Precious few businesses will take the risk of making political statements, for fear of losing customers.
But a few holdouts remain. In the local food world, the Birchwood Cafe, Common Roots, Cook St. Paul, and anti-hate-mongering Penzeys Spices are a few examples of restaurant owners who get loud and proud when it comes to political issues, taking a strong stance and even using their business platform as a bullhorn. Urban Bean certainly wasn't shy about telling Donald Trump supporters to stay out of its coffee shop.
Count among them Pizza Nea, which recently posted on its Facebook page a quote that has been making the rounds on social media:
According to Mike Sherwood, owner of the 15-year-old wood-fired pizza institution, he decided to post the message because it resonated deeply with him.
"It’s actually an answer to a Rachel Maddow article online," he says. (The passage has since been attributed to writer Jeremy Mitchell.) "I just thought it was so succinct and a great answer to how we all felt. Who are they to be asking us to give this disgusting individual [Trump] a chance? I’m furious."
But not all of the responses to the post were positive, and Sherwood took to Twitter this week asking for support in the face of being “attacked.”
"It was mostly trolls," he says, but he added that about three customers have approached him and said that they won’t be returning to the restaurant.
But the overwhelming majority of feedback to the post was positive, with some writing that they’ll revisit the pizzeria based on the sentiment within the post alone. At last check, the post had received over 800 likes.
Still, Sherwood says he's stopped promoting the post, because he thought some people misconstrued it as a cheap ploy for business. Not so, he says. He simply believes business is a perfect place to get political. (He also offered a special for anyone wearing a pink pussy hat into the restaurant on the night of the Women's March on Washington, Minnesota.)
“Businesses are individuals now, right?”
So, will he keep it up?
Sherwood also took strong stances on gun safety legislation and gay marriage, using the restaurant's Facebook page as his pulpit.
"I might piss some people off in this world, but they’ll get over it.”
306 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
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