New Onset Bay Cafe serves up coffee, companionship
Friday marked opening day for the new Onset Bay Cafe, and it seemed as if the whole village was waiting to check out what was on the menu.
Inside the cozy space, located at 1B W Central Ave., a line is queuing. A sign at the cash register reads "Beachin' Life." It’s a breezy morning, and the cafe is doing a brisk trade. Muffins, cinnamon bread and cookies are flying off the shelf. Sun shines through the trees in the little square across the road.
“We opened at 7 a.m.,” said owner Cindy Byers. “People came in immediately. We even had some students come in before school to have a bagel and take advantage of the wifi.”
For Byers, it’s the realization of a long-held dream.
“Baking has always been my passion and my hobby,” Byers said, adding she’s wanted to open a cafe in Onset for as long as she can remember.
The former social services worker has visited Onset every summer since she was born. Five years ago, she and husband Jeff (who co-owns the cafe) bought a summer cottage in the village and renovated it, moving in full-time last year.
“I wanted to open here when I retired, originally,” she said. “But, we moved here full-time a year ago, so I was here already - why not now? It’s where I was planning to be anyway.”
The cafe space was formerly a real-estate office, and Byers said she and her husband had to renovate the entire space. They signed the lease on the space in November of 2015. From that day to opening was a blur of tearing up and re-laying flooring, putting up walls, and a myriad of heavy lifting, mostly on the weekends.
Everything in the cafe is homemade, with one exception - the bagels.
“They’re made here in Onset, though, so they’re as local and homemade as I can get!” Byers said then laughed. Even the tea and coffee is local. Byers sourced Cape Cod Coffee, out of Mashpee, when looking for local coffee. Her teas and jams come from Sprig, a Marion-based company producing flavorful local jellies - huckleberry and sangria jellies are on prominent display.
Even the furniture is locally sourced.
“We went looking for furniture at the Cranberry Flea Market,” Byers said. “We met up with one vendor who had refinished furniture. We bought a table from him, and when he knew what we wanted, he found everything we needed. He refinished and painted tables for us, and he would just show up with more, as long as we needed it.”
The entire community has stood behind her efforts to get the cafe opened, and Byers is still amazed at the response.
“Everyone’s been so helpful, from the flea market to the sign company. People are always checking in to see if we’re open yet, seeing how we’re doing. I love it here. I hope I can be here the rest of my working life.”
Byers intends the cafe to be a community hangout.
“I want everyone to come in, whether it’s to hang out or to drop in and say hello,” she says. “I want everyone to feel welcome.”
She encourages all of her patrons to leave suggestions. “If you want it, I’ll make it. If I can’t make it, I’ll buy it. But I want everyone to look forward to coming in.”