The owner of a Fullerton, Calif., coffee shop says he was falsely accused of online racism, leaving his business in a shambles after an already difficult year due to the pandemic.
Joe Rosati is the owner of The Night Owl Coffee Shop in downtown Fullerton, where he hosts special nights of live music, poetry and open mic performances. One evening in late July, two college-aged women walked into a nearby competitor’s store with coffee from their store, sat down at the table, and listened to live music.
“I was in the courtyard, and they walked in, their hand held our competition coffee, which is right down the street in a bright orange cup,” Rossati told The Epoch Times, noting that everyone in his shop There are signs in place saying that outside drinks are not allowed.
“So, I went in and explained that they can’t bring drinks outside. And the girl walks up to me and she goes, ‘Who does this guy think he is?’ So let me introduce myself as shop owner Joe and explain that this is just our policy. [with outside drinks], but she said she could throw the cup in the trash and come in and have some of our coffee. “
Rosati says that at that point the two women decided to leave, and they didn’t think much about it until the next morning. He woke up to find reviews of his shop on the Yelp website, where he chatted with a woman named Katie, who claimed she was kicked out of the shop because of her skin color.
“Racism is not worth a cup of coffee,” she wrote in the review. “Because I have brown skin. And he has white skin. I look different from him, but no one deserves to be humiliated or treated like that.”
Rosati said, “She wrote that I was telling her to breathe down her neck and stare at her and point at the street and throw her garbage in the street.” “It’s like that, what? There’s the dustbin. Just throw it in the dustbin and come and hang out and listen to music like everyone else,” he said of the situation.
Shortly after the Yelp review was posted, the shop received dozens more 1-star reviews from people calling Rosati racist and that she harassed potential customers because of the color of her skin. Rosati said she believed Katie worded her friends for writing bad reviews on Yelp to harm her business, and that the people behind the reviews never visited her store or Had met him.
Rosati said the situation had nothing to do with race, and that he was shocked by the whole situation.
“Every type of person in the world is 100 percent welcome at The Night Owl. All we ask is that you respect everyone. That’s it,” Rosati said, noting that his shop has a wide variety of customers and are employees.
“This is where people are really going to find out that they are more alike than different.”
Following an onslaught of negative Yelp reviews, The Night Owl’s page now features a banner with a large exclamation point saying the business is being investigated for racism.
Rosati said the false allegations had really hurt his business, and the store had its lowest sales ever in the past 10 days, even compared to the past year and a half of the pandemic, which was the first for him. It was very difficult financially since then.
“I have a store and it is completely community driven. I am a member of Rotary International, we only raise funds for marginalized communities, without thinking, without prejudice, we simply help [marginalized people]”
He continued: “I own a coffee shop in Southern California, there’s one every 20 feet. It’s the most competitive business here, I really believe. And for someone to do this and be part of the community.” After 10 years of doing nothing but being, it really [hurts],” he said.
Alexis Brereton, a barista at The Night Owl, said the allegations against Rosati were completely baseless.
“All these allegations are not so true, there has never been a person who discriminated or made someone feel bad about themselves,” she told The Epoch Times.
Brereton said no other coffee shop would allow another person to bring coffee from another business and just sit there.
“I have nothing but great experiences with Joe, I have a great relationship with him. I’ve honestly learned a lot from him and he’s helped me a lot in school. He’s a great person and that helped me a lot.” It hurts that so many people are lying about them,” she said.
Longtime Night Owl customer Quaid Dandridge said she wished the woman writing the allegation had done her research before trying to sabotage the family business.
“I am a 24-year-old female African American who has been a regular night owl for 6 years, and I would like to say, for the record, that I have never seen anyone behave unfairly or without respect,” she said. Era Times.
“Indeed, who is the kind of man who will not stand for such intolerance nor will the employees working for him. Night Owl’s environment is designed to be a safe haven for any and all walks of life and anyone coming and destroying indiscriminately without doing their due diligence is truly shameful. “
Mike Johnson, another longtime customer, said the store has an extremely inclusive environment, and that’s what makes it such a great location.
“I’ve been a customer of The Night Owl for almost 10 years,” Johnson told The Epoch Times.
“In that time I have never seen anyone associated with Night Owls treat anyone with disrespect for any reason. On the contrary, [Rosati] Demands that its employees be friendly and professional. …as a hang-out for artists, musicians and students, it is a symbol of tolerance and diversity.”
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times