Cole opened Cole’s Cafe in 2002, which served as one of the few sit down soul food eateries in South East D.C. and her dishes were popular with the community and critics alike.
The Washington Post reports:
In 2007, Cole-Thompson’s husband, William Thompson, suffered a paralyzing stroke, and she fell behind on her bills for the restaurant. Her customers rallied to her support, and she got advice from a fellow restaurateur: “Stop giving so much away. You can’t make it like that.”
But she found it hard to tamp down her generosity, and Cole’s closed in 2008. Cole-Thompson continued to cater community events until stricken with cancer, Motley said.