Ceres community rallies around popular cafe burned by Thanksgiving weekend fire

The damage was extensive and the cafe will be closed for at least a few months as they go through repairs.

Over Thanksgiving weekend, many in the Ceres community woke up to devastating news.

 

Popular brunch spot Sam's Cafe had set on fire. The damage was extensive and the cafe will be closed for at least a few months as they go through repairs. 

 

Sam's Cafe is a place with a lot of history. Along the empty white walls now, you'll usually find photos of the restaurant's beginnings along with black and white photos of Ceres decades ago. 

 

The cafe is also a place many went to for help with fundraising. From police to the fire department to kids whose parents couldn't afford prom, the restaurant has been involved and invested in the community.

 

And that's why the community is now rallying around Sherrill Ann Petersen, the owner of Sam's Cafe. She started working there was a waitress in 1999 and took over in 2010. 

 

"[My customers] have seen me have kids," said Petersen. "I waitressed while I was pregnant." 

 

Petersen said her customers and employees have also been there for her through other hard times, like when her son was sick and on life support for 54 days. 

 

They're also standing behind her as her father, who was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer, is going through hospice care. And now, they're planning to help her and her employees get through the holiday season while the restaurant is closed for business, putting them all out of jobs.

 

William Stamper is the one organizing a 'Holiday Hoedown.' Multiple generations in his family are regulars, including his sons and his grandfather, Bud.

 

"[My grandfather's] health is so bad," said Stamper, "The only thing that kept him away [from Sam's Cafe] was staying in the hospital. He makes it down here every morning to get his breakfast. This cafe was much more than a place to eat for him."

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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