Detroit Coffee shop closes its doors after receiving 10-page threatening letter

Posted at 5:51 AM, Mar 01, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-01 06:14:06-05

DETROIT, MI (WXYZ) — The Gathering Coffee Company on Grand Boulevard in Detroit was forced to close its doors last week after receiving a 10-page threatening letter from an anonymous source.

"The letter itself was just extremely disturbing. You know that this person was not in their right mind, but you know that this person has some kind of hate towards whether it's our shop or who we stand for," owner of The Gathering Coffee Company Emily Steffen said.

She says most of her staff identifies with the LGBTQ+ community but she did not want to go into detail about what the letter said. She did say that the letter was threatening though.

"I don't think people knowing every detail of the letter was necessary. If it was any information that would have kept them out of harm's way or our team out of harm's way it would have been given to you," she said.

Steffen says her focus is on her staff and their needs. She even started a GoFundMe to help cover lost wages for staff and to hire private security. They've already reached 30% of their goal.

"Not only are we experiencing this and trying to figure out how to feel safe again, but also how are we going to be taken care of," Steffen said.

And as you can imagine Steffen is nervous about reopening but she believes a sense of safety can return to the space.

"I believe as a community that we are going to be taken an even greater stand that hate's not going to win here," she said.

The Lansing Police Department confirmed that they're investigating a similar case in Lansing and have passed the information on to the FBI Detroit Field Office.

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