Who owns Chocolati Cafe? Seattle chocolate shop staffer who refused to serve police officers sacked
The owner explained the cafe's goal is to 'treat everyone with compassion and empathy'
An employee working at a Seattle chocolate shop was sacked after she refused to serve a pair of police officers on April 27, 2021. "No, I won't serve you," the employee had brazenly told them after which the officer and trainee left.
The owner of the shop took to announce the sacking in a Facebook post, writing that "it was in the best interest of both parties to part ways with the team member."
What happened at the cafe?
Last Tuesday, April 27, 2021, a police officer and a trainee entered Chocolati on North 45th Street in the Wallingford neighborhood around 4:30 pm to buy a box of chocolates. The female staffer said she would not serve them, reportedly saying, “No, I won’t serve you". The pair left after this.
While the identity of the employee has not been revealed, the local reports described her as a "white female with green streaks in her hair". When local reporters reached out to the cafe for a statement regarding the incident, an employee answered the phone. According to the publication, when asked about the situation, the employee asked, "Is this how you want to spend your time? Getting essential workers in trouble? Shouldn't you be spending your time harassing homeless people?"
President of the Seattle Police Officers Guild Mile Solan, reportedly said that when an officer and an officer trainee visited the Chocolati store, they were met with "a bit of hostility." "But based upon the amount of pushback that company has received from the public and across the nation is that people are still really supportive of the police," he added.
Reports also say that after the incident, another police officer came forward claiming they were refused service on a different occasion at the ship on East Green Lake Drive North.
On April 29, in a Facebook post, the owner wrote, "We are actively working directly with this team member and the local precinct to create a more inviting, inclusive and cohesive community for all. Discrimination is not a practice that we believe will heal the divide within our city, and we are committed to being a safe and welcoming place for every one of our neighbors."
As a local small business, Chocolati welcomes all members of our community. We have recently become aware of an...Posted by Chocolati on Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Who owns Chocolati Cafe?
Chocolati Cafe, located on East Green Lake Drive North 45th Street in the Wallingford neighborhood is owned by Christian Wong. At Chocolati, according to their website, Wong offers handmade chocolate confections, Lighthouse Organic Fair Trade Coffee, and rich hot chocolates. The owner apparently launched the cafe as he was 'unimpressed by the waxy chocolate bars' that he ate as a child and wanted to redefine the delicacy. The restaurant is tagged as Asian-owned and minority-owned.
Following the negative publicity his cafe was getting, Wong said he was "shocked and disappointed" by the employee’s conduct. In the aforementioned Facebook post, he announced the employee was no longer with the cafe.
"After fully understanding the facts of this incident, we came to the mutual conclusion that it was in the best interest of both parties to part ways with the team member involved in this incident," Wong wrote on May 1.
Dear Friends & Neighbors, I’m a Seattle native, born and raised, and I love our city. For so many of us, this has been...Posted by Chocolati on Friday, April 30, 2021
Wong explained the cafe's goal is to "treat everyone with compassion and empathy, and that we do not discriminate against customers based on our personal beliefs."
According to some local reports, on Sunday, May 2, Wong was to meet with officers involved and personally apologize. “Our hope is that this unfortunate incident can serve to help show that communication, empathy and education are the ways we can find common ground as a community in this city we all love,” he said.
It must also be noted that the incident comes when the Seattle Police Department is reportedly losing officers. According to the latest reports, Police Chief Adrian Diaz reportedly said that almost 180 police officers quit last year and 66 have left so far.