Dignity over Revenue

Dignity over Revenue

New York Grilled Cheese Company in Wilton Manors, Florida has received a few bad reviews online.  But not over their grilled cheese.   Their bad reviews are in reference to their employee, Mia, and the gender-neutral / trans-friendly bathrooms.

Mary Bolda’s review complained about the terrible service from her “waiter,” a trans employee named Mia.  Mary continued to refer to Mia as “he” and “him” loudly and was a distraction to other customers.  Another reviewer complained that she wouldn’t go back to New York Grilled Cheese Company because “they only have transgender restrooms.”

New York Grilled Cheese Company shared the following on social media in support of their employee Mia: “We at New York Grilled Cheese Co. want to send a clear message that the company culture is and always will be one of acceptance, equality, and support of our transgender community and any other walk of life.  This week one of employees, Mia, was the victim of discrimination and we’d like to respond with one simple message: LOVE. Share this graphic if you got Love for Mia and our local transgender community. ‪#‎LOVEMIA‬”

Owner Leor Barak said he was sorry to hear the customer wouldn’t make a return visit to New York Grilled Cheese Company but announced “we would never choose the revenue of an intolerant patron over the dignity of our employees.”

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Business owner moved to tears by outpouring of support after she stood up for LGBT rights. 

The owner of a Greek restaurant in Wisconsin was ‘shocked’ by the support she has received after she made a public stand against a homophobe

The owner of a Greek restaurant in La Crosse, Wisconsin, was moved to tears over the weekend at the show of support and gratitude she received after shutting down a homophobe on Facebook.
Despina Kozidis, AKA Gracie, is the owner of Gracie’s Gyros and Wraps on Campbell Road.

When a woman posted a message on a La Crosse Foodie Facebook page seeking recommendations for places to eat in the town, Gracie took the opportunity to post a message last Wednesday about her business.

That should have been the end of the matter, except for the fact that Kozidis had recently changed her profile image to incorporate a rainbow via the Facebook rainbow filter app.

Her posting was spotted by local Tea Party activist, Greg Luce, reports the La Crosse Tribune. He clearly didn’t like the fact that Gracie was a visible supporter of LGBT rights, and posted a message saying that he would no longer consider using her business.

‘Hi Despina. I saw your post on La Crosse Foodie. I love gyros, but I detest people with rainbow filters on their picture. It’s an abomination that we are being forced to condone deviant sexual behavior. I will NOT be visiting your restaurant, I’m sorry.’

Kozidis was shocked. She had not expected negative commentary and was thrown by what to do. She phoned her daughter, Sofia Kozidis, for advice.

‘She was freaking out,’ Sophia told the Tribune, before explaining that her mother had experienced intolerance and bigotry while growing up in Greece but had not expected to encounter the same in the U.S.

‘The culture that she’s grown up in is sometimes not very accepting, but in coming to the U.S., being a single mother, having a business, she’s learning every day how to be a part of the community, how to be accepting.’

Mother and daughter thought long about what to do, before deciding that they didn’t think a customer with views such as those voiced by Luce would be welcome at their establishment. So, Gracie answered with the following message.
‘That’s great! We prefer to have accepting, coexisting consumers. It seems we have come to an agreement that it is best for both parties that you do not visit my business. Thank you.’

Sofia took a screenshot of the exchange. She redacted Luce’s surname, and posted the image to her own Facebook page and also to the La Crosse Foodie page. Luce labeled the posting as ‘inappropriate’, and removed his comment. The La Crosse Foodie page was also subsequently closed down.

Any fears Gracie may have had that her stance would lead to negative recriminations against her business were quickly dispelled. She received message of support on both her own Facebook page and the page of Gracie’s Gyros and Wraps.

After the end of business on Saturday, the following message was posted on the Gracie’s Gyros and Wraps page:

‘We want to thank each and every single person who commented, sent well wishes and love and traveled to come and see Gracie at the restaurant today.

‘We were not prepared for the overwhelming outpouring of love and support. So, if you did not get served as quickly as we would have wanted to serve you, please accept our deepest apologies!

‘Come back and we now know how to handle this.

‘This was completely unexpected and very much appreciated. Gracie, at one point, had to go into the kitchen and cry from the level of attendance and show of support.

‘You will never know just how much this means to her and her family. So please, accept our sincere apologies for any inconvenience that may have been caused today. We love you. We want to see you again. We are closed tomorrow but Monday will bring a new day and better preparations for all the love coming our way!’

Another posting simply said: ‘At Gracie’s we love everyone. Food does not show discrimination; food does not judge and everyone is welcome under a roof of love here!’

Speaking to Gay Star Business, Gracie said that she had been ‘shocked’ by the support she had received over the last few days: ‘I’m still in shock’.

Although she had received ‘a couple’ of negative comments on social media, the positive comments had greatly outweighed the negative.

A spokesperson for 7 Rivers LGBTQ Connection, a local advocacy organization that promotes LGBT-friendly businesses, told Gay Star Business it was great to see the establishment get such support.

‘Gracie’s has worked to keep their doors open through some lean times,’ said Executive Director, Jackson Jantzen.

‘It makes her willingness to make the exchange and her position as a welcoming and inclusive business member a more powerful gesture.

‘We are so grateful to see such a large number of our community rally around her with appreciation. It’s a powerful moment in time for our community here in the rural Midwest region our organization serves.’

Have you been to Gracie’s Gyros and Wraps?

Submit a review for them and encourage everyone to head to Gracie’s!





Source: Business owner moved to tears by outpouring of support after she stood up for LGBT rights – Gay Star News

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New on “The List:” Chez Fonfon

Birmingham Circle

A Birmingham reviewer gave us the dish on this delicious restaurant:

“The drinks are great. The service is on par with any great fine dining restaurant without being overly stuffy. The menu changes, but some things never change. The burger is right up there with…”

Check out this reviewer’s mouthwatering review here on our Birmingham page under Restaurants.

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New on “The List:” Zerios Old World Restaurant and Catering

hartford circle

A Middletown reviewer gave us the scoop on a great restaurant and catering contact:

“They get to know their customers on a first name basis and on a personal level. They like to “know” their customers and do whatever it takes to ensure their customers are happy and enjoy the food. Hands down, one of the best places for a quick lunch or something more specific for a special occasion.”

Wanna go check them out for yourself? You can find this review in the Restaurants category of our Hartford page.

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New on “The List:” Catering By Bellinis in Birmingham, Alabama


A Birmingham reviewer gave us all a great catering contact for their city:

“Catering by Bellinis is very supportive of it’s LGBTQ employees as well as the LGBTQ Community as a whole. They have supported both financially and with product events in the Birmingham area. Support those that support you!”

This is fantastic! Interested in contacting them for an event? You can find this review in the Events category of our Birmingham page.

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Hot on “The List”: Second review for Sushi Roku of Pasadena, California

My husband and I always find our way to Sushi Roku and continue to feel like family in their restaurant. The manager, Justin, respects our family and always makes us feel so welcome. We never leave without a free delivery to the table of a fun drink or desert. I highly recommend this restaurant not only for the great atmosphere and sushi but the warm and welcoming staff. Also, they have an incredible happy hour menu every night of the week.

Want to learn more about this hot spot in Pasadena? Check them out here.

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