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Owners of Stella’s issue video and print apologies

Stella's Owner Tore Sohlberg in an apology video posted to the chain's Facebook page.
Stella's Owner Tore Sohlberg in an apology video posted to the chain's Facebook page. Stella's Cafe and Bakery / Facebook page

A popular Winnipeg restaurant chain facing accusations of labour and human rights violations is speaking out again.

If you looked at the Winnipeg Free Press Saturday morning, you most likely saw a full-page apology issued from the owners of Stella’s Restaurant, Tore Sohlberg and Lehla Abreder.

A full page open letter published Saturday morning in the Winnipeg Free Press.
A full page open letter published Saturday morning in the Winnipeg Free Press.

 

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Over 100 accusations of sexual harassment and human rights violations have surfaced from former Stella’s employees since early November.

READ MORE: Top Stella’s executives placed on leave after accusations of toxic workplace culture

The apology from the chain’s owners includes bold text saying “we regret this” and “we have let you down.”

“We grew too fast and did not put the right systems in place to guide our managers or protect and support our people. That was a mistake,” the letter reads.

In addition to the open letter, Sohlberg also issued a video apology through the restaurant’s Facebook page.

In an emailed statement sent to Global News, McKim Communications Group released a statement on behalf of Stella’s:

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“Stella’s is committed to being as open as confidentiality allows. Once the independent review is complete, any new information will be made public.”

The apology has received a mixed reaction online, but frequent Stella’s customer Janine LeGal feels it’s a step in the right direction.

“This is the biggest step they’ve taken. Has it brought back my faith in them? I would say yes.”

Janine LeGal reading Stellas’ page long apology in the paper.
Janine LeGal reading Stellas’ page long apology in the paper. MarekTkach / Global News

“They’ve been bold and honest about it,” continued LeGal. “They’ve been open about it. It feels much more sincere than their previous statements for me.”

LeGal says she’s been following the controversy very closely.

“I feel a lot better about going back,” LeGal said.

The Stella’s location at 116 Street.
The Stella’s location at 116 Street. Marek Tkach / Global News

An independent investigation process looking into the numerous claims of harassment and inappropriate behavior is currently underway.

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WATCH: Stella’s harassment violations
Click to play video 'Stella’s Allegations' Stella’s Allegations
Stella’s Allegations