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Mina’s World, a popular West Philly cafe, closes as internal disputes surface on social media

The nature of the dispute was unclear. In the meantime, it said its 'People Fridge' would "stay in place for the moment."

The People's Fridge on 52nd Street, outside Mina's World Coffee Shop, just south of Malcolm X Park.
The People's Fridge on 52nd Street, outside Mina's World Coffee Shop, just south of Malcolm X Park.Read moreJenn Ladd / Staff

Mina’s World, the West Philadelphia coffee shop that drew local and national attention as a community-oriented and LGBTQ inclusive space, has closed.

“We don’t have enough money to continue operating,” read the message posted Friday on Mina’s Instagram. “The People’s Fridge will stay in place for this moment — if we are asked to move it we find another host in West Philly.

“Thank you for the opportunity to serve you in the ways we were able to.”

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Opened officially in 2020, Mina’s World had prided itself on being a safe, welcoming place for all, with a menu that embraced its owners’ immigrant family roots. Bon Appetit magazine called it “thoughtfully sourced coffee with a message.”

Its People’s Fridge, kept stocked for neighbors in need, is part of a growing community fridge movement around the city.

And part of Mina’s World’s avowed mission was also treating its employees with respect and paying them fairly.

But the closing comes with a shadow cast upon the 52nd Street-corridor cafe that was beloved by many.

In recent weeks, evidently a dispute had arisen between some of Mina’s employees and the cafe’s owners.

Sonam Parikh and Kate Egghart, partners in Mina’s, could not be reached for comment. Neither could the disgruntled employees.

» READ MORE: Good Karma Cafe temporarily shutters another location months after workers unionized

While the exact nature of the dispute couldn’t be determined, it has become the source of much social media discussion, with expressions of support for both sides coming from community members.

Some of the workers have started a GoFundMe page to try to raise money to buy the building where the cafe is located. The page alleges that the current owner is seeking to sell the building “as a method of retaliating against the [workers’] collectivizing.”

In another social media post, a person identifying as E.J. Egghart and the owner of the building and mother of one of the cafe owners said that the cafe had been losing money and that she had been subsidizing it. Defending her daughter and her partner, she said they were motivated by “social justice.”