Hate storm batters cafe boss who welcomed PM to city

Hate storm batters cafe boss who welcomed PM to city

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson is guided around Truro by Fig Cafe owner Kim Mace, who received abuse on social media after saying it was “an honour” to meet him

14th April 2021

By Matt Dixon

A café owner who welcomed Prime Minister Boris Johnson to a Truro market last week has received vile abuse on social media.

Kim Mace greeted the UK premier when he visited Lemon Street Market, but could not have predicted the tirade of criticism directed at her later that evening.

Following her Facebook post and photograph in which she said it was “an honour” to meet him, the Fig Café page was deluged with anti-Tory comments.

She told the Truro Voice: “I’ve received so much hate and vitriol. It’s horrendous. People feel like they can voice opinions and in the end I had to shut down the café’s Facebook page, as well as my own.
“I turned my phone off from 7.30pm on Wednesday evening and I just cried for 24 hours.

“Family and friends have patted me on the back for making it through a year in which we’ve traded for just 13 weeks out of 54 – but just as I thought we were getting to the end of the pandemic and looking forward to trading again, this has happened.”

Comments included people saying they would boycott the café, asking why Mr Johnson wasn’t wearing a mask at some points and questioning whether social distancing was being observed.

One woman got in touch with Kim to say how much she liked the look of the café and wanted to visit, asking her when it would be open.

Kim replied that it would be on May 17, only for the woman to abuse her for “opening” the café before that date.

“I’ve never experienced anything like the last 24 hours,” she said on Friday.

“As soon as I put up that post it was off the scale, unbelievable. I’ve done nothing wrong, it’s just a real, real shame. I expected a bit of negativity but nothing like this.”

Kim’s son Jordan contacted Facebook to complain about fake negative reviews of the café which appeared after the page had been frozen, but the company chose not to do anything about it.

“Very occasionally I have to deal face to face with disgruntled customers. I never expect my staff to be abused by anybody,” Kim said.

“All I want is a quiet life. I absolutely love what I do and I have managed to keep this business going by the skin of my teeth over the last year. The Prime Minister was not visiting Fig Café, he was visiting Lemon Street Market. I was the one asked to greet him when he arrived.”

During his visit to the market, Mr Johnson chatted to numerous traders on the ground floor before holding a press conference in the new-look Fig Café on the first floor.

Five journalists including a representative from the Voice talked to the Prime Minister, who asked if everyone was comfortable with him removing his mask so he could be heard more clearly.
Earlier in the day Mr Johnson had flown into Newquay Airport before visiting several businesses ahead of Monday’s reopening.

He went to Perran Sands Holiday Park in Perranporth, before meeting business owners in Truro, heading first to Lemon Street Market before chatting to owners and staff in Ann’s Cottage surf shop.