As some of you may know there has been a legal battle in the past six months for the future of Hometown. Hometown Poke originally had two founders, Becca Brady and Tiff Ting. Throughout the entire time the store has been open Tiff has largely been absent and a seemingly uninterested in running the business while Becca has been working hard to create a thriving and community-driven business. As of this past Friday (12/18) the judge ruled to dissolve the business and it is likely going to an auction where Tiff will do as much as she can to either win ownership of the company or get as much money as possible.
Why we are concerned:
We, the staff, will be the ones most drastically impacted by this business going to auction; it’s not just our jobs that will be impacted, but our lives as well. It’s worth noting that out of the 15 people that Hometown employs,13 are People of Color, 12 are women, and many of us are a part of the LGBQT+ community. This is so important because we are the ones losing jobs and being affected by COVID at an alarming rate. The restaurant industry in general has taken a huge irreparable hit due to COVID and it has only been through Becca’s leadership that we have navigated this year and have been protected healthwise and financially. Also the work environment that we have created under Becca’s leadership is so important to us; all of us enjoy coming to work and feel safe coming to work. We truly believe that a big part of the success of Hometown comes from us as a staff and how much we care about this company and the community.
Why you should be concerned:
We won’t be the only ones who are affected by a change in ownership. The customers of Hometown, its vendors, and the community around it will be impacted. Becca always makes sure there is a consistency and quality in the food and service. Her enthusiasm and friendliness towards customers is a great model for us and keeps people returning. Our customers are kind and care about Hometown and we think Becca is a large part of that. She is also the reason we have a relationship with the diverse community around us. She has always strived to give back and not just be located in the Mount Hope community, but be an active part of it and make Hometown a part of it. We also have some amazing local vendors that Becca has fostered good relationships with. Any change or slow-down in business for us impacts their business as well.
Becca was the one who was there for us and the community and the reason for Hometown’s success. During this dispute our personal statements were not taken by the court nor were the staff taken into account at all. We don’t think that we are being unreasonable in saying that we as the staff directly impact the health of the business and are a big part of why it has been so successful. We are not being heard at all by the court. Countless serious allegations of misconduct and testimonials have been completely dismissed and silenced in this process.
We truly feel this is the only thing that we can do to preserve something that we care so much about. We were left behind in this legal process and we want everyone to understand how much we care about this and how it impacts us. We all love Hometown and want it to continue with Becca and the community we’ve created. We hope you feel the same way. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach out to me on this platform or any social media.
Heather Fernandez and the rest of the Hometown Staff
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