Portland Coffee Shop Fights Back After Being Forced to Close Because of Threats
Little Woodfords coffee shop at the bottom of Munjoy Hill has been targeted because of Portland's new mask mandate.
Andrew Zarro, a Portland City councilman was the lead sponsor of the temporary mask mandate in Portland to try and help quell the raging fourth surge of the coronavirus. He also owns Little Woodfords on Congress Street.
We have now received direct threats to our shop and harm to our bodies, vicious homophobic and personal attacks, more derogatory, malicious and fictitious reviews, along with promises to make us close our shop permanently in 2022, as several conservative news outlets that are calling for a boycott of our shop.
When you go to their website, instead of seeing what snacks and coffee they are offering, you get a very disturbing message instead:
You may have noticed we’ve been pretty quiet for the past few days. I wanted to take a moment and address you, our friends, community, and supporters, directly.
On Monday, January 3rd the Portland City Council voted unanimously to implement a temporary mask mandate to mitigate the surge that we are now experiencing from the omicron variant of Covid-19. As many of you know, Andrew from this shop is one of those Councilors.
Shortly after the vote, a group of anti-mask, anti-science, anti-vaccine conservatives blew a dog whistle to their co-conspirators and called on them to make an example out of Andrew by attacking Little Woodfords, a private business.
What began as a flurry of false and defamatory 1-star reviews calling us “segregationists” who want you to "show your papers” because of our belief in science and public health, quickly further escalated and radicalized into more right-wing rhetoric that has drawn attention from across the nation.
We have now received direct threats to our shop and harm to our bodies, vicious homophobic and personal attacks, more derogatory, malicious and fictitious reviews, along with promises to make us close our shop permanently in 2022, as several conservative news outlets that are calling for a boycott of our shop. These attacks are also from several local Portland and Maine galvanized and violent groups.
Little Woodfords first shares what's happening to them, and then they decide to fight back! And they ask for help doing so. The message continues:
We understand that the hypocrisy, homophobia, anti-semitism, violence, misogyny, misinformation, and willful ignorance of these people is something we all have been witnessing, fighting against and experiencing for quite some time — and now we need your help.
Help us fight back by flagging and reporting their reviews on Google, Yelp and Facebook as the bullying and harassment it is. Give us a good review. Buy a gift card. Give a donation to the shop. Write a letter to the editor of the Portland Press Herald or Bangor Daily News. Volunteer to spend time with us when the shop reopens next week. Share your support for LW online and in-person.
We are only as strong as our community and we thank you for your strength, kindness, compassion, integrity, and values.
Community support has been swift, even competing coffee shops are supporting Little Woodfords. This is a Facebook post from Bard Coffee also in Portland.
No one, no business deserves this kind of hate because you don't like a new policy.
That's what voting is for. Stop the hate!