Brooklyn, NY – Fleisher’s, the trendy chain of craft butcheries known as New York City’s “Rock Star” butcher, had to close its doors temporarily after employees walked out because management removed Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ Pride signs from the stores’ windows.
The signs, which had been hung by employees, were reported to Rob Rosania, the leading investor in the Brooklyn-based craft butcher, by a friend who was offended by the signs in his local store in Westport, Connecticut, Forbes reported. h
Rosania called Fleisher’s CEO John Adams, who had joined the company two months earlier, and told him to remove the signs.
So Adams personally went to Westport to remove the signs and then did the same thing in all of the New York City locations of Fleisher’s, Forbes reported.
Employees were outraged and said they felt let down by the new CEO, who had ostensibly been brought in with the promise of bringing accountability to Fleisher’s.
“I told him he failed at that,” 32-year-old Ajani Thompson told Forbes. “You were trying to get our trust, and I don’t feel comfortable here. I don’t feel safe coming into work because you didn’t do that.”
Thompson is the only black employees at the Fleisher’s in Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood.
She said staff had hoped Adams would be a buffer between the company’s 40 employees and Rosania, Forbes reported.
Rosania is a real estate developer with a reputation for gentrifying areas of major cities.
Thompson walked out after Adams removed the signs, and so did about three dozen other employees at other locations.
Adams rushed to put the signs back up the next day, Forbes reported.
He even sent pictures to the offended employees and Rosania sent an apology letter.
But angry employees did not return to work, leaving Fleisher’s in a tough position in the midst of a nationwide workers’ shortage, according to Forbes.
“Think of me as an equal and none of this needed to happen,” Thompson said. “It’s messed up to think of someone as less-than and then want them to provide for you.”
Only 30 percent of the staff stayed with the company and now the company is desperately trying to re-staff all of its locations.
A notice on the door of the Fleisher’s in Manhattan said the butcher shop wouldn’t be open for counter service until at least the end of the month, Forbes reported.
The company’s website said all locations were “temporarily closed,” the New York Post reported.
Fleisher’s was launched by Joshua and Jessica Applestone in 2004 and sold to Rosania’s group in 2013.
The Applestones no longer have any affiliation with the chain of craft butcher shops.