• Local coffee shop taking action after police kicked out of Arizona Starbucks

    By: Chris Flanagan

    Updated:

    HAVERHILL, Mass. - The controversy over the six police officers kicked out of an Arizona Starbucks because a customer didn't feel comfortable is being felt in the Merrimack Valley.

    One small, family-owned coffee company is going viral after calling out the corporate giant. They may be a small coffee company, but they aren't backing down to what's brewing with Starbucks. 

    "We saw what happened to the officers in Arizona and the line in the sand was drawn and this is our stance," said Dana DeFranco, the co-owner of Battle Grounds Coffee Company in Haverhill.  

    DeFranco was angered when she heard what happened to the officers at that Tempe, Ariz. Starbucks. In response, her family-run company decided to donate 50% of profits from online sales in July to an organization that supports families of fallen officers.

    PREVIOUS: Starbucks barista asks officers to leave because customer felt unsafe, police say

    Orders are coming in from all over the country – more than a thousand in just a few days – thanks to the power of social media. 

    Extra workers have even been called in to help to bag and mail out coffee. 

    "Am I blown away by how viral it is? Yes," she said. "The messages that come in, the orders that keep coming in, they are all so positive and that’s hard to find sometimes these days."

    DeFranco co-owns Battle Grounds Coffee Company with her husband, Sal. Sal is a veteran; he spent six years as a Navy SEAL.

    "They're going into our nightmares and they do it day after day after day," Sal said. "To see them treated like this is just so disheartening."

    Starbucks did issue an apology to the Tempe Police Department:

    What occurred in our store on July 4 is never the experience your officers or any customer should have, and at Starbucks, we are already taking the necessary steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again in the future. 

    The support Battle Grounds has received for calling out Starbucks has been overwhelming for the DeFrancos – particularly, the many heartfelt messages.

    >>>MORE: Legislation eyes statewide standards for police body cams in Mass.

    "You give us hope that people are still good," Dana said, reciting one of those messages. "What you are doing after the Arizona situation speaks volumes of the good character you both have inside."

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