Confirmed: Staff Walk-Out At Gorilla Coffee In NYC

Confirmed: Staff Walk-Out At Gorilla Coffee In NYC


FIPS is all over this, offering more visual confirmation, implicating Gorilla in a sweatshop cover up, and apparently triggering a race-baiting troll war (?) in their comments section. These epic events were also picked up by Gawker, who are calling it an “insurrection”. Gawker’s comments yield our favorite take yet on this slave labor debacle / shift that shook the world / nuclear union communist intifada:

Cool! My no-good musician boyfriend could use a job. I’m sending him over there Monday.

@EverymanNY has just posted on Twitter:

Everyone at Gorilla just quit. Baristas, roasters, everyone. Friday nite and no employees for tomorrow. editors have yet to confirm the validity of this tweet. Stay tuned for more information.

(Perfect Park Slope Pic From Sam @EverymanNY

  1. e s

    23 August

    I was wondering if you have any updates on the working conditions at Gorilla Coffee since they reopened in April. I didn’t notice any new stories or comments on the coffee wars since that time.

    Are the new employees as unhappy as those that walked out? Did the walk out have any effect on the owner and her partner?

    Thanks for any information you have.

  2. forex robot

    18 April

    nice post. thanks.

  3. Name

    17 April

    For a place promoting themselves exercising Fair Trade practices, they certainly neglected to be fair with their own staff.

  4. sPlat

    16 April

    Good for the baristas for walking out of a crappy job. I know I have in the past.

    I’ve actually been working on opening up a coffee house of my own so I’ve been hanging out in the best and most popular places to see who does what. I want to learn all I can by observing all the different methods, styles, roasts… that the coffee houses use before I open my place (even though I worked in a place in Seattle for 3 years). While at a Brooklyn business startup seminar I met another person also looking to open a coffee shop; we got to talking and we discovered we both had a similar experience. We each contacted Gorilla Coffee on several occasions to discuss carrying their coffee and you know what, they never bothered to return our emails or phone calls. There is no professionalism or courtesy anywhere in that company!

    While I wanted to go with a local coffee roaster, that blow-off experience was a taste of the customer support Gorilla gives. Which I am sure is a taste of the way they treat their employees. And that same attitude trickles down from nasty owner to barista.

    While I think the baristas did the right thing in walking out, I have to say that the atmosphere at Gorilla was about the most abysmal of any coffee house I’ve been to; I don’t need the attitude and blaring music. It was one of my least favorite places to go to- fortunately there are plenty of options within walking distance. I hope the baristas leave the attitude behind where ever they end up. Let’s hope the owners learn something and start fresh or else they will surely repeat the exact same mistake.

  5. Name

    15 April

    gorilla is “meh” quality beans made by “meh” trained baristas, but it’s fine. can’t wait for counter cultures cafe to open on fifth! also, who cares if these guys quit? it’s their choice.

  6. Candy

    15 April

    Can’t wait for Gorilla to re-open. The whole neighborhood really misses the store. I’m excited to see what happens with a new staff. Hopefully this has been a lesson for the owners and they will hire a different type of employee…perhaps a little sweeter? I wouldn’t mind receiving regular greetings with my coffee.

  7. Name

    14 April

    these employees are a bunch of lazy jerks who feel entitled because their egos are not being stroked all day long. how stupid!

  8. No Worries

    13 April

    I love the owners of Gorilla! They are no-nonsense, hardworking, and have done a lot for that neighborhood. They will survive! Trust me…and be just fine.

  9. love the gorilla

    13 April

    I agree that Gorilla is excellent coffee. Too bad that’s being overshadowed by these attention seeking “Norma Hey” look at me’s.

  10. Name

    13 April

    I’m not sure what the “conditions” were at this place. But I used to work for starbucks and under the wrath of some terrible unethical managers….And I never turned around and treated customers the way this bunch did. Maybe they were nice to regulars, but everytime i stopped in I was amazed at the amount of eye rolling and sighing I witnessed. I felt like I had a good experience there if one of the baristas didn’t snap at me for one reason or another….and I wasn’t even a high maintenance customer, just an americano please. I cant imagine what a non fat latte patron had to deal with.

  11. customer

    13 April

    Plus I’m tired of the posts equating it as just coffee that can be duplicated in a Robusta brew bodega down the street or in any one of the me-too hipster joints sprouting up like weeds over PS and PH. Most of those places (even if they themselves serve Gorilla) don’t use the right slow drip equipment or put enough grounds into the filter.

    There’s basically six kinds of coffee, in no particular order (but only the last of which is awful):
    — Peets burned coffee
    — Gorilla/Intelligentsia/Coffee Connection/Starbucks original-not-PP west coast roasts, either love it or hate it no in between
    — airline/Denny’s/hotel breakfast/coffee shop
    — me-too startup coffeehouse using inferior equipment and an underwhelming volume of grounds
    — home brew/bodega
    — office countertop/bank/school/cup packaged

  12. Name

    13 April

    heyheyhey is zeroing in on the problem. (And I suspect from the ring of the post s/he may have worked there.) Workers can put up with all kinds of stuff, but pointed verbal barbs cross a line.

    Still, some of you people have no idea what workplace bullying is. No idea.

  13. lonnie

    12 April

    This is utter BS! If a staff wants respect then they should also give respect. If it wasn’t for the excellent product and proximity to my apartment I would have stopped going to gorilla a long time ago. This particular batch of baristas were the worst. Rude. Slow. Apathetic. No wonder a manager had to be tough with them. What manager would just smile and be sweet when a bunch of lazy kids were ruining the business. I’ve seen many if not all of this most recent staff treat customers in a disrespectful manner. Hypocrites!

  14. yirgacheffe

    12 April

    Good news for Grumpy – single brew better than Gorilla anyday.

  15. coffee

    12 April

    There is a grumpy shop not too far away from the gorilla location. Bum deal, it’ll be interesting to follow what comes next.

  16. nombre

    12 April

    Baristas don’t have to be professional?GOOD argument. @@ clearly the ones at Gorilla aren’t. Good luck finding new jobs losers no one likes troulemaking employees.

  17. Name

    12 April

    I worked there when I was in school and I promise you the only people who had issues with the owners where the people who wanted it to be as easy as possible. Darleen and Carole can be demanding but so what, its a business for Gods sake, not a game of monopoly. They put out an excellent product and want excellence from their baristas. Its not an environment for someone who wants a laid back job, but for me, I appreciated being pushed to become a better employee. And I did get better and I bet any Batista who worked there would have to admit that they did too. And I’m pretty sure no one beat them to make them better.

  18. Name Bee

    12 April

    Unprofessional? They’re baristas. They don’t have to be professional. And for gods sake they don’t have to put up with BS either.

  19. Name pat

    11 April

    The best way to avoid toxic workplaces in the first place is to do research about potential bosses on sites like eBossWatch:

  20. Name

    11 April

    All starbucks employees should follow suit.

  21. Name C

    11 April

    Take heart, Park Slopers! Rumor has it there’s a new cafe in the works on 5th and DeGraw…it’s unconfirmed as of yet, but keep your eyes peeled.

  22. Name Tak-attack

    11 April

    The truth will out…. Check Oliver strands update in the Times.

  23. Name gorilla

    11 April

    please refer to the statement released by the workers available here.

  24. Name SR

    11 April

    I’m not taking that comment as homeless bashing. It sounds to me like something the owners of that place would say to their employees, and yes it is a verbally abusive remark, but I don’t see why the messenger is getting berated for repeating it to illustrate a point.

  25. sweaty marios

    11 April

    I resent that. I work in coffee and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t say to myself, “gee, wish I could find a homeless person to come in here and do my job better…” because I know they could. Just because you are a dumpster diver doesn’t mean you can’t be an awesome cupper! In fact, discriminating between fresh and foul in a dumpster is on par with cupping in every way. I hate how this gorilla-hating thread has now turned into homeless bashing! Go gorillas! Go homeless! Gorillas are homeless! now as far as baristas go, whatever…

  26. heyheyhey

    11 April

    How about being screamed at, and verbally abused on a regular basis. Anyone going to blame people for leaving after being told a homeless person could do your job better?

  27. Daniel

    11 April

    No Gorilla Coffee this morning? No problema! Bogota Latin Bistro serves up great Colombian coffee along side fantastic brunch helpings from Colombia, Mexico. the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Brazil and the Caribbean. Bloody Marys and Bloody Marias as well as happy hour priced margaritas, mojitos, caipirinhas and more till 6 pm. Open at 11 am. See you soon!

  28. if gay means happy then i guess im straight now

    10 April

    First no Gorilla non-fat maple latte, then Dixie Carter dies. The was the worst Saturday to be gay and living in Brooklyn ever.

  29. Name guess what

    10 April

    as someone mention before the employee will not just walked out just because .. think about how the owners treated them yet have u met them.. hey are a piece of work specially one
    the place its full with attitude rude counter people as well as slow.. is it all about just the brand make money and thats it.. do they give a damm about us the customers

  30. parksloper

    10 April

    oh and, and someone open up another decent coffee place on 5th ave. in my opinion, gorilla has pretty decent coffee, but the only reason i put up with the often ridiculously long waits and often miserable employees is because it’s the only place to get coffee on that stretch, besides the bodega.

    owners of gorilla, take note: you guys thrive because you are completely void of competition. but a really good cup of coffee is hardly a rarity in nyc anymore. about 3 places with better coffee open in williamsburg every week. granted park slope isn’t williamsburg (thank god), but its hardly unrealistic to think that one place may open near you. the minute a decent place opens up near you, you guys are going to be hosed unless you clean up your act. i like your coffee, and im there almost every day, but i have almost zero loyalty towards your establishment.

  31. parksloper

    10 April

    we need to hear from the (former) employees of gorilla.

    at this point, there is basically nothing stopping me from going back there every day again once they re-open on monday.

    forcing the store to close for a day or two isn’t really going to do much in the long run.
    but, tell us why we should never go back to that place, and you can really fuck your horrible bosses.

  32. Name greg

    10 April

    Sounds a lot like what killed the great Café Organica in San Francisco four years ago.

  33. Name SR

    10 April

    The staff at gorilla may be snotty, but it reflects bad management. Trust me, it’s not just about their ‘demand’ not being met. This is a long standing dispute, and a reflection of the owners’ lack of respect for their employees. Does anyone really think that an entire staff would walk out over something not egregious? In these economic times? Kudos Goriila baristas! There are other, better coffee shops in ny to work at.

  34. Robert

    10 April

    Judging from the comments, I was almost tricked into believing that there was new information out. I’m glad that the internet is resourceful enough to start a bicker fest with so little to work with.

  35. dum dums

    10 April

    good luck with what? The dummies all said they were quitting and then didn’t show up for their shifts sealing their own termination. Looks like a bunch of unemployed dum dums should have come up with a better plan that didn’t include digging their own graves. They didn’t even “strike” correctly proving how unmanageable they must have been as a group. Sorry baristas but all you managed to do was make yourselves look bad and put yourselves out of a job.

  36. Name Seth

    10 April

    I love how you can tell it’s in Park Slope because some guy with a stroller is peering into the window! Classic!

    Good luck, Gorilla baristas!

  37. Name Daniel Hunt

    10 April

    I seriously don’t understand you internet trolls who hang around on yelp and say the staff is snotty and rude. I go there almost everyday and they greet my dog and myself by name, and when there’s a line out the door, they move with absolute efficiency. And until some more of this story comes out, I don’t know what to say, but an entire staff, including managers and roasters resigning must have been because of a pretty serious problem, not a joke like the last 3 posts, who all copied each other.

  38. Name

    10 April

    I live right nearby this place…..this is the slowest place ever to get coffee. Lines out the door, and no one even attempting to move quickly. I am all for workers getting respect, but maybe they should hustle a little more.

  39. hilarious!

    10 April

    Hahahaha…the staff is upset because a “tyrannical” boss wont walk away from day to day operations of a highly successful business…who wouldn’t love a job more if there were no boss around making sure employees actually do work at work…nice try Gorilla staff! Hilarity!!!! Ah youth…

  40. gore ill a

    10 April

    i’m all for stickin’ it to the man, but i find it a little ironic that the “workers” quit, seeing as no one there seems to do any work.
    how hard could that job have been? it’s not like they were required to be nice or polite to anyone. or to hustle in even the most vague sense, even when there is a line out the door.
    what happened? did the manager tell them they could only take 6 smoke breaks an hour instead of 10?
    were they told that they weren’t allowed to give the costumers dirty looks and then ignore them anymore when they were asked if there was any more milk?

  41. Name tom s.

    10 April

    They asked an owner to step down from daily operations and that demand not being met is a sign of disrespect? In what world? Snobby hipsters who don’t like their boss should either find another job or panhandle.

  42. Anon

    10 April

    The retail coffee shop workers really need a union to represent them. Good luck!

  43. Name susan tompkins

    10 April

    Comply with basic respect? I’ve been in Gorilla and I’m hard pressed to remember any other coffee shop where the baristas are as snotty, rude, and clearly walking around with an attitude and a feeling of entitlement. I’d say the biggest mistake the “tyrants ” made was hiring a bunch of douche bags.

  44. Name AnonBarista

    10 April

    Can someone explain the circumstances surrounding this? What was going on at Gorilla that caused everyone to quit?

  45. Brian

    10 April

    Been there, done that. Let’s pray the owners humble themselves and do what’s best for everyone.

  46. Name Alie

    10 April

    How unprofessional. What could have happened to the staff that was so terrible???

  47. Name Josh

    10 April

    How many people is all?

  48. Name Coffeegeek

    9 April

    It’s about effing time.

  49. Good for them!

    9 April

    100% true.Everyone gave written resignation and walked out after the tyrants refused to comply with basic respect. How long this will last and whether or not an agreement will be reached is still yet to be answered. But the baristas (former rather) of Gorilla Coffee deserve much props for their guts. Norma Rays of coffee

  50. Name

    9 April

    Wow! I really am drunk! They quit. End of story!

  51. Name

    9 April

    Resignation not recognitation. Stupid iPhones and changing words on you.

  52. Jumping with joy!

    9 April

    It is absolutely true that every single employee has put their recognition in writing and will not be coming back to work at Gorilla.

  53. Dan

    9 April


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