Mark Da Costa is not your average inner-city vegan.
The Sydney cafe owner has branded his plant-based eatery Hale and Hearty a ‘Trump safe zone’ ahead of Wednesday’s US election, sparking outrage in the left-leaning Sydney community of Waterloo.
Mr Da Costa has faced a barrage of hate-fuelled comments in recent days labeling him a racist and a bigot.
In a video posted on the cafe’s Facebook page, Mr Da Costa added fuel to the online fire by saying ‘if you want Sydney’s best pancakes with a side of racism come and see us’.
Not your average inner-city vegan: Mark Da Costa has declared his cafe Hale and Hearty a ‘Trump safe zone’
The Hale and Hearty cafe in Sydney’s Waterloo is known for its plant-based burgers and pancakes (pictured)
The saga began when a university student posted screenshots from Mr Da Costa’s private social media accounts to a popular online group for vegans.
The posts show Mr Da Costa’s support for US President Donald Trump and controversial Australian One Nation politician Pauline Hanson, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Since then, Mr Da Costa says the ‘left wing fake vegan community’ have called for his business to be boycotted.
Social media users have also flooded review websites to leave negative ratings and comments.
‘You may have a few Trump supporters onboard in the social chat, but when most of them aren’t even vegan, who’s going to bring in the revenue, now that you’ve alienated your main customer base?’ One person posted to their Facebook page.
‘In a few years, you’ll be out of business and be used as a case study. You’re not even American you utter muppet.’
After posting this image to social media, the cafe owner has received a huge backlash from left-leaning locals
Another said: ‘This guy is a nut case. Why would any intelligent individual eat or drink at his establishment? The place will be closed within six months.’
Others loyal customers pleaded with Mr Da Costa to change tack.
‘Seriously focus on your business. Your business is suffering. Stop with all this political crap. Focus on what’s positive and exciting… You’re only doing yourself and your business a disservice by posting things like this,’ one person wrote.
‘I was going to come to your restaurant and eat there but I’ll be taking my business elsewhere.’
Mr Da Costa said the outraged social media users leaving comments understand him to be something he is not.
‘We just want to spread love. We have created a venue for you and for vegans and if you are not going to turn up because of what you have read, we are okay with that,’ he said.
‘Here is a message to you p**s weak vegans, Hale and Hearty is going nowhere,’ Mr Da Costa (pictured left) said
‘Everyone that has hated on Hale and Hearty and myself… calling me a paedophile for being a Trump supporter and supporting Pauline Hanson, calling me a racist, a bigot and a homophobe, I don’t give a f**k what you think about me,’ he said in an online video.
‘Here is a message to you p**s weak vegans, Hale and Hearty is going nowhere.’
But although Trump supporters and their MAGA hats are more than welcome at the cafe, Mr Da Costa says so is everyone else.
‘Our staff are amazing and all from different cultures… It is a Trump safe zone, as it is an LGBT safe zone, gay zone, everyone, have fun,’ he said.
For the moment the move appears to be paying off with Wednesday night trade this week coming in at a record high for the business.
‘That was largely in part due to the Trump supporters that turned out to support me,’ he said.
Ahead of next week’s election, polls indicate Democratic candidate Joe Biden has a commanding lead over Donald Trump and is the favourite to take office.
Mr Da Costa and the Hale and Hearty cafe have been contacted by Daily Mail Australia for comment.
For the moment the move appears to be paying off with Wednesday night trade this week coming in at a record high for the business
Source: Daily Mail Australia | World News