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Despite pandemic challenges, Nora and Mark Nofziger will open doors 'and offer good food to our community.'

PMG PHOTO: CINDY FAMA - The new owners of the historic Colton Cafe, Mark and Nora Nofziger.Nora and Mark Nofziger are almost ready to open the doors to the historic Colton Café.

"We know this is a crazy time to open the café," Nora said. "We are right in the middle of a pandemic, food costs are super high, but we purchased the property, we are fixing it up and we will be happy just to not lose money and to open the doors and offer good food to our community."

The new owners plan on serving homestyle foods from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. They will offer gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options. Nora says she loves her sweets and will have lots of desserts available, including old fashioned milk shakes and malts.

Breakfast will be served into midday as the café now has a second grill. Lunch and dinner options will include build-your-own salads and build-your-own burgers along with other menu items and a nightly dinner special. Nora said summer hours on the weekend might extend to 9 or 10 p.m.

The takeout window will be open for food pickup by those who choose to place orders online or by calling in.

The Nofzigers have lots of ideas for the café including making it a place to showcase the history of the local Colton area. They also are talking about hosting car shows, offering live music, having a seasonal outside picnic area and working on more projects. They are planning a larger parking lot that will include motorcycle parking.

Nora said her earliest jobs were in fast food franchises. She was part of the opening of the Hard Rock Café in Hawaii. While with the Hard Rock she traveled and trained staff. Nora moved to Oregon in 1996 and opened JJ Jump in Clackamas. She said she loved interacting with all the kids and families as they celebrated birthdays and events. She sold the business after 13 years and took a job as the marketing director of an assistant living facility and became a real estate agent. Mark, who grew up in Molalla, is the network specialist IT for the Woodburn School District. He smiled and said he will be in charge of maintenance at the café.

"My first love is people, my second love is feeding them — this is a perfect opportunity for me," Nora said.

The café is looking for a "good cook" and Colton memorabilia, especially an antique two-man bucksaw to hang on the wall.

The Nofzigers are planning to open the first part of May but are playing it by ear as new COVID restrictions are put in place. The couple is busy finishing the last renovations and can't wait to have the public in for meals. They ask that you stay tuned and keep checking their Facebook page for the exact opening date.

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