Philadelphia Coffee Shop That Was the Image of Inclusiveness Is Shut Down by Employees for Not Being Woke Enough – Opinion

The LGBTπ-friendly business has been consumed by employee demands of community adherence and ownership.

You can’t imagine being recognized nationally by a national news source as a small business trying to survive. It is the kind of promotion and sense of legitimacy that any business craves, and Mina’s World, a privately owned coffee shop in the upcoming trendy section of West Philadelphia, received just that, from Bon Appetit Magazine. Opened earlier in 2020, Mina’s received a glowing feature that fall that hailed its presence and what it meant to the community.

Mina’s World is about more than just drinks and decor. Mina’s World aims to become a different kind of Philly coffee shop: One that is fair to all its workers, employs Black and Brown people in management positions and prioritizes ethical sourcing for its coffee beans. It also refuses customers. Many of these workplaces had a toxic atmosphere, as the owners did not pay their workers well or protected them. The whole point of Mina’s is empowering Black and Brown people, and that means those who are doing the labor are also treated with that same level of respect. We’re working all the time on making accessible price points.

Fast forward to 2022, and tensions began to build between employees and owners. The business faced accusations of engaging in social injustices. Staffers started making demands, eventually calling for the establishment to be a collective. They opened the Philadelphia’s first QTPOC owned coffee shop. Today the employee rebellion and attempt to collectivize and retake control led to a revolt by employees. has led to Mina’s World closing down.

Even though the company tried to source quality goods, local-made items were offered for sale and higher wages and an emphasis on inclusion and minority hiring, it was still under attack by those they were trying to cater. Employees accuse each other ranged from “anti-blackness,” “systemic worker oppression,” and “gentrification” to “ableism.” The plan eventually became for the employees to form a collective and have the business turned over to their group.

Two owners recorded a message to explain themselves. It is both illuminating and pathetic. The hostages video is described by many as a hoax. It shows the owners admitting to a variety of social crimes for simply trying to manage a business that would benefit the community and favor displaced people.


Based on the repetitive repetition of grievances from aggrieved employees, it is difficult to discern what they actually admit to. This is evidence of people trained to feel cowed by the slightest complaint, made to feel guilty by someone’s perceived offense at actions that were not genuinely offensive. This sad group of people are now being exiled for their crimes.

This case is an excellent example of what happens when outrage mobs are the loudest and most well-equipped. This pair did the very thing many have said — put your money behind your cause and run a business in the manner you deem appropriate. They gave agency to the poor and were then rewarded by a growing list of demands that reflected the empowerment of their staff.

The community seemed tired of the drama they had created. One video shows a worker. Called on the community for support to the workers, and then was furious at the customer flight. He said that rather than buying $50, people should just realistically drop the money into tip jars. 

After learning that the parents of one partner owned the place where the cafe was situated, the group formed crowd funding to buy the site. The effort generated approximately five percent of the stated goal, which was remarkable given their apathy. 

These woke workers feel far more powerful than they really are and have made unrealistic demands that were based on their social perceptions. As a result of claimed oppression, they are now free from all of their listed grievances – since they are now all out of work, by their own hands. 

It is possible that Mina’s World was one of the most woke enterprises that could be created, and the fact that it has met its demise under the accusation of not being woke enough speaks volumes on the nature of the woke movement.

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