Mom/Owner of Citizen Espresso Bar Responds To Daughter's Facebook Accusations

Categories: News

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Also read: Citizen Espresso Bar Owner Calls it Quits; Letter Says She Was Forced By Her Investor/Mom to Leave

Sherry Dew wants to make one thing clear: Her daughter, Tiffany Dew, never owned Citizen Espresso Bar.

"Tiffany liked to tell everyone she owned it, but that just isn't true. My husband and I purchased it. We thought it would make a nice investment," Dew says, "and that one day Tiffany could own it when she earned the right to do so."

Recently, Tiffany called it quits at Citizen Espresso Bar and the proverbial shit hit the family fan yesterday when she made her feelings public through a strongly worded letter posted on the coffee shop's Facebook page (which seems to have been taken down). The letter stated, among other things, that the reason for her departure was that her mom, Sherry, "threatened her" and "forced her to leave her own coffee bar."

The incident happened just two months after the coffee shop on Central Avenue just south of Camelback (formerly Lola Coffee, where Tiffany was a longtime employee) was purchased by her parents, who also own and operate a 30-year-old construction business in Scottsdale.

"Tiffany has always led a privileged life," Sherry Dew, 60, says of her 33-year-old daughter. "She's always had everything given to her. From the beginning, she wanted us to be silent partners, to pay the bills and back away. We tried to let her run it for a while, but she was spending a lot of money and we wanted to show her how to run a business."

And Dew tells me that the day her daughter walked out, she not only had to close up shop for a day, but she also had to call the police.

Dew explains, after a series of troubles with Tiffany, she had a feeling her daughter might leave. So, as a back-up plan, she set up an interview with another possible barrista.

"Tiffany walked up to us and wanted to know what was going on," Dew says. "She started saying some inappropriate things and I said to her, 'Tiffany, you're embarrassing yourself. Either go back to work or leave.' So she left, and took some of the employees with her."

Without employees, Dew was forced to close up shop. Later that day, Dew says Tiffany and her friend Mitzie returned and started taking things out of the shop, so she called the police.

The Facebook post yesterday came as a complete surprise to Dew, who says she's never threatened her daughter and that the Costco comment is a lie.

"She's always been a wonderful daughter. She's a passionate and sweet young woman," Dew tells me. "Yes we've had arguments, but they've been personal. She's always been my rock."

Dew says, although she hasn't talked to her daughter since the Facebook post, she hopes they can patch things up. And that no matter what happens, she won't bring Tiffany back into the business at Citizen Espresso Bar, which she still plans to keep running.

"I love her and I feel bad for her," Dew says. "But she's brought this on herself. We can certainly be a family again, but it will take time. "

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Location Info

Citizen Espresso Bar - CLOSED

4700 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General


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69 comments
Justin
Justin

As Tiffany's brother, let you give you my side of the story, from my heart. Tiffany was never
forced out. She walked. And I’m so glad she did, she was running that place into the ground. The “letter” is a riot, so no comment. Most of the staff walked with Tiffany and it was hard to find good people on a moments notice. And the staff that did leave, I had the pleasure of talking to each one of them when they came in to pick up their last paychecks. There is no
hard feelings between us and I actually asked one of them to come back.
She declined. So no one was forced out. My mom was left with no other option but to run the shop and although I’m full time at ASU, I have done everything to help her and my dad,
because I know what incredible human beings those two are. I will do anything for them because they have done everything for me. And another thing, my parents were not shopping around for business opportunities. They have one, and it’s more than enough for them to stay busy and live a comfortable life. They did this because they wanted Tiffany to have something for her future. They were not interested in making a profit. My parents are they most down to earth, genuine people ever. That’s what people don’t see. They don’t see the fact that they have been so supportive in everything my sister and I have done. Who do you think bought all of my sister’s DJing equipment and even went to her gigs all the time? My parents. Do you think they frequent places like Bliss Rebar? Well, every Sunday when my sister would DJ, my mom was there. How many parents go to their kids DJ shows on a REGULAR basis? As for
myself, I wanted to give acting a try and every little tiny role I got in LA, my parents would fly out to see me in a show. Did acting work out for me? No. But did my mom and dad make me feel like I could accomplish anything and make me always believe in myself? Yes! They did the same for Tiffany! Again, this is why they went down this road at 60 years old! For her! So people really need to stop being so hard on us and give this amazing little community coffee shop a shot. Yes, we have kinks to work out, but we are determined to make this a fun spot for everyone that serves up the best quality coffee around, and nothing is going to stop us. The best is yet to come! We hope to see you all in there soon, we’d love to have you
,
Justin

jliven23
jliven23

I had to check and make sure my browser didn't switch me over to the Onion after I read this. Bravo New Times...this story has a little of everything and effectively entertained me while eating lunch.

More of these please!!!!

CC
CC

I ran
a very successful and largely independent business within a Fortune 500 company
for over a decade.  Before I took the job the VP told me, "You
give me 15+%ROI and you can tell me how to you’ll run the business; Less than
15% and I'll tell you how to run it."

An earlier article suggested "Tiffany has been super busy making the space her own
over the last few weeks. Pastry cases have been purchased as well as a brand
new espresso machine and the new sign is scheduled to go up today."  In
the article above the actual owner states, "We tried to let her run it for a
while, but she was spending a lot of money and we wanted to show her how to run
a business."

If Tiffany had either sufficient business acumen
or the financial resources of her own to buy the coffee shop then she would be
able to run it the way she wants.  Until then, backing
up the truck with an investor's money 9whether or not it's your mom) does not fly.  Business
is about bringing in the bucks. Grow the hell up! 

Wang
Wang

Costco muffins are pretty damn good though?  Tiffany was nothing special anyway....spoiled kid. 

Barry1957
Barry1957

What a shame.  Since it is right down the street from where I lived, I visited often.  I always found the staff friendly and the coffee delicious.

MiamMiam
MiamMiam

I hope they work it out. Stops into Lola on my way to work made my mornings pleasant, and I have been going there since Daniel opened that location. I decided to continue my patronage to Citizen when he sold to Tiffany, as I asked him about the change in ownership soon after he sold to her (or her mom, or whatever that arrangement was). I always liked her and was ready to support her venture. Interestingly, things definitely seemed amiss this week, and I couldn't figure out why the people looked different, why it took (on average) over 15 minutes for me to get overly sweetened honey lattes that looked just atrocious, and had to actually EXPLAIN to the clown at the register what was in the hive latte - as in, it was a debate and found myself educating him on the different ways the lattes were made. For a brief moment, I thought he was joking when he exclaimed, "what's a hive?!?" (Are you frigging kidding me, and I'm blonde....) Having brief barista experience myself, I also found myself affirming a training correction that a seasoned barista offered to one of the new employees she was training because the new employee questioned how she was coached to press the espresso. Which, I thought was pretty sad I felt compelled to speak up, because I haven't been in front of an espresso machine in over a decade.

I saw the first article this morning and was disappointed to see dirty laundry was being aired, but thought I would go in again and give Citizen another chance. More than 20 minutes after I walked into Citizen, I walked out with a poorly made latte (again, too sweet) with foam that resembled a dying swan rather than a leaf, etc. And, the dying swan was only after my friend to whom I sent an image of the pitiful thing offered up an impressionistic and alternate perspective, after she encouraged me to shift my phone to the side to view the picture from a different angle. Even to see a dying bird we were both stretching our creativity. And, I can't even say the guy tried to do something - just sloppy. And never even acknowledged my presence as I stood in front of and watched him while he diddled around to make my drink. Oh, right, there was only one person in the line in front of me, so a morning rush is not a justifiable reason for that delay. And, I may get scolded for my snobbery and snarkiness. But, guess what, when I'm paying $4.25 for a coffee, and I have to wait as long as I have had to wait this week, I want it to taste and look damn good. I won't drink Starbucks because Starbucks is crap. So I pay more for an experience.... That's one of the things I most loved about Daniel's and Tiffany's coffees. They. Were. Damn. Good. As was their service. I didn't have to ask for what I wanted. They both knew. That kind of attention went far.

At this point, I will drive further down Central and visit Lux and Lola. And hope I see Tiffany around town. And, I hope that whoever is the owner or investor or proprietor of Citizen figures something out, because that space is just too special to fade out or cry out a swan song.

aeg66
aeg66

Replacing quality & experience to save dollars only costs you in the end but  Mom & Dad will learn when the crowds disappear. The crappy pastries from Sysco or Costco were obvious from looks & a bite. Whats next?? Folgers???Restaurant or retail if you're looking to make a wad of cash forget about it...the owners that love thrive, the others close...as they should.

Guest
Guest

непотребне драме

Luju72
Luju72

I suppose it is proper to allow both sides of a story to state their respective versions of events but I witnessed firsthand what occurred on the day in question and will vouch for Tiffany Dew.  I have also witnessed Costco and Fry's baked goods on sale in Citizen.  Sherry Dew herself has been seen bringing store-bought goods into Citizen to be re-sold.  Tiffany STRONGLY advised her not to take that route but the investor/mother ignored Tiffany's knowledge, experience, and common sense.  Maybe, in Tiffany's absence, someone else managed to convince Sherry that purchasing mass-produced Costco baked goods is actually a bad idea.  Maybe bakers are once again baking every day at Citizen, but let the truth be known that Sherry Dew wants to outsource as much as possible.

Although I am embarrassed to be taking part in a blog war of words I am angry and mortified that the lies of this woman are being published.   

Tiffany has over a decade of experience in some of Central Phoenix's best known coffee bars.  She knows what it takes to run a coffee bar.  Tiffany loved her job and her customers.  Sherry Dew said that the customers WOULDN'T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE between store-bought baked goods and those made on site.  Tiffany was without a doubt pushed out by a woman who is several beans short of a good cup of coffee.

Sherry Dew might be a business owner, but installing sprinkler systems is a FAR CRY from running a CenPho coffee bar. 

I could go on and on trying to address all of the lies being spewed by Sherry Dew, but in the end it really doesn't mater.  Citizen (or whatever her incarnation of it will be) will fail. 

jliven23
jliven23

Wow.....i'm going to give it a try just based on that. Great to hear a kid talk about his parents that way. Not close enough to me to make it my daily stop but i'll give it a shot next week for sure.

Jacquemetcalf
Jacquemetcalf

Justin, I completely agree with you. Don and Sherri Dew are the most amazing, supporting people I know. They've given their children nothing but 100% love and acceptance. I will continue to be a customer of Citizens, it's a wonderful place and it deserves a chance.

Fellow Citizen
Fellow Citizen

I just have to say... give Citizen a break and give new employees a break. It is clear that they are doing EVERYTHING they can in this difficult situation. When an entire staff walks out on your business, people who want work who don't necessarily have great coffee experience get the available jobs. Its not the end of the world. They will, in time, learn how to craft an excellent coffee drink for you but it takes just that, time. Its also going to take time for these owners to get their heads on straight because of this family drama and because of their other business. Not to mention their lack of coffee experience also. 

Go ahead and drive down to Lux and Lola and enjoy your better quality lattes with immaculate designs on them, I'm not challenging you on their incomparable quality at this point in the game. But I am challenging you to have a place in your heart for this family that is going through a very rough, and now public time and I am challenging you to have more patience with this business that is trying its hardest to stay afloat. You said you worked in as a barista before, right? Shame on you, you should completely understand. 

Djdmd
Djdmd

OMG, you latte art wasn't up to par?  Seriously?

I've always found pretty much all coffee shop people to be fairly rude and highly pretentious, but maybe that's because I don't waste $4.25 every day.  I just stop by every once in a while to get a good tasting coffee, which is actually kind of hard to come by.

Does Citizen actually roast their own beans?  Was Tiffany part of that process?

Slade Grove
Slade Grove

MiamMiam - I totally agree. We went earlier this week and the place seemed way way off. No lids for cups, the guy working was acting like a total dip shit (sorry, but that's how he was acting), customer service/register girl was totally lost, no lids for the cold cups, flies everywhere (see my foursquare checking post that day), and a new first data POS register system was sitting in boxes on the floor in front of the counter. Put that crap away so a customer doesn't trip over it. Sad situation.

GH664
GH664

You have to keep in mind that all the staff but one person walked when Tiffany walked. This type of thing happens. Life. I'm sure you've had your fair share of family problems and work problems. This really isn't something to get so upset about; it's only coffee. Maybe you should wait a month a come back, I bet it will be better than ever :)

vicelord
vicelord

How do you know they were from Costo and Fry's? Were the wrappers left on them or were they in boxes?

Concerned Drinker
Concerned Drinker

You're clearly very personally involved with this entire story, as your comments increasingly demonstrate..  

Of course, installing sprinkler systems is probably a much more legitimate business/career path than running a coffee shop.  Running a coffee shop is what you let your daughter do so she doesn't have to get a real job. 

Besides, while she may have 10 years of experience, it's experience *making coffee*..

david saint
david saint

while i dont doubt your story, she could have done several other things than walking out and then coming back to take stuff.  Thats petty. I will say this from experience, family and business just dont mix well. 

Jerry Kelly
Jerry Kelly

A name change might be a good idea or better yet combine the coffee shop with the 
installing sprinkler systems business at one location.  Name it  DRIP maybe

MiamMiam
MiamMiam

 Fellow Citizen, shame on me? For what? Speaking the truth as I experienced it? I can handle lack of experience and a learning curve. Years of business management, operating a family business, and extensive education on the matter qualifies me to speak out as I did. That's why I came in four days last week, bent on being open minded. What I don't, as a customer who has been loyally visiting and accustomed to an expectation of experience and service, do not and should not have to accept unprofessionalism as was demonstrated by the "new" staff. I understand, how instances of stress can bring out less than glowing behavior, and discomfort and anxiety can amplify and alter awkward behavior. My understanding, however, does not reprieve the personal responsibility the new staff members have to behave at a certain level of hospitality, professionalism, and customer service.

My commentary was honest and authentic, and there's no need to try to scold or shame me.

Poorly made drinks? Yes, I can accept that (within reason, if the service provided me by staff is gracious). Awkward service, even rude service, I can accept that (within reason, if the quality of the product I'm purchasing is there). But, both missing? No dice. I'm not ashamed.

You, on the other hand, might want to consider how your attempts at admonishment can alienate, not just me, but others reading these posts. Reasonable deduction could lead someone to believe your moniker links your association to Citizen, and you wouldn't want to inadvertently harm the image of that shop any more than already exists? It's called ownership and personal accountability for one's actions.

coffeeluv
coffeeluv

 this is a joke.  people expect what they pay for. there shouldn't be a learning curve for customers. i don't care if your business is a hair salon, an auto shop, a restaurant, or a construction firm. you should be ready to deliver product from day one or you shouldn't be in business.

no one wants to throw money down the toilet. and in this economy no one should have to, esp when there are ample companies ready, willing, and able to take your business.

customers aren't paying employees to learn their craft on them.  there's no 'be patient while they learn'. if there is such an understanding, then charge accordingly. 

there's a reason why a massage at a massage school costs 30 bucks and one at a spa costs 100.  you have an expectation on par with experience.

so whinging on and on about 'be patient while they learn' is pointless.  that is - unless mama at the wheel of the coffee shop plans to price accordingly.

if its sooooo easy to make a cup of joe, hire people who can do it already.

Guest
Guest

And this is why you don't mix business with family unless you have agreements in writing and clear expectations.

At the core of this story is the deterioration of a family and that is just sad. Here's to hoping the drama stays off the Internet and the mother/daughter can work things out.

Guest
Guest

Fellow Citizen and all that are reading this blog:

 

Bottom line, Lola owner would have NEVER approached Sherry
to purchase or run a coffee bar in Central Phoenix.   

 

The lack of experience currently taking place is terrible
and due to Tiffany being fired - get that straight. 

 

"When an entire staff walks out on your
business" as previously stated - this is FALSE. 

The AM staff was fired right after Tiffany with phone
calls- get that straight.  

 

Stop with the pity party and name
calling. Good luck to everyone as it is difficult no matter how you slice it.  

karma
karma

You're a moron. 

Djdmd
Djdmd

Huh, so, a lot of the staff suddenly quitting, leaving everyone else scrambling...that certainly had nothing to do with it, right? 

Now, the staff acting like total dipshits and being totally lost is part of the coffee shop experience, though..

Clayton
Clayton

I think is says something very important that the staff walked! People don't just quit there jobs without a good reason and I guess they had one!

Clayton
Clayton

Yes, and they were actually from Sam's Club.

Anon
Anon

Agreed, Luju, is acting like this is rocket science.  If that were the case people with college degrees might be required to make coffee.  Instead, you pull in Emo peeps who can pull a lever with a smile.  Good for the rents, sounds like the spoiled daughter needs to be cut off

Luju72
Luju72

I think we will have to agree to disagree.  I've said my piece.

guest
guest

They only can back to take things that they had paid for out of pocket and had not yet been reimbursed for. Nothing that belonged to the shop was taken.

guest
guest

by george, I think you've got it!

Djdmd
Djdmd

Right, that  "incredible vision" again...it's a coffee shop!  I'm assuming Tiffany's "bad decision" to take on a partner was due to the fact that she doesn't have any money, and couldn't afford to run the shop on her own, since it probably doesn't make enough money by itself to pay the bills.  And, once on her mom's dime, it sounds like she overspent to fulfill her "dream", without really understanding the business side of the shop..

Clayton
Clayton

Great post taken from the arizonacoffee.com blog.Yeah there is a ton of drama. The mother is the owner of the place and in her right to do as she pleases. However, this was Tiffany’s dream and she approached her parents for help. (From what I know.) What ever was the catalyst to this drama it started early and never relented. Tiffany made a bad decision in taking on a partner. Mother made a bad decision in getting rid of the person with the vision.I would say the person most at fault here is Mom. From what I know her posts and letters from Tiffany have been truthful. While the Mother has been manipulative and deceitful. (Again. Insider Knowledge. I know someone who works there.)The Mother was supposed to be silent but no agreement was written down. Now the mother apparently thinks she’s gonna run the shop. Ya know the standard claim. “How hard can it be? It’s just coffee and pastries.”Ultimately, this shop is on the brink of the precipice, hell may be on it’s way down with the airing of this dirty laundry. A majority of the experienced baristas if not all of them have left. The mother has never worked an espresso machine before the purchase of the company. (and still may have not worked one.) So don’t go in expecting Lola or even Citizen. Expect “Brand New coffee shop” backed by little experience. That will be reflected your cup of coffee.  Michael

Stoney-Browning
Stoney-Browning

 If you are a true barista, you should already know how to make a decent latte!

That's like saying, "I'm sure the restaurant will be just fine, and soon as the Executive Chef learns how to cook!

guest
guest

I'm just not believing your stories. if you expect us to accept your indignation as righteous, you're going to have to qualify yourself as an expert on the subject.

Fellow Citizen
Fellow Citizen

I also wasn't name calling. But I can if you'd like ;]

Fellow Citizen
Fellow Citizen

It may have not been an entire staff but people with the necessary coffee knowledge did leave/get fired! Which in turn leads to new people being trained. This, in a nut shell, is all that I was saying. 

I was also saying that people need to stop being so judgmental and feel a little more sympathy and empathy in this difficult situation for everyone. Sherri and Tiffany and their family, and the innocent new baristas who are doing their best with that they are being given. 

Jonescamp
Jonescamp

Don't be foolish. The articles about this pointed out that Daniel who owned Lola roasted the coffee personally, and continued to roast for Citizen. He continued as their coffee bean supplier. Don't make wild leaps that can start false rumors.

Djdmd
Djdmd

So they're serving the same coffee anyone could.  I mean, they're basically serving the Fry's / Costco of coffee...right?

Djdmd
Djdmd

You're an idiot.

MiamMiam
MiamMiam

Hi Slade, we might have encountered the same guy. I'll be the first to state that the behavior was entirely situational, but there still exists a standard for foundational professionalism. That is especially true and critical for a business that is in a saturated area.

My hope, with contributing my two cents, was that feedback for feedback's sake would be heard and heeded. As I said, I enjoyed my patronage to that business, and made regular choices to spend my money there rather than the other options available. I do hope they figure it out, and are able to salvage the shop.
 

Slade Grove
Slade Grove

Djdmd - You had to be present to see how the guy working was acting. That's why I called him a dipshit (in his job, not him personally). But I've found that almost everyone I've had contact with at various coffee shops take a great amount of pride in the coffee craft. They people over at Lux are simply amazing even when it's crazy busy and chaotic. 

Anon
Anon

There is a reason Starbucks is on every corner like Circle K; it doesn't take a genius to run.  Let me guess...manning a Circle K is difficult and Starbucks isn't a local coffee shop.  You are right.  Starbucks is worth billions and local coffee shops go under after two months.

Djdmd
Djdmd

Running a coffee shop *is* very easy.

Clayton
Clayton

The reality is that many people think running a coffee shop is very easy, including it would seem Sherry Dew, but there is a reason why so many fail. It is always hard to run a business if you have zero experience in that field. 

Djdmd
Djdmd

Business expenses are paid for by the business..

Luju72
Luju72

I mean Amen to the family and business not mixing well. 

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