The popular bakery-cafe Honeycomb in Hamilton sits behind an office building looking like a small New England cottage that someone has given a lot of attention. The front door and trim on tall storefront windows are painted sky blue and a stone walkway leads to the entrance. In this North Shore town, with its winding roads, old houses, manicured lawns, and horseback riders, the little house looks like it might have been there forever. But it’s exactly a year old. Lauren Kroesser Moran and her husband, Billy Moran, who own Honeycomb with her parents, James and Mary Etta Kroesser, had to take down a similar structure in the same spot because it had so many problems.
Light pours into the warm, welcoming cafe and its many tables; confections go fast. “Try as we might, we sometimes sell out before we close,” says Lauren Moran. She and her crew are making bagels, sourdough bread, French baguettes, focaccia, biscuits — at breakfast they might be filled with a fried egg, goat cheese, and arugula — and a host of sandwiches and tartines. There’s a farro bowl with a blistered tomato, grilled burrito, pressed turkey sandwich, blackened chicken Caesar, muffins, tarts, and big, deliciously chewy cookies. Chocolate chip is the most popular, along with blueberry muffins.
Lauren Moran, who grew up in neighboring Wenham, was the executive pastry chef for Eastern Standard and its sibling restaurants. Opening here was like coming home. Billy Moran was raised in Swampscott. James Kroesser’s law practice is in the building in front of Honeycomb and when the little space with which he shared a parking lot came up for sale some years ago, he bought it. “He wanted to make sure he got a good neighbor,” says his daughter. “And he did.” The cafe reopens July 6. 248 Bay Road, Hamilton, 978-626-0014, www.honeycombhamilton.com