Cafe hoping for victory in Marblehead

Victory Cafe serves java from Lake Erie Islands Trading Company
Alex Green
May 30, 2014

green@oc-register.com

The Victory Cafe in Marblehead was not a business venture for Tomi Johnson and Colleen Wright when it opened last summer.

Johnson, a real estate agent in the area, opened the cafe to offer residents something similar to Spill the Beans, a downtown shop that closed in 2010.

"I would see people downtown, looking for (Spill the Beans)," Johnson said.

Wright is the manager of the cafe, and she too said the paycheck is certainly not why she works there. She is a retired nurse who's always had a keen sense for what tastes good.

"I love to bake, so here I am," Wright said.

The cafe was open three days a week throughout the winter. Since early May it has been open seven days a week.

Coffee is far from the only beverage offered at the Victory Cafe, which is located across the street from Marblehead Bank. Wright will happily whip up any number of teas, espressos, lattes and smoothies for customers.

Accommodation is Wright's specialty — just ask the man who she picks up a danish for weekly.

"He told me danish is what he likes," Wright said.

Everything else is homemade, however.

The cafe does not have a menu. Instead, Wright uses her creativity and diversity in the kitchen to make whatever she thinks her customers will enjoy that day.

"Chicken salad is a best seller," Wright said.

There are plenty more, such as the tasty mozzarella and tomato sandwich that's on the cafe's sandwich list some days. With all there is to offer, the cafe is still best known for a good old cup of Joe.

The coffee comes from the Lake Erie Islands Trading Company, a local company that specializes in an assortment of unrelated items.

The company sells organic coffee, as well as tea, jam, and even professional photographs. The Victory Cafe sells it all, including the photographs that are from last year's bicentennial celebration.

Their coffee would suit even the trendiest and pickiest drinker. It is organic, fair trade, even what Wright called, "song bird safe" — an attribute given to coffee brewed in countries that support migratory bird populations.

Coffee plantations with trees are steadily being deforested, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Such plantations are the homes of many types of birds.

It's just another reason to go to Victory and relax.

"(Victory Cafe) is for anybody," Johnson said. "It's for grandpa on vacation who wants to sit down and read the newspaper."