A small but loud leftist minority at Boise State University tried to totally shut down a local coffee shop because the owner, who is engaged to a police officer who has been shot multiple times, supports law enforcement. But it backfired on them big time.
Hundreds of customers flocked to Big City Coffee’s downtown Boise location after the progressive group forced the small business to shutter its new on-campus location at Boise State on Oct. 26. What was the reason for the left’s anger? The owner, Sarah Fendley, had a small Thin Blue Line flag sticker on her shop’s glass door, KTVB-TV reported.
In September, members of the school’s Inclusive Excellence Student Council rebuked Fendley for daring to express any support for the police and lambasted Boise State administrators for allowing someone with such a — in their view — nefarious perspective to operate a business on campus. One council member said Big City Coffee is “not a safe place” because its owner supports people like her fiancé who work in law enforcement.
“We are supporting an organization that blatantly supported the Thin Blue Line,” said another council member. “And everyone [sic] black person I know has stories of being treated unfairly at this place. … I believe that supporting this organization during these times is not good.”
A third council member said it’s “unacceptable” for someone like Fendley to be allowed to operate a business on the college campus. The student went on to claim that, because Fendley has supported the work of law enforcement officers, her business “is going to encourage” police who harm minority civilians.
“It should not be up to marginalized students to fix this,” the student continued. “It is up to the administrators to fix this and allow for students to have a voice. We have known for half a decade that they support Thin Blue Line, and this is unacceptable and should never have happened.”
Fendley responded via social media, informing her small group of critics she had the sticker on her door because her fiancé, Boise Police Cpl. Kevin Holtry, is paralyzed and had his left leg amputated above the knee after he was shot multiple times during a 2016 manhunt for a wanted felon.
Rather than deal with the angry mob of left-leaning students, Boise State administrators said Fendley simply “requested to be let out of the contract” with the school. At no point, executives said, “did the administration ask Big City Coffee to compromise the owner’s First Amendment rights.”
While Fendley declined to comment on her decision to close the on-campus location, Holtry contested Boise State’s assertions during a video interview with a citizen journalist. He told Pam Hemphill it is “absolutely not” true that his fiancée backed out of her contract with the college.
“Why would a woman who owns a business by herself that’s barely keeping it above float because of the pandemic, why would she borrow money and take money she can’t afford to spend, spend $10,000 on a new espresso maker, hire 23 kids, train them, buy the food, buy the equipment, and then all of the sudden go, ‘Eh, I guess I’m not into this,’ and walk out?” he asked. “Is that logical?”
Earlier in the interview, he accused Boise State administrators of misrepresenting their conversations with Fendley, telling Hemphill he was at the meetings with his fiancée where school officials said they would not issue a public statement expressing support for her new on-campus location.
What happened next?
Once people learned about Fendley’s situation, they descended on her downtown Big City Coffee location in an incredible show of solidarity.
Holtry told KTVB he and his fiancée were “blown away” by the incredible turn out at Fendley’s downtown coffee shop on Oct. 30.
“This is really touching and it’s been a very amazing day,” he said. “I’ve been here for two-and-a-half hours, and it’s been like this the entire time. It shows what a great community we have, and what people really think and what people — how they live and how they support, not just first responders, but local businesses and people who really commit their lives to Boise.”
To learn more about Big City Coffee or to make a purchase, click here.