- BusinessBest Life
The latest business casualty of the coronavirus pandemic is one of best quality coffee chains in the country. On Oct. 21, Brooklyn Roasting Company announced that it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and would be closing all of its brick-and-mortar locations in New York City, The New York Post reports. Read on to learn more, and for another business that's closing up shop, check out This Popular Gym Is Closing All of Its Locations.Brooklyn Roasting Company was first founded in 2009 by Jim Munson, a former partner in The Brooklyn Brewery. The company eventually expanded to seven locations, as well as merchandise and a coffee subscription service. Four employees were trained up as "Q Graders," the coffee industry's equivalent of being a master sommelier (for reference, there are only 4,000 Q Graders in the entire global coffee industry). They would spend weeks tasting more than 130 coffees before selecting the six best varieties for the company.A Forbes profile in 2019 detailed Munson's mission statement for the Brooklyn Roasting Company: "That the outline of our logo—like the outline of Brooklyn—never changes, but what's inside—the character of our coffees and the character of the people that work here—always changes."According to the bankruptcy filing, the company's problems predated the onset of the COVID pandemic. Discussions had taken place in 2018 for it to be bought by an investment group for $22 million, but following the acquisition of new real estate and staff at the investors' behest, the deal fell through. By the start of 2019, Brooklyn Roasting Company's "financial condition was poor," and revenues declined for the first time to $9.7 million.Just as the company stabilized and revenues climbed to $10.3 million, the pandemic started, taking out half the company's regular sales and also crippling its wholesale business. Despite receiving a federal stimulus loan of $727,000, the money ran out in August. Immediate plans are for the company to reorganize to focus on its wholesale business, but the store closures leave New Yorkers searching again for the perfect cup of coffee.Read on for more beloved restaurants that closed their brick-and-mortar locations this year, and if you're a java fiend, you'll enjoy these 30 Incredible Health Benefits Coming From Your Cup of Coffee. Maison KayserAnother New York mainstay of the last decade, French cafe Maison Kayser declared bankruptcy in September. All 16 locations of the cafe, which originally opened up in Paris in 1996 and expanded to 22 countries all over the world, have closed. And for another New York institution that's going away, check out This Beloved Department Store Just Announced It's Closing All Locations. Specialty's Café&BakeryIf you're a resident of California, Washington, or Illinois, you probably have a special place in your heart for Specialty's, a soup, salad, cookie, and sandwich chain that had more than 50 locations at the start of 2020. But after the lockdowns, the company announced in May via its website, "Specialty's Café&Bakery is closing after 33 years of business. Current market conditions attributed to COVID-19 and shelter-in-place policies have decimated company revenues. … We sincerely thank you for your business and support over the years." And for another regional store we may have to say goodbye to, check out This 132-Year-Old Beloved Department Store Could Be Doomed. Souplantation/Sweet TomatoesYou may have heard—or guessed—that buffets aren't exactly a safe eating outing in the age of coronavirus. So it's probably not a surprise that all 97 of these buffet restaurants—which were called Souplantation in Southern California and Sweet Tomatoes in other parts of the U.S.—were forced to shut down. The chain's parent company, Garden Fresh Restaurants, filed for bankruptcy in mid-May and we said goodbye to unlimited soup and salad options. And for more up-to-date information on which companies COVID has claimed, sign up for our daily newsletter. Cheeseburger in ParadiseIn 2002, musician Jimmy Buffet helped launch this kitschy, island-inspired burger chain, named after his hit 1978 song. At its height in 2006, Cheeseburger in Paradise had 38 locations across 17 states, but by 2012, it was down to just 23. Its parent company, Luby's Inc., suffered some major financial setbacks both prior to and during the pandemic, forcing the company to go out of business and sell off its assets, including the Cheeseburger in Paradises left standing.However, if you're a resident of Hawaii, you're in luck. While the website reads, "All of our restaurant locations are now permanently closed," the fine print says, "This statement does not apply to the Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurant in Hawaii, which is a separately owned location." Fingers crossed! Want more motivation to visit those islands? You'll be interested to see The Only 2 States Where COVID Cases Are Going Down.
- U.S.The Daily Beast
Kansas police are hunting for a man they say abducted his two young daughters from a home where two boys were found dead.Donny Jackson, 40, is believed to be driving a black Honda accord, according to an Amber Alert that was issued Saturday. Cops actually had him in their grasp. Around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, police stopped his vehicle on Highway 169 near the Oklahoma border, while the girls were in the car, but let him drive on.The reason for the traffic stop wasn’t specified but it wasn’t related to the abduction. It wasn’t until 45 minutes later—when cops got a call from a home in Leavenworth—that they discovered the slain boys and learned that 7-year-old Nora and 3-year-old Aven were missing.The relationship between the boys and the girls is not known, but Jackson’s Facebook page contains photos of two brothers posing for first day of school photos.His account is also full of postings denying the usefulness of masks during the COVID-19 pandemic and mocking the Black Lives Matter movement, religious aphorisms, conspiracy theories, and cryptic comments.“When you have to lie to the mother’s body to carry your seed, do not expect the abomination to succeed,” one Sept. 10 comment read.“Why do they call it the bible belt?” he wrote on Aug. 31. “Disciplinary action requires a belt occasionally.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
- WorldThe Telegraph
Meat that comes from animals which are not stunned before they are killed must be labelled, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) has said. Without new labelling rules, consumers risk unwittingly eating meat from animals suffering “unnecessary pain” before their death. Until now the BVA, which represents 18,000 vets, has campaigned for an outright ban on the “cruel practice” of religious slaughter - which involves killing live animals with a sharp knife before allowing them to bleed to death. A ban remains their goal but the professional body has adopted a new pragmatic approach believing it has more chance persuading ministers to introduce “no stun” labels. James Russell, new BVA president, said: “Our concern is that every animal should have a good life with the highest welfare through life up to the point of death. “But we just don’t know the destination of meat from some of this we animals that are killed without stunning and we believe it should be labelled. “We don’t know where fresh meat on sale at counters and butchers’ shops comes from and we don’t know whether ‘no stun’ meat is used in some pies, ready meals or other meat products.” Meat sold under certified assurance labels such as the Red Tractor, Quality Meat Scotland, RSPCA Assured and the Soil Association requires animals to be stunned before slaughter. But as there is no legal requirement to label this meat, it is unclear how much meat from animals that aren't stunned goes on general sale. A Food Standards Agency report last year however suggested some was entering the wider food chain. Dr Amir Masoom, chief executive the Halal Food Authority, supporting the BVA said: “We would like to see all halal meat and meat products labelled ‘stun’ or ‘no stun’ so that consume can make an informed choice when they buy in shops.” While Schechita UK, which represents the Jewish community, supports the consumer rights to know, spokesman Shimon Cohen criticised the proposed labelling as “one-dimensional.” He said: “If consumer information is the goal, consumers should be informed of the manner of stunning at slaughter - captive bolt shooting, asphyxiation by gas, electrocution by tongs or electric water bath, or any other approved methods, including Jewish and Muslim slaughter.” The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said: “We respect the rights of Jewish and Muslim communities to eat meat prepared in accordance with their beliefs and expect the food industry to provide consumers with all the information they need to make informed choices. “The Government has committed to a serious and rapid examination of the role of labelling in promoting high food and animal welfare standards across the UK market and to consult on this at the end of the transition period.”
- PoliticsThe Week
Earlier this month, Maynard James Keenan revealed that he contracted COVID-19 in February while touring Australia and was still feeling residual effects eight months later. During a recent visit to The Joe Rogan Experience, the Tool/A Perfect Circle/Puscifer frontman went into more detail about his ongoing battle with the disease and relayed a message to…