Former Smiling Goat Organic Espresso Bar baristas in Halifax have officially opened their new coffee shop, Glitter Bean Café.
The coffee shop is designed to offer a queer-friendly community space and held their grand opening Tuesday.
“It’s very overwhelming and very exciting. We are very happy to be back and serving our customers again and hopefully new customers too,” said Charlie Huntley, member of the Glitter Bean’s board of directors.
A Safe Queer Place
The idea for the café stemmed from the baristas themselves. Ninety per cent of employees at the café identify as queer and they say a safe space is needed for their community. It’s a sentiment echoed by customers on opening day.
“Having a space that is firmly and openly just a safe space for anyone who wants to come here is just absolutely incredible,” said Taylor Langille
Dylan Hill came out opening day to check out the new coffee shop. He says he and his friends will be regulars.
“Everyone I live with is queer so we have always been on the look out for somewhere we can hang out and kind of be ourselves that’s actually made for us,” he said.
It’s catered towards us. Rather than a bunch of queer people in a straight spot, now it’s a bunch of queer people in a queer spot and we’re so excited.”
The baristas, represented by a Service Employees International Union local, have accused their former employer of not paying them fully.
Meanwhile, the owner of the Smiling Goat chain of coffee shops is suing his former employees and their union, claiming that they “unlawfully conspired” to defame him and hurt his businesses’ economic prospects.
Legal matters are now before the courts.
WATCH: Former Halifax café to serve as queer community space