The deal was sealed the next month, and construction began shortly after to make the place her own, even though the cup of joe will stay the same. Mahoney said she plans to buy her coffee beans from Atomic Coffee Roasters.

Flavored coffee will come from Malden-based New England Coffee.

Blue awnings welcome customers into the shop, lined with exposed brick and blue accents. Food will be prepared behind a large counter, where customers can see the organic fruit enter the blender and the freshly baked bagels pop out of the toaster.

Mahoney inherited her love for baking from her “YiaYia,” Etta, and likes to think outside the box with her recipes. She enjoys making muffins the most, and prefers a vanilla muffin with chocolate chips in it. She also crafts a peanut butter and jelly pastry and adds berries to her corn muffins.

“I love to make things a little different, but delicious,” she said.

Mahoney opened her first cafe, the Kitchen Witch, in Salem in 1988. At one time, she was running up to three shops simultaneously. Three decades later, she’s made Marblehead her home and she wants her store to be part of the fabric of the community.

“I want to be the Cheers of the North Shore,” she said.

She plans to host fundraisers to benefit a local animal shelter, and start a running club.

The name of the business was crafted to be a representation of the community being strong and steadfast yet light and friendly. The canoe plays off the town’s nautical lifestyle.

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