MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The grand opening of Coffee4All Bistro Cafe is Monday, one day after the three-month anniversary of the death of the owner’s husband.
Priscah Norton married Ray in 2014, just a few months after his health problems began.
“We started having these problems that were taking a toll on his health,” said Norton.
Her husband contended with hospital visits and surgeries for ailments, including an immunocompromised system. After their first few years of marriage, Priscah quit her job in health care to care for Ray full-time, cooking and selling pastries when she had time for some money.
“At that time, two/three years ago, his condition was worse, he needed help all the time, and that’s when my passion was born,” said Norton.
It became clear to Norton’s husband very quickly that she was an excellent cook, and he encouraged her to pursue opening a cafe.
“It’s always been a dream of her’s to have a coffee shop,” said cafe manager Rick Hammes.
Hammes is a neighbor who started helping Norton sell pastries years ago. Now, he’s helping Norton open the cafe.
“She has a strong sense of perseverance; she has a very strong spirit, passion,” said Hammes.
As Norton continued to try and find loans to get the cafe off the ground, her husband’s condition grew worse. Norton’s close friend Beatrice Makesa is still unsure how she kept going.
“I don’t know where she got the strength from because sometimes I wonder how you do it,” said Makesa.
After many years of declining health, Ray passed at the end of December, and until the very end, he kept pushing Priscah to follow her passion and their dream.
“That last week of his life, he knew he was not going to make it, and he told me, ‘please, oh please, keep going, keep pushing.’” said Norton.
Now, she is opening the doors to Coffee 4 All to every. Norton says it is a place where all are welcome, and anyone who needs a place to stop and cheer up can stop by the cafe.
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