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Laurier cafe closed over controversial ad back open, former owner hires lawyer

Last Updated Jan 10, 2017 at 12:22 pm EDT

Photo courtesy of @VeritasCafe.

A popular cafe on the Wilfrid Laurier University campus that shut down over a controversial ad last month has officially re-opened under new management.

Patrick McMahon has been hired as the new manager and has completely revitalized the cafe’s menu with the help of the kitchen staff.

Samantha Deeming, President of the Laurier Graduate Student Association says there was huge support from the community.

“A lot of familiar faces coming back through the door, says Deeming, “they are really excited to have the space re-opened, really excited to see the new menu and how it’s rejuvenated focusing on dietary restrictions with more options for vegan, more options for gluten-free and vegetarian.”

Deeming adds the GSA will be operating the cafe as a ‘social enterprise’.

“It now allows us to do different things because we are not profit driven”, says Deeming, “we’re not looking at the bottom-line of profit, we are able to pay staff living wages from Waterloo Region, we’re able to test new things out and really focus on that graduate student experience within the space. Not huge differences, but differences we are hoping people will see.”

The hiring will now be done by the Graduate Student Association with the help of the Diversity and Equity Office on campus.

“Moving forward, the GSA will be working on the hiring with the Diversity and Equity Office and an employment equity officer specifically will be helping with all the hiring.”

The closure garnered national attention after previous owner Sandor Dosman posted what he called a ”tongue-in-cheek” help wanted posting, joking about “a new slave (full-time staff member) to boss (mentor) around Veritas Cafe.”

The Wilfrid Laurier Graduate Students Association terminated Dosman’s contract in December.

Dosman has retained a lawyer since the controversial ad and the termination of his contract.

“We have been retained by Mr. Dosman regarding the wrongful actions of the Graduate Students’ Association (GSA) in forcing him out of the Café he created,” says Daniel Strigberger in an email to 570 NEWS. “The GSA continues to make statements regarding Mr. Dosman that are false and defamatory, including the comments made in The Cord today. The GSA never raised any prior issues with Mr. Dosman, he was never provided with any warnings and, most importantly, his termination letter referenced the posted ad as the sole reason for terminating his agreement with the GSA. Mr. Dosman continues to be without employment due to the GSA’s actions and the damage the GSA’s statements have caused to his reputation. We will be responding on Mr. Dosman’s behalf to the GSA in due course.”