Cafe owner in Golliwog race row insists ‘I’m not racist – I’m from Leicester’

A cafe owner who has been caught in a race row over her a decorative mini golliwog doll has protested she is not a racist after a visiting customer complained.

Owner Fay Bates says she has not had anyone complain about the two inch tall golliwog in the thirteen years of running her cafe until now.

The eatery has reportedly been filled to the brim with hundreds of items of 70s memorabilia by Bates.

The owner says she has now received an onslaught of "hate mail", as well as social media posts and comments about the old-fashioned item.

In an interview with CornwallLive, Fay said: “This has been blown out of all proportion. The hospitality industry is struggling for staff because people are being abused whilst working on minimum wage.

“If it (the golliwog) is offending anybody I’ll happily remove it. It’s been here 13 years and never offended thousands of people. It just blends into the background with the other items that have brought people lots of nostalgic happiness.

Fay, who runs Daisy’s Café in Looe, says that the young woman who complained about the doll was verbally abusive to a member of staff.

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She continued: “I have hundreds of 70s items in the café and it’s all given people more joy than it has offended people. The last thing I want to do is offend people but I wanted to stand up to this person (referring to a now deleted Facebook post in response to the incident and hate mail) who abused a hard-working and long-serving member of staff.”

She also claims that she has received "hate mail" on Facebook from man in Wales continually calling her a racist, who she has says she has never seen in the café before.

“I’m really not racist. I’m from Leicester which is a multicultural city and have had people from all over the world in this café," she said.

She is unclear if the woman who complained is affiliated with the man on Facebook.

"I don’t know how someone can attack a family business like that.," Fay added.

"We’ve grafted for 13 years and are number one in TripAdvisor for the area but someone is trying to wipe me out overnight.

"It’s just vindictive and I’ve never had a problem with anyone before.

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“I’m 54, a bit old school and lose track of what you can and can’t say but all this person had to do was ask nicely for it to be removed and I would have done so.

"My post on Facebook was merely pointing out that hospitality is struggling more than ever this year for staff because of abusive customers and no other industry has to tolerate this and neither would I.

"Next thing I am bombarded with nasty messages from someone I do not know judging my character and implying I'm a racist for not removing the item that thousands of people over the 13 years have found nostalgic along with all the other 70s items and there are lots."

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