bampot toronto

Toronto cafe closing because they don't want to enforce vax passports

A cafe and tea house in Toronto is looking to offload their lease as they're finding the pressure of having to enforce vaccine passports to be more than they're willing to shoulder.

Bampot House of Tea is hoping for someone to quickly take over the business as the owners have announced they'll soon be leaving it. Also operating as a board game cafe, the tea house served 100 kinds of tea as well as vegan and vegetarian items, and has been around for eight years.

"We are no longer the people to steer this ship," reads their announcement on social media (the cafe also heavily embraced pirate themes).

"We did not imagine that this is how it might end for us being forced into tracking people's movement and health status under the threat o 500k fines or imprisonment. These measures only serve to divide the public and families into a two-tiered society of medical haves and have-nots and we want no part of it."

The announcement goes on to say that if vaccine passports are a reality, so be it, but they cannot be the ones to enforce them.

"We are not anti-vax, we believe there are certain age groups and people with underlying health conditions that will benefit greatly from vaccination," Hen Nool, who owns Bampot with Spark Nool, tells blogTO.

They're hoping to find someone to take over their lease who has business experience, a good credit rating and money in the bank.

"We have a problem with the government mandate to ask us to deny entrance to loyal customers who have supported us through thick and thin for the past eight years," says Nool.

"We would rather close. Antibodies from natural immunity, we believe, should be a viable alternative to vaccines and that threats from the PM, restrictive legal mandates and coercion is the wrong approach."

They're hoping to have a celebration some time in the coming weeks to bid farewell to Bampot and the community. Space will be limited due to restrictions.

"This is a very controversial topic and we realize it will cause much debate, we love you all and we wish no harm to anyone," Nool tells blogTO.

"We have lost more than most in this pandemic so we only ask that you try to imagine how hard this decision is for us, it was supposed to be a few weeks to flatten the curve, now it is threats, restriction of movement, detainment centres and closure after closure."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns

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