“We are wearing masks. That is the message we want to get out,” said Jen Smith, a weekend employee of Bru-Thru Coffee Shack and daughter of its founder Tyrone Agro, 69, on Gray Road in Cumberland Center, this afternoon. Smith was referring to a report in a local newspaper that this small family business was cited by the State last month for employees failure to wear face coverings while working.
The citation given this small family business cautioned that if employees were found not to be wearing face masks again, the business would be shut down. The business is being monitored by the state frequently by someone who does not identify himself, but employees know the car used.
It’s a family business for real; Agro and his former wife had eleven children. Currently, there are five of those children working at the Shack. “My father is a real family man. He wanted to provide employment opportunities for his family. He wants us all to know that he is always there for us,” said Smith at we sat at one of the colorfully painted picnic tables on the sizeable Shack property rented from the prominent Copp family.
“We are an important part of the community,” said Smith. As mhn.com sat with Smith at one of the picnic tables eating a delicious chicken salad sandwich, cars steadily streamed in to buy Coffee by Design coffee for which the Shack is well known. (The “perfect” chicken salad is made every morning by her father for the day according to Jenn),
None of the patrons asked were aware of the State’s citation announced today in the “Republican Press Herald” and none appeared concerned about the State citation either.
Unlike some other businesses, the Shack never had to shut down because it does not have indoor dining. It is strictly take-out. At the beginning of the pandemic, “business was poor, but we’ve bounced back. That’s because we are part of the community,” said Smith who has a full-time office job during the week.
“I’m so grateful for my dad,” said Smith as she and her three year old son and husband prepared to leave. So is the community in which this popular drive-through is located.