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  • Mark Baratelli, Editor

Dandelion Community Cafe Closed Until Further Notice




Local vegetarian restaurant Dandelion Community Cafe (Instagram | Facebook | Website) is closed until further notice according to a sign hanging on its front door and a notice on its website.


A newly formed union made up of current Dandelion employees called The Seeds (Instagram | Facebook) say they presented a letter to management Monday announcing the formation of the union. Along with presenting the letter they asked for a meeting with management and the re-hiring of an employee they claim was "unlawfully" fired on August 8th. They say the employee, not named, was fired "for asking to have a staff meeting."


The Seeds union says employees were told that same day by owner Chris Blanc via text that the restaurant would be closed for the rest of the week.


The things the employees want addressed included, "better pay, legitimate management, and an acknowledgement of our physical working conditions and our decaying infrastructure (this includes providing a safe workplace under Covid-19)."


The Daily City reached out to Dandelion Community Cafe for comment.


The Seeds are asking the public to protest the restaurant and sign a letter of support.


Tuesday they staged a protest in front of the closed restaurant. The group said, "After management decided to, unlawfully, lock us out and deny us the opportunity to work. We show up on behalf of our community to explain why we are not being allowed to serve them. We still await a response from the management and we still await the opportunity to sit down at the table and come to an equitable and mutually beneficial outcome."


Representative Anna V. Eskamani showed support for the restaurant and the employees. "I love Dandelion, and I stand with The Seeds and their efforts to organize a union, just like I stand with our airport workers at MCO and adjunct professors at Valencia College. I know that when we lead with love, good things will come. Be kind to one another & keep focused on what is right."


They're also asking for donations towards an employee hardship fund. The link for the fund goes to the Paypal donation page for the self-described "radical labor union" Orlando Central Florida Industrial Workers of the World (Website). A link to the same union appears on The Seeds' facebook page.


This is a developing story.


Employees of Dandelion Community Cafe standing in front of the closed restaurant Tuesday August 11th. Photo courtesy of The Seeds.

Employees outside Dandelion Community Cafe Tuesday afternoon. Photo courtesy of The Seeds.


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