Owner: Caf will reopen

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 2, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

For three days now Magnolia’s Caf has sat empty and dark with the doors locked due to what owner and manager Adisa English called people “acting like animals.”

He said, however, the cafe will reopen.

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Friday afternoon Magnolia’s Caf employees stood outside the door of the restaurant demanding payment.

“When we started, I told all these people that was going to work for me that I was going to put a week’s paycheck in the hold,” English said, “then pay them for the next week, so that way if they quit or got terminated, they had another check coming.”

Melinda Daniels, a waitress at Magnolia’s Caf, confirmed English’s version of events.

“Several meetings before Magnolia’s Caf opened, he spoke about putting a check in the hold,” said Daniels. “He told us way before the Caf ever opened that that was what he was doing. People showed their (butts) over something stupid.”

English said three now former employees started the trouble, Toya and Al Sanders and Jennifer Ross.

Attempts to contact the three were unsuccessful.

“Ross was the first manager,” said English adding that she was no longer employed by the time of the trouble. “When it was time to get paid, she’s the one that contacted them (Toya and Al Sanders) and let them know that [English] not going to pay us. She, Toya SCafe, started the ball rolling.”

As a result of the behavior of those outside the caf, English terminated 90 percent of the staff’s employment. Of the 14 people fired, 12 have called back seeking employment, English said.

“Ninety percent of the people have called wanting their jobs back,” said English. “After the smoke cleared and the agitators left, they remembered the check in the hold.”

For Daniels, the actions of her fellow employees shocked her.

“When I came up on the scene there was police cars there, but the only reason it was there was because the employees were acting crazy,” said Daniels. “The way they acted could straight make or break this caf.”

With all that has transpired, English has learned a lesson.

“Right now, I’m going to be re-staffing,” said English. “I’m working on putting together a grand re-opening. Me and the local churches are getting together a concert. Something as a re-opening to weed out all these misconceptions. It’s a weeding out of Satan. He played a part in the people the way they were acting. They were acting like animals.”

From this experience, English has a better idea of what kind of staff he is going to be seeking.

“I’m looking for much older waitress,” said English. “I’m not looking for younger kids. I’m looking for much older, mature, responsible adults. What I will do in the future is have everything in writing and these people sign it.”

As for Daniels, she’s just waiting until the Caf reopens.

“For everyone to claim that they didn’t know that he was going to hold his check, that was bull,” said Daniels. “Just don’t think it’s right for these people to say and act the way they did. I have heard nothing but compliments about the restaurant until this happened. The food’s awesome, the service is awesome and the management is awesome. They are ruining it for me and the only reason I’m offended is because it’s my job.”

English couldn’t zero in on a date that Magnolia’s Caf will re-open, but says that it will happen this month.

“I hope that Selma will put aside what all negative has been said about Magnolia’s Caf and come back and give it a try,” said Daniels.