News and Commentary

Employee At Chocolate Shop Who Refused Service To Cop Loses Job
box of chocolates in male hands on a dark background
Yulia Naumenko/Getty Images

A rude employee at a chocolate shop who refused to serve a Seattle police officer lost her job, with the owner of the shop writing that “it was in the best interest of both parties to part ways with the team member.”

Last Tuesday, the police officer and a trainee entered the Chocolati Cafe to buy a box of chocolates. The female staffer said she would not serve them, reportedly saying, “No, I won’t serve you.”

According to The Post Millennial, after the encounter with the employee, whom The Post Millennial described as a “white female with green streaks in her hair,” The Post Millennial contacted the store. An employee told The Post Millennial, “Is this how you want to spend your time? Getting essential workers in trouble? Shouldn’t you be spending your time harassing homeless people?”

After the reporter for The Post Millennial then said they would attempt to contact the owner or manager, the employee agreed that would be a better idea, but then reportedly added, “… and go f*** yourself.”

The Post Millennial added, “Following the publication of this article, another police officer contacted The Post Millennial with a similar story from a different date where they were refused service at the Chocolati location on E. Green Lake Dr. N.”

Initially, on Wednesday Chocolati issued a statement on Facebook in which they defended the employee’s right to free speech, stating:

We have recently become aware of an incident that occurred with a team member and an officer of the Seattle Police Department who was refused service. Although we do respect this team member’s freedom of speech, the actions in this instance do not represent our views as a company. We are actively working directly with this team member and the local precinct to create a more inviting, inclusive and cohesive community for all.

But two days later, the cafe’s owner, Christian Wong, announced the employee no longer worked at the store, writing on Facebook that “it was in the best interest of both parties to part ways.”

As soon as I learned of this incident, we worked to understand the facts of what took place, and we spoke directly with the team member involved. We also spoke with the Sergeant of our local SPD precinct. 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. …

I look forward to meeting on Sunday with the SPD officer involved in this incident to personally apologize – just as I would apologize to any customer who was refused service on the basis of an employee’s personal views.

“This incident at Chocolati occurred as the Seattle Police Department faces a significant crisis. Since last year, over 250 officers have left the force, leaving the SPD with the fewest deployable staff members since at least the 1980s. Concurrently, Seattle hit a 26-year-high homicide rate,” Jason Rantz of KTTW noted.

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