Coffee 4 All Opens in Ray Norton’s Memory


photo submitted by priscah norton

When Ray Norton (pictured above) passed away in December of 2021, just before the intended opening of Coffee4All, Priscah Norton had to lean on those around her to grieve and continue working toward an opening date. She cites Richard Hammes, neighbor/now-manager of Coffee4All, Mary Mbulo, a close friend, and Thomas Norton, her stepson as helpful figures during this time.

Whether fleetingly or lastingly, many individuals dream of opening their own business, but with the unpredictable hardships of life and the harsh realities of being a business owner, very few people follow through. Priscah Norton, owner of the newly-opened Coffee4All, located at 2300 US-51, is one of the rare dreamers whose wishes actually came to fruition. Despite having to overcome a plethora of life-changing struggles in her past and ongoing journey, Norton was recently able to open her doors to the community.
“Coffee4All Bistro café is a good story which features triumph and tragedy. […] The dream started as I was taking care of my loved one,” Norton says, referencing her late husband, Ray Norton.
Priscah Norton’s story began over 15 years ago when she came to the US from Kenya with a green card, attended university, and met Ray.
“I met this handsome guy in the mall where I had gone to shop for a cellphone. He was a gentleman and very helpful as a manager. […] After four years of [dating] we decided to do things right, and in December 2013 I was engaged,” Norton says.
Around this time, Ray began what would become a long journey of health struggles. Initially suffering from blocked arteries, Ray underwent surgery. Unfortunately, as time went on, Ray continued to receive numerous diagnoses and his health worsened consistently.
“Our life changed,” Norton says. “Ray was not […] able to do much, and I had to step down from work to care for him. […] Seven years of our life [were spent] living on the edge, not knowing what [would] happen the next day. Our finances and entire life was turned upside down.”
Norton selflessly cared for her husband and juggled everything life threw at her as best she could, doing whatever possible to keep herself and Ray safe and healthy. Her business actually started up from her own kitchen during these trying times.
“I started a home baking small business and I [would] sell my pastries to friends and neighbors to help support my husband,” Norton says. “From that, my business grew, and I realized I could no longer work from home. […] That’s when I decided to expand in 2020.”
Despite further struggles put forth by COVID-19, Norton managed to secure financing from the WWBIC (the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation) and she set off on her course to open a business built on dreams, passion, and homemade goods.
“Cooking and baking has been my passion [since] I worked as a pastry chef in Kenya, and I wanted to expand [on that],” Norton says.
In 2021, as Norton continued preparations to open Coffee4All, her husband, Ray, passed away. Subsequently, Norton decided that she would continue pursuing her dream in Ray’s memory.
Coffee4All supplies your standard cafe menu items, such as coffees, teas, and breakfast sandwiches, but there is also a warming touch of Norton’s roots in the cafe/bistro.
“We make our baked goods […] in-house. The Swahili pastry recipes are made at the café and they have been peoples’ favorite,” Norton says. “[Examples include our] samosas, kaimati […], and mahamri.”

Norton describes kaimati as a “drop donut,” loosely comparable to what many know as donut holes or fried dumplings. Mahamri (pictured above) are, according to Norton, “Swahili donuts made of coconut milk.” Both can be found at Coffee4All, baked by Norton herself.

Since Coffee4All’s recent open, Norton has received an outpouring of community support, and it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“The flowers, the small gift[s] I have received, have caused joyful tears because I know I am not alone. […] The women have surrounded me through the grief and the journey,” Norton says.
Norton, over the past decade, has faced an overabundance of challenges, sufferings, and setbacks, but she has overcome them and continues to fight for some of life’s most vital themes. Her business is a symbol of passion, community, and love.
“Anyone who walks in our doors will be welcomed,” Norton says. “Coffee4All stands as a symbol of dreams come true. It signifies the journey of struggles, pain, and success. [It shows that] No matter what you are going through, it’s possible to achieve your dream and see it turn into reality.”