CANFIELD — Peaberry’s Cafe was busy Tuesday with new and regular customers supporting the business a day after it closed early because two customers refused to wear a mask.
Owner Chris Pendleton said new customers and regulars who haven’t visited in a while came throughout the day Tuesday to support Peaberry’s after word of Monday's incident spread on social media.
“They understand this is a tough time,” Pendleton said. “They have come out and shown us a lot of love and support, and we appreciate it.”
Only a handful of people, including the two customers on Monday, have caused problems with wearing a mask in the cafe since the pandemic started, Pendleton noted.
Joanne and Brian Reiser of Canfield go to Peaberry’s a couple of times a week but made a point to visit on Tuesday to support Pendleton's crew.
Brian Reiser said people should be respectful of small businesses and wear a mask while visiting.
“It’s disrespectful to everybody, especially in a small business like this, that is trying to do everything the right way,” he said.
Joanne Reiser agreed and said people need to respect the policies for masks everywhere they go.
“The owners here will go above and beyond to serve their customers, be courteous and clean and follow the rules,” she said.
Pendleton said one of the two women involved in Monday's incident started to record him when he asked them to put masks on. The woman said she was a member of an organization that was targeting small businesses. She did not name the organization, he said.
After that, Pendelton decided to close for the day.
“I was getting wound up enough that I did not want to lose my cool,” Pendleton said.
David Snyder has been a regular at Peaberry’s for years. He just got out of the hospital after spending two months recovering from COVID-19. Peaberry’s was the first place he wanted to go, his daughter, Corinne Snyder, said.
Corinne Snyder said they wanted to support the business since the owners are great people.
“Chris and his wife [Amy] are awesome,” she said. “They always cater to my dad and bring out his food to him just because he has a hard time walking.”
Sarah Wehrle, of Canfield, and her mom, Susan, were looking for somewhere local to eat with a relative from out of town. When Sarah told them about Peaberry’s closing the day before, they knew where to go.
“We just wanted to come out to support them,” Wehrle said.