OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – In Weber County, another small business is forced to shut down after dealing with financial struggles due to the pandemic.
Café VilleBella in Ogden is saying good-bye to it’s location on Harrison Boulevard.
Being a chef was Kayden Petersen-Craig’s life-long dream. After being in an accident that left him in a wheelchair, he decided to go to culinary school.
“I couldn’t get a job in the industry being somebody in a wheelchair so I thought, ‘tis the moment, I’m going to open up my own café’,” says Kayden.
Kayden says right before the pandemic, business was great. He named a popular menu item, ‘Rafi’s soup’ after his grandmother, and promised her 10% of every bowl sold, would go toward feeding the community.
“She said, ‘before I meet Jesus, you’re going to have your own building that’s going to be yours, you won’t have to rent from someone else and it sucks because I feel like I let her down a little bit,” says Kayden.
But with help from customers, they kept giving back, despite struggling during the pandemic.
“We made school sack lunches, no questions asked, the kids didn’t even have to be here their parents could pick it up and we gave out over 10,000 lunches,” says Kayden.
And customers like Kathleen, plan to continue supporting Kayden, wherever his journey may lead him.
“My son who’s 14 was hoping in the future, he would get to work here because he thought it was such a cool thing to do, it was just an amazing movement, it was more than a restaurant it was like a social movement,” says Kathleen Cadman an Ogden resident and one of Kayden’s favorite customers.
“What’s making me stay positive is knowing that just because I have to close the café I don’t have to stop helping people, I don’t have to stop giving back, I just have to do it in a little bit of a different way,” says Kayden.
Kayden tells us he plans to start a non-profit in the near future to keep giving back. He’s also looking to sell leftover items at the restaurant at a discount and encourages people to stop by.
For more information you can go to their Facebook page here.