After six years of cooking up home-style meals and serving appreciative customers, Cindy’s Family Café has closed.
The iron cook stove stands unused; pots, pans, and utensils await being needed again. Décor items, kitchen bric-a-brac that lined the windowsills, even Cindy Taylor’s famed Christmas decorations were packed away Monday.
Taylor said the decision to close is due to a combination of factors. Her health is bad enough she can no longer work, and having to pay employees to run the café in her absence leaves her insufficient money to live on.
Taylor’s health issues stem back to 2004, when she had to have surgery for a back problem. A hernia developed and mesh was implanted in her abdomen, but the mesh was infected. Eventually the mesh was removed, but she was left with a large hernia on the left side of her abdomen.
A community fundraiser in September helped Taylor to go to New York City to consult a surgeon about repairing the hernia, but he couldn’t help her.
One day’s work last week was followed by four days in the hospital, Taylor said. After paying employees to cover, there’s little left.
“I can’t make it on $60 a day,” Taylor said.
If every day’s business could be like a typical Sunday, when lunch buffet was served to many people, things would have been different, she said.
A pair of men came in the door Monday but left with sad faces when Taylor told them the café was closed. Later a young couple came in and asked incredulously if the closure was permanent. Taylor assured them it was.
The regular group of morning coffee drinkers at the café were saddened by the closure. Jerry Kline said he sees the closing as a loss to the entire community.
“We need a place like that downtown,” Kline said. “I’ll be missing it.”
Rosalie Schmidtberger, another member of the coffee group, also will miss the café.
“We went there at least five days a week. We enjoyed the help and we enjoyed our fellowship,” Schmidtberger said.
She’s been aware of Taylor’s struggles with her health.
“We kept hoping it would be OK,” she added.
Taylor said she plans is to move to another town to live with her daughter, then sell the café.
“I want to try to sell it, pay my taxes and pay my bills I owe,” Taylor said. “I’m hoping to sell it promptly. I hope to find a good family to come in and run it.”
Taylor said she is grateful to her employees, her customers and others in the community who have helped her.
“My help has been awesome about keeping this place going,” Taylor said. “If it weren’t for my help, this place would have been closed a couple of years ago.”
Born and raised in Marion, Taylor returned to the county to be close to family about a year and a half prior to opening the café.
“I’ll be back to visit and get this place sold,” Taylor said. “I have to get my health back. If you don’t have your health, you don’t have anything. If I could do it, I still would.”