‘Queer-Owned’ Cafe Shut Down By Own Workers, Not Woke Enough

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A pair of activists opened a cafe for the purpose of creating a safe space for minority, queer, and trans community members. However, not long after opening, the cafe was shut down by its own employees for being “racist” and “gentrifying” the community.

Kate Egghart Sonam Parikh
After creating a cafe described as a “queer haven,” Kate Egghart (left) and Sonam Parikh (right) were forced to hand over their business for not being woke enough. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

Kate Egghart and Sonam Parikh are just about as woke as woke can be. As self-described queer activists, the pair decided to walk out their beliefs by putting up the money to start a business designed to support and celebrate the LGBT, the disabled, and “Black, Indigenous, and People of Color” (BIPOC).

The duo unveiled Mina’s World, a Philadelphia cafe advertised as a “queer haven,” hiring workers who specifically identify as racial minorities and adherents of the LGBT community. The business was hailed as a “safe space.” However, the shop would soon close, not because it wasn’t economically successful but because of self-sabotage.

Kate Egghart Sonam Parikh
Kate Egghart and Sonam Parikh opened Mina’s World, which was intended to be a “safe space” for marginalized people. (Photo Credit: Facebook)

Kate Egghart and Sonam Parikh posted a video apologizing for “gentrifying” the community and announced that they would be closing their cafe. The pair also stated that they are looking for a way to hand over ownership of the shop to the employees, who had strongarmed their employers with accusations of racism and oppression.

“We’re complicit in the gentrification and anti-blackness,” Egghart said, seemingly reading from a printed statement. “We put our community at risk with our presence as well as our workers. With the guidance of the workers and Black and Brown Workers Collective, we are trying to raise funds to buy the business and turn it over to our staff.”

Parikh added that she and Egghart would be selling the building and raising funds in order to give the business to the employees.

“The workers of Mina’s World deserve so much more,” Parikh said. “They have worked beyond their means. They have made the space what it is, and our ultimate goal is to return the space to them and give them the shop they truly deserve to have.”

The workers publicly accused the cafe owners of “anti-blackness” and “tokenism,” demanding that they hand over the business to the employees. (Photo Credit: Screenshot, Screenshot)

The implosion occurred after several weeks of controversy following accusations made by the employees. The workers united to broadcast a list of grievances on social media, including discrimination on various levels.

“We are facing systemic employer opposition, manipulation, abuse of power, exploitation, anti-blackness, ableism, hostility and complete disregard for our livelihoods,” the workers claimed, citing grievances such as “anti-blackness in a multitude of forms and occasions, ableism in the form of inaccessibility, exploitation of labor and denial of promised wage increases,” and “tokenization as way to appear safe by association.”

The workers then demanded that Egghart and Parikh “redistribute the business” to them in order to make amends. The threats seemed to work, and the owners began the transition of handing over their entire business.

Kate Egghart Sonam Parikh
Kate Egghart and Sonam Parikh apologized for being “complicit in the gentrification” of the community and announced they are closing the cafe. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

However, the coup didn’t quite go as planned. Just as the workers thought they had the cafe handed to them on a silver platter, the owner of the building stepped in. The employees publicly expressed their outrage when the property owner suddenly listed the building for sale.

“MINAS WORLD LOCATION JUST LISTED AN HOUR AGO BY EJ EGGHART !! DO YALL CARE ABOUT WORKERS? DO YAL CARE ABOUT WHATS JUSTICE??? OR YALL GONNA SIT IDLY BY WHILE VIOLENCE IS BEING ENACTED?” a worker posted on social media.

The 2,500-square-foot space was listed for $425,000. Despite the workers’ rage, the third owner doesn’t seem to want to hand over nearly half a million dollars in property to a group of angry baristas.

The employees’ plan backfired as the building’s owner listed the space for sale and wouldn’t hand it over to the workers. (Photo Credit: Screenshot)

These politically motivated agendas never translate well economically. Instead of rewarding hard work and innovation, those who check off the most boxes in diversity are rewarded because they are believed to be the most victimized and, therefore, the most virtuous.

It’s a power struggle in which those who claim to be the most oppressed subjugate those who don’t have enough diversity notches in their belts. Fail to submit to the marginalized and you become their target. That’s why it’s so satisfying to sit back and watch them devour one another.