Protesters Harass Restaurant Over “Colonial” Theme
A new restaurant in Northeast Portland opened up last week, and is already being marched on and protested by the professional protesters. Saffron Colonial specializes in British cuisine, touting their “globally inspired dishes from the height of the British Empire”, “English & colonial breakfasts”, and “English tea-time treats”.
Leave it to the wackjob Portlanders to protest this new establishment, saying it promotes racism, slavery, and gentrification.
We will NOT accept the glorification of colonialism in our community, particularly in a neighborhood that has a painful legacy of black & brown folks being displaced.
After Black PFLAG’s “Now What?” event I’ll be walking down to Saffron Colonial to deliver an open letter to the owner and I would like other people to join so she (and other community members) know we’re serious.
Please note, this starts outside In Other Words and ends at Saffron Colonial. If you’re unable or uninterested in walking with us, feel free to meet at Saffron around 2:30.
Click the link below to see the open letter:
Part of that open letter reads:
The fact is that the English language is not the only aspect of British colonialism that lingers today. Mentalities established during British colonialism (like white supremacy ) have led to the painful legacy of residential segregation and housing disinvestment which continues to affect community members in Boise today. Which is why the decision to launch your business on North Williams is especially egregious. It’s a slap in the face to people who have experience the harms of racist economic development policies (a legacy of colonialism), wherein land and resources were taken from black and brown people in order to make some white folks rich.
The owner, Sally Krantz, is quoted as saying:
When I stated that I was more than happy to have a dialogue and asked if Stephanie had a suggestion for a different name, I had hurls of abuse thrown at me for being lazy and getting her to do my job…very few people were willing to actually engage in a dialogue, but preferred to scream abuse at me.”
The protesters demands consist of:
1.) Change the name of the restaurant immediately, and remove references to plantations throughout the restaurant like the one below:
2.) Apologize for the pain you’ve caused black/brown communities and take the necessary steps to repair that relationship. It was suggested on the event page that you host or attend a listening session on gentrification and I think that’s a great idea.
3.) Require your chef to apologize for his ignorant remarks and require him to take sensitivity or unconscious bias training. (And make his continued employment dependent on these actions.)
In fact, a local coffee roaster has now severed ties with the restaurant.
Ristretto Roasters says it will no longer do business with the North Portland bakery, which advertises itself as a “British Colonial Cuisine” restaurant. The restaurant has faced a backlash from people concerned about a British Imperialism-themed restaurant with a drink called “Plantation Press” opening in an historically black and quickly gentrifying neighborhood.
Ristretto supplied Saffron Colonial with coffee and sold them pastries in their cafes. The relationship goes way back: Krantz had imported Ristretto coffee to the Saffron cafes she owned in Hong Kong.
“Since they released their colonial branding, we’ve been in the process of dealing with the repercussions of it,” Ryan Cross, Director of Wholesale for Ristretto told us over the phone.
Welcome to Portlandia. It’s a pity that these people don’t have jobs or lives.
(h/t Daily Beast)