Cupcake Cutie Boutique

Mack Rosenberg/WCBS 880

Mount Vernon Bakery Owners Claim City Tried To Shut Them Down For Political Reasons

September 28, 2018 - 4:26 pm

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (WCBS 880) -- The owners of a Mount Vernon bake shop say the mayor tried to shut them down illegally.

As WCBS 880’s Mack Rosenberg reported, a sign on the wall of Cupcake Cutie Boutique says, “Sometimes a struggle is what makes success even sweeter.” The struggle for the owners of the business involves Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas, who they say used city workers to harass them and ultimately shut them down.

"It was a nightmare that no business owner wants to experience,” said owner Meisha Stokely. “Without my knowledge – they didn't call and ask to speak to the owner. They didn't call to ask to speak to the owner of the building. They came directly in here and they said that they need to shut us down."

Stokely was referring to city officials. She co-owns the business with her mother, Montika Jones, who is a Mount Vernon police detective.

They are suing Mount Vernon because they say Mayor Thomas has refused to grant them a permanent certificate of tenancy, instead issuing a temporary one since the shop opened in 2015.

They family said it is all political, and claim Mayor Thomas took the action because of Stokely’s father, Damon Jones. He is a writer for Black Westchester, a newspaper that has been critical of Thomas.

"These are cowards in City Hall to attack a woman, to attack a young woman because they have a problem with me,” Stokely said. “If you have a problem with me, then you deal with me. If you have a problem with the paper, then you sue the paper. You don't retaliate against women."

The family is seeking $1.5 million for what they call pain and suffering and a permanent certificate of tenancy.