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Fundraiser, big boom in business keeps restaurant alive

Customers wait for food at Melange Cafe in Charleston.
Customers wait for food at Melange Cafe in Charleston.(John Lowe/WSAZ)
Published: Jan. 23, 2021 at 10:31 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - For Mélange Cafe’s regular customers, they had to wait a little longer for their food, but for a good cause.

“It’s amazing to see mélange with so many people inside,” said regular customer Raven Vance. “It’s great to see more and more people in the community coming together to support them when they need it.”

A major switch from what business was like just 24 hours before.

Owner Cathie Tuinei says the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll.

“We just kept thinking that it was going to be the end soon,” Tuinei said.

On Friday, when she was denied a SBA loan she had waited months for, she thought it was the end.

Then her son posted a fundraiser on social media with the goal of raising $1,000. As of Saturday night, it’s reached over $15,000

Customers also poured Saturday to try to support Tuinei and her staff.

“I read stories and I hear stories like this happening and how everyone comes together but it’s just a fantasy,” Tuinei said. “If I could have had a wish or a prayer, I couldn’t have imagined this. I would have fallen short because I never would have thought in a million years that something like this would happen for us.”

If you want to donate to the fundraiser click here.

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