Wake up and smell the controversy.

A Connecticut breakfast joint owner christened her new eatery “Woke” after its morning food focus — but soon got served a big helping of complaints from conservative locals who didn’t like the name’s left-leaning connotation, Insider reported.

Carmen Quiroga opened the doors of Woke Breakfast & Coffee on Main Street in Coventry on Jan. 19 — and learned in an instant the name didn’t go over easy. 

“When we were thinking of an idea [for the name], we obviously wanted a word that would represent something related to morning,” she told Insider.

Quiroga picked “woke,” she explained, as a take on the phrase “wake up and have a coffee.” She also liked that the word included the letter “o,” which is represented by an egg yolk in the coffee shop’s logo.

Woke Breakfast & Coffee opened on Jan. 19 in Coventry.
Woke Breakfast & Coffee opened on Jan. 19 in Coventry.
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Quiroga was not aware that the word was often used by conservatives to refer to liberal ideology.

“I’m a Mexican,” she told CT Insider

“I don’t know anything about what ‘woke’ means to some people.”

Woke’s first days in business, however, were quickly overshadowed by conservative residents who took issue with the name. 

According to Insider, a debate about the title in The Coventry CT Citizen’s Open Forum, a private Facebook group, got so heated that  moderator Tonya Landrie Ohlund threatened to remove the “ridiculous comments.”

“If you are that close-minded that you can’t grasp that the name is referring to the fact that it is a breakfast establishment and nothing more, then just keep that to yourself and move on,” Ohlund scolded the posters.

The logo of Woke cafe, which features an O represented by a yellow egg white.
The logo features an egg yolk in the place on an “O.”

“It’s disgusting to read that residents are going to refuse to support a business that is trying to grow in our awesome little town because you don’t like what they’ve named it, without even knowing anything about how they chose that name. Just stop.”

Republican town council member John French told Insider that political divisions were common in the area.

“It’s a very purple town,” he explained.

A survey by the Hartford Courant shows that just over fifty-one percent of Coventry residents voted for President Biden in the 2020 election. Four years earlier, the town narrowly sided with Donald Trump.

Despite the murmurings online, Quiroga told the outlet that noone has said anything unsupportive to her face.

“We are very, very busy. We had to close an hour later because the people were waiting to try our food… Everybody said that the food is excellent. So we feel like, like we have good support from the town,”  she said.


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