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New coffee shop going into former home of Green Marble in Mystic

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Mystic — When Nicole Anderson heard the Green Marble Coffee House was closing last month after nearly 30 years in business, she couldn't imagine there not being a coffee shop at 8 Steamboat Wharf. She had only moved from California to Mystic two years ago, but the Green Marble was where she established all her local relationships.

"Sometimes I don't remember that I'm not from here," Anderson said, feeling she's been adopted by the local community. She also said there's a younger generation that needs somewhere in downtown Mystic, as there's not a lot of places for those under 21 to hang out.

She approached her boyfriend, James Maple, with an idea: What if they took over the Green Marble?

At first, Maple thought she was crazy, and that it was too soon after the Marble had closed. But he went along with it, and now they're planning to open Lamplighter Trading Company in early-to-mid June, starting with just outdoor seating.

Asking about their feelings on opening during a pandemic, Maple replied, "We're either really (expletive) smart or really (expletive) stupid, and we're going to find out real quick."

Maple, 37, was born and raised in Mystic, and during his teenage years "all the local punk kids hung out here" at the Green Marble, he said. It's where he "discovered cool music" and would skateboard.

A musician himself, Maple missed a friend's wedding because he was on tour, so he went to California afterward to see the friend, and that's where he met Anderson. When Maple returned to Mystic, he "just like clockwork started coming here again," he said of the Marble.

Anderson teases Maple that she now knows more people than he does, as the more talkative one in the couple.

They envision the vibe of the Lamplighter as one that combines their regional backgrounds: "Picture like a really nice West Coast coffee shop mixed with New England-style American Pickers," Maple said, referencing the TV show about antiques and collectibles.

He and Anderson live across the river in Mystic, and he said their apartment "is just littered with antiques," some of which they're moving into the coffee shop.

In preparing to open, Maple said they got the keys on May 15 and "just gutted the place." They repaired the bathroom floor, repaired the back bar floor, sanded the floors, and are getting new appliances. The countertop wood comes from the Mayflower restoration project, and they got the tables from the shuttered John's Mystic River Tavern.

The couple has business experience in other fields: Maple owns North Country Leather and Anderson owns Open Road Herbals, selling tea.

Lamplighter Trading Post will be carrying her teas, as well as coffee from Mystic Coffee Roasters, run by Green Marble Coffee House owner Lisa Alden-Carpenter.

"This is a place where not only can I grow as an herbalist but also grow as a part of the community and keep this staple alive," Anderson said. Maple said they plan on making "craft mocktail iced teas" with Anderson's tea.

Maple said they also plan on carrying Willie Nelson's CBD coffee and products from New England Hemp Farm. Without a kitchen, he and Anderson said there will be a "modest menu," with options such as bagels and avocado toast.

They also plan on having live music, cribbage nights and revolving art shows.


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