LAUREL, Md. - A minority-owned coffee shop in Prince George’s County is reporting a boost in sales following the Starbucks controversy in Philadelphia.
The arrest of two African American men has sparked a national debate about racial profiling and has also fueled an influx of patrons searching for coffee shop alternatives.
More than Java Cafe, a coffee shop owned by Tabitha Clark in Laurel, has reported a spike in business falling the Starbucks fallout.
“We've more than tripled what we would normally have here. We tripled. It was non-stop,” Clark explained to FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis.
The two men arrested at the Starbucks in Philadelphia, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, said they were meeting a third man at the coffee shop to discuss a real estate deal.
When they entered the Starbucks, Nelson said he asked the employees to use the restroom, but was told he needed to make a purchase first. The men said that they told the employees they didn’t need anything to drink and that police were called just two minutes after their arrival to the coffee shop.
Clark said she has no issue with non-customers coming into More Than Java Cafe to use the restroom or to hangout, but said it’s a case-by-case basis.
“As long as you are not someone who is disrespecting the place or bothering customers, I'm OK with it,” Clark said.
Clark said she will sit on a panel and join other minority-business owners in California next week to talk about the Philadelphia incident help create solutions for similar situations.
Starbucks announced more than 8,000 of its U.S. based stores would be closing on May 29 to conduct racial-bias training for its nearly 175,000 workers.