Monday, February 26, 2024

The Monday Morning Stimulus

Since opening in December, Natasha John said the goal of Skoden Coffee and Tea, near Central and Camelback, has been to create an inclusive space.

“We are a small group of queer indigenous femmes,” said John. But she said earlier this month, a teenage barista was threatened by a customer because they were offended by a Palestine flag sticker on the lid of their coffee cup. “The person became incredibly disgruntled,” she said. “The flood of hate messages just really came in I would say by the dozen.”

In the days after, she said things escalated, and lots of negative reviews began popping up across several platforms. “A lot of them were from people that never came here,” said John. “The underlying, I would say criticism, was that we were discriminating against the Jewish community and I just wanted to first and foremost state that we are not antisemitic.”

Some wrote online that the coffee shop was unsanitary. A few days later, a Maricopa County health inspector stopped by and found a violation. According to the Environmental Services Department, the hand-washing sink was not working. That led to a temporary closure of the business. Two days later, a reinspection found the water issue was fixed, and they could re-open.

While all the pushback has been disheartening, John said there’s been an overwhelming amount of love. “With that also came a lot of support from folks that really, really stood by in solidarity with us,” said John.
If you're going to push your politics onto your customers, be ready for push back.

The Wombat has Rule 5 Sunday: Poolside open and ready for business.

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