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Get a jumpstart at Good Day Cafe


Village shop serves organic coffee, donut muffins and a whole lot of homemade.

Good Day Cafe CounterPastries and breakfast goodies line the counters. German chocolate cake calls out from inside a glass case. And the warm scent of fresh coffee lingers in the air at Good Day Cafe in North Andover.

Homemade cookies fill glass jars. Cannoli and whoopie pies bulge from large plates. And layered yogurt parfaits stand tall next to cold drinks in the refrigerator.

“Everything is made fresh daily,” says Kathy Santoro, who owns the busy coffee and sandwich shop with her husband, John. “We have a baker that starts at 4 each morning.”

A busy baker.

Tucked into the historical Machine Shop Village district at 19 High St., Good Day Cafe is set in a spectacular brick-and-beam space. Having opened their eatery on Dec. 13, the couple already has established a strong following.

“Great coffee,” a patron standing at the counter promises. “You’ve got to have some.”

“Did you try the donut muffins yet?” asks another who is seated at a nearby table.

“We’re very much a family business,” Kathy says, intermittently greeting customers by name and exchanging a few words. “My husband’s sister, Debbie, is the kitchen manager and my dad is a baker. We have really good help and a great support system.”

A Methuen native who attended Brooks School, she and her husband, a culinary arts graduate of Johnson & Wales University who grew up in Somerville, have wanted to open a restaurant for a long time.

“My grandfather owned a bakery and my husband’s family owned a restaurant years ago, so we always felt that we had the ability to do something,” Kathy says. “A coffee shop seemed like a natural choice.”

With high-quality java as a centerpiece offering, she and John worked on the concept behind Good Day Cafe for 18 months.

“We did a lot of research on different products and presentation and we went to a lot of different places,” Kathy explains. “We tried to get to the heart of what the opportunity was in town, because we didn’t want to open a Panera; we didn’t want to open a Starbucks.”

For starters, they are particular about the coffee.

“We use Jim’s Organic Coffee, a local micro-roaster out of West Wareham, Mass.,” Kathy says. “We tried to focus everything around the coffee, because originally we just wanted to open a coffee shop. We even considered just opening a kiosk in the lobby, but then we decided we would want a lunch product. And we thought, if we’re going to have a lunch product, then it needs to be super-duper quality. So, it just went from there.”

Jim’s Organic Coffee sources beans from Colombia to Mexico, New Guinea to Tanzania, and regularly visits the coffee farmers to witness firsthand the benefits of organic production. Good Day Cafe not only brews these top-quality coffees, but has the packaged beans for sale.

The menu features straight coffee, espresso, cappuccino, Americano, macchiato, and cafe au lait. A top seller is the Mexican hot chocolate, for $3.50 The rich, chocolatey flavor is offset by a surprisingly delightful hot pepper spice. Another hit is the mocha for $2.50.

“We tried to find something distinctive in each category. I came across this recipe (for Mexican hot chocolate) that was awesome, so we decided to incorporate it,” Kathy says. “We wanted to be unique.”

Sandwiches are unique in that no deli meats are used in creating them.

“We roast our own turkey, chicken, hams and roast beef,” she says. “We also use no prepared product and nothing is froze.”

Sandwiches include chicken salad with cranberries, green apples and walnuts on seven grain bread for $7 and The Pilgrim, featuring turkey with stuffing and cranberry compote, also $7. Then there’s The Tuscan, with slow-roasted tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese and basil for $6 (add fresh prosciutto for $3 more); The Triple-Decker Club, with the customer’s choice of meat, crisp thick-cut hardwood smoked bacon, sliced tomatoes, red leaf lettuce and mayo for $7; and, for the kids, grilled cheese and apple, featuring creamy melted cheddar cheese layered with tart green apples for $5.

Granola and salad dressing are homemade, too, as is the caramel drizzled on top of a yummy-looking cheesecake.

Good Day Cafe Donut MuffinsAnd yet, even with all this, the customers have a hard time moving beyond the donut muffin.

“Our donut muffins are our signature breakfast offering,” Kathy says.

As the name implies, these are muffins made of doughnut batter, baked not fried, then rolled in cinnamon sugar. They’re $1.50 each, or $8 for a half dozen and $15 for a whole dozen.

“We don’t have a hood. We don’t have an open flame. They don’t even do open flame in this building, so we’ve really worked around that,” Kathy says.

Since this limits breakfast options, they’ve gotten creative.

“We can’t offer pancakes and bacon, so we’ve come up with the bacon maple donut muffin,” she says. It’s a donut muffin with maple frosting and fresh chopped bacon on top.

“Customers come in, saying their kids woke up this morning asking for donut muffins, and that is what we were going for,” Kathy says. “We really wanted to be able to offer something you cannot get anywhere else and we’ve been able to achieve that in a short amount of time, so it’s really fun.”

- Sarah Ashley Durrell
The Andovers Magazine, Spring/Summer 2011



19 HIGH STREET • NORTH ANDOVER, MA 01845 • 978-688-6006

HOURS: MON - Closed, TUES - FRI 6:30AM - 4PM, SAT + SUN 7AM - 2PM