McAllen coffee shop faces backlash after being wrongfully accused of making joke about Uvalde shooting

2 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, June 01 2022 Jun 1, 2022 June 01, 2022 8:15 AM June 01, 2022 in News - Local

Christopher Hernandez and Manuel Tijerina own Cultura Coffee House in McAllen.

Open for two years now, the coffee shop has had rave reviews — until now.

"An individual based in San Antonio who happens to own a coffee shop with the same name as ours made some hideous comments about the incident in Uvalde,” said Hernandez, co-owner of Cultura Coffee House.

Hernandez is referring to a social media post that captioned a photo of two people grieving the victims of the Uvalde shooting. The post went viral on Facebook and TikTok.

“It was very insensitive and out of line,” Hernandez said.

The McAllen coffee shop has no affiliation to the San Antonio business, but the post is damaging the McAllen shop’s image.

“For a while, we’ve been getting negative reviews on Yelp and Google, as well as messages in our Instagram account,” said Tijerina, co-owner of Cultura Coffee House.

Hernandez and Tijerina fear the reviews could have a lasting impact.

"All of these we received in the span of 24 hours, 36 hours,” Hernandez said.

Foot traffic in the shop has already seen a slight drop.

"People get the two coffee shops confused," Tijerina said. 

The San Antonio coffee shop posted a statement on its Instagram page following a backlash on social media, which reads in part, "I'm sorry if my coping impacted anyone negatively. This weighs on my head so I posted it and immediately deleted it. This is how I cope on MY PERSONAL page."

But due to the confusion, Hernandez says the damage has already been done. 

"They can’t remove the reviews because it does not violate their policy, so it’s very difficult to try to do something about,” Hernandez said.

The co-owners of the McAllen business are asking the community to think before they post.

“Do just a little bit of due diligence before leaving a bad review because it ultimately is affecting us,” Hernandez said.

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