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Md. Starbucks employee suspended after 'monkey' printed on Black customer's drink label

WJLA – Washington D.C. 4 days ago 7News Staff
© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

A Maryland Starbucks employee has been suspended after the word "monkey" was reportedly printed as the name for a customer's drink label, 7News learned on Thursday.

The incident happened on Nov. 19 at a store in Annapolis Mall.

7News' Carl Willis spoke with Monique Pugh,

"A barista picks up a cup, looks at it and she's hesitant, and she says, 'venti caramel Frap' and she puts it down and backs away from the table," Pugh said. "Then, I see 'Monkey' on the cup."

Pugh said she was the only Black woman in the shop, and that the time printed on the label lines up with her order.

RELATED | 'I'm heartbroken'| Black woman's coffee order at Md. Starbucks has 'Monkey' listed as name

© Provided by WJLA – Washington D.C.

Pugh said the store owner offered her a free drink and sandwich for her trouble, but she declined.

She said she never received an apology from whoever entered "Monkey" where her name should have been.

SEE ALSO | Starbucks creates own Black Lives Matter shirt for employees

All employees at the store are employed by licensed owner Impeccable Brands, a representative of which sent 7News the following statement:

"As a licensee of Starbucks, we are committed to upholding the mission and values of the Starbucks brand in our customer interactions and business operations. We are aware of the regrettable incident that took place at our store in Annapolis, Maryland. We have suspended the employee involved in this incident pending further investigation, and have communicated our deepest apologies to the customer for this negative interaction.

We believe, following our initial investigation, that the label was made in error. However, this is not the warm and welcoming experience we want to create for our customers and we are actively working to ensure this does not happen again. We are exploring other opportunities to better train our staff in understanding cultural and racial sensitivities, to ensure all future interactions are welcoming and inclusive."

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