Mina’s World, located in the neighborhood of West Philadelphia, was characterized by Bon Appetit as a business that doubled as a “hangout spot for people of marginalized identities.” Sonam Parikh, who ran the company alongside partner and co-owner Kate Egghart, told the outlet that Mina’s World was the city’s first coffee shop owned and operated by queer, trans people of color (“QTPOC”). The pair had named the company after their cat.
Parikh blasted other coffee shops for neglecting to “protect their Black and trans employees” and allow customers to enjoy coffee in a space that was not “whitewashed.” However, as chronicled by the Philadelphia Inquirer and Libs of TikTok, Parikh and Egghart are now facing similar allegations.
An Instagram page called the “Minas World Workers” began posting accusations against the ownership last month, claiming that they had subjected workers to “manipulation, abuse of power, exploitation, anti-blackness, ableism,” and other charges summarized in a “List of Grievances.” The employees demanded “immediate payment” and told the owners to “redistribute the business.”
Egghart and Parikh apologized in an Instagram video, which has since been removed from the Mina’s World account. “We’re going live as part of a radical accountability process. We’re complicit in the gentrification and anti-blackness on 52nd Street. We put our community at risk with our presence as well as our workers,” the pair said, per Libs of TikTok. “With the guidance of the workers and Black and Brown Workers Collective, we’re trying to raise funds to buy the business and turn it over to our staff.”
Days later, the building that hosted Mina’s World was listed for sale. According to the workers, Kate Egghart’s mother, Eunjoo, was the owner of the building as well as an 18% owner of the company. The workers claimed that despite Parikh and Egghart’s best efforts, she “refused” the request to redistribute the business.
The workers attempted to raise $200,000 via GoFundMe to purchase the building, as well as the share of the business allegedly owned by Eunjoo Egghart. They managed to raise over $11,000 by July 6. In early July, however, Mina’s World said it did not “have enough money to continue operating” and closed its doors.