Norman Lambert was born to Earl & Agnes Lambert on November 18, 1933. He grew up around a working class environment, watching his mother and father take 12-hour shifts to keep a small cafe open 24 hours a day. He taught P.E. and coached football for Sikeston up until 1976.
The death of his father, Earl Lambert, left his mother to run a cafe on her own … she actually sold it for one week before Norman bought it back and took it over with her. At first he was scared and shy … but with the help of his oldest son, Todd … his personality became very outgoing.
Norman began passing around pies and rolls, cutting jokes, and doing magic tricks for customers! They loved it and his business grew.
The cafe held barely 50 people, but would have 150 in line. On a busy, crowded day, Norman was passing around extra rolls when he couldn’t get to a customer in the corner. The man said throw the #@$#@ thing, and he did and the legend grew.
Norman catered to all people, no matter who they were, he treated them all the same. He made a policy of people in wheelchairs, he called it “if you bring your own chair … you eat free”, and he held to that. He picked up stacks and stacks of meals, gave away free Christmas dinners, and delivered sausage and biscuit breakfasts!
He expanded from a 50 people cafe to 125, just down the road … business grew.
On January 29th, 1984 his oldest son, Todd, who was gifted with a kind and outgoing personality and art of balloon making, died in an automobile accident. It was a serious blow to Norman and his family … but he carried on.
Lambert’s once again moved down the road to a cafe that would hold 300 people. Business grew, but Norman never changed.
In March of 1994 he opened a cafe in Ozark, Missouri which is doing great also. In June of 1996 the Lambert’s opened in Foley, Alabama. Only without Norman this time.
We’ll remember Norman for his heart! He treated everyone great … like family … he was the best at what he did … just being a “good human being”. He always followed the Golden Rule – “Do Unto Others As You Would Have Done To You”.
He is gone, but not forgotten… his spirit is still with each one of his employees, family members and friends, who will carry on the tradition that he started.