Tea shop owner apologizes after banning customers from wearing masks

SEATTLE — The owner of a Fremont tea shop apologized after placing a sign at his shop which stated that customers would not be allowed in unless they removed their protective masks.

On Friday, KIRO 7 tried interviewing the owner of B. Fuller’s Mortar & Pestle tea shop. However, he quickly refused, saying, “I gotta go. I gotta go! Thank you!”

“I passed by it, saw the sign and thought, ‘This must be some kind of joke ... sarcasm or something,’” said a recent customer.

The sign, placed at the front entrance, contained bold letters that read, “Please remove your mask.”

This weekend the owner posted an apology on the shop’s Facebook page, which said in part:

“I wanted to reach out and first and foremost apologize for what was a misguided statement posted in the window of the shop last Sunday. The “No Mask” sign in the window was put up as part of a debate about these issues within this business and with our customers- something we have been doing since the onset of COVID-19. I believe in the value of reflection, debate, and inquiry in all matters, especially around such important issues as face our community today. I personally and within my business have been under stress, confused, and wondering as to the correct conduct in these trying times, and the right way forward amidst all of this. I will be the first to admit that I often make mistakes and hold positions that I later revise based on input, reflection, or fuller information.”

The post also stated that the position was too confrontational and not in harmony with the community, causing anger and even confusion and criticism.

On Friday afternoon, the sign was removed from the shop’s window.

Click here to read the shop owner’s full apology.