Business, News

White Rose owner: ‘I’ve lost my business and I’ve lost my daughter’

The White Rose Coffee Shop in Lynn. (Jim Wilson)

LYNN — Less than a week after controversial comments about police from the daughter of a Central Square coffee shop owner went viral, the one-year-old shop is closing.

“I’ve lost my business and I’ve lost my daughter … I don’t know how this story just keeps building, but I need people to leave me alone,” said Kato Mele, owner of the White Rose Coffeehouse. “I’m closing my business so I can stop being harassed.”

The final straw came last night, she said, when she arrived home to find a TV crew in her driveway.

Last weekend, Sophie CK, Mele’s 23-year-old daughter, posted on her personal Facebook page that she would never host a “Coffee with a Cop” event at her family’s establishment.

Her posting ignited a debate that got ugly when Sophie called police bullies and racist killers. The response was swift by others who defended police and said the shop should be boycotted.

Mele apologized for Sophie’s remarks, fired her, and invited police to her shop on Monday to make amends. But the police did not show, and the usual morning crowd never materialized either.

By Tuesday night, Mele had had enough.

“This is completely out of control,” she said. “I just want to be left alone.”

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