Auburn cafe has busy weekend of business after social media posts criticize its vaccine policy

Local News

AUBURN, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The owners of Gretchen’s Confections and Cafe in Auburn say they had their busiest day since reopening on Saturday, with the exception of Mother’s Day.

Friday, NewsChannel 9 reported that the cafe was the target of social media attacks, criticizing its policy that customers who want to sit inside without masks need to have been vaccinated.

The cafe reopened in April after closing in October, just before the second, most deadly wave of the coronavirus pandemic.

In reopening, the owner wanted his staff to feel confidently safe, so put up posters informing customers they need to be vaccinated to sit mask-less inside. He emphasizes non-vaccinated customers are welcome to eat or drink their order at tables outside or take it to-go.

In an interview with NewsChannel 9 on Friday, Christenson said, “I have people who have underlying conditions that are a concern. I have people who have personally experience five people that they knew died from COVID.”

Last week, someone posted a picture of the powers to Facebook, sparking dozens of angry comments from people across the country.

One commenter wrote, “I’ll never step my foot in to your cafe again and will forward info to my friends & family. Enough tyranny here.”

One man who made his own post with the photo wrote: “Bomb their reviews and send a message to the local business community that we will NOT tolerate this!”

Social media comments have expanded into vulgar voicemails: “It’s not your choice for me to get a vaccine, okay. Plain and simple. It’s not your choice…. You’re a pig. You’re a f***ing pig.”

The owner says many of the cafe’s weekend customers had never been to their business before and went out of their way to counteract the nastiness on social media.

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