Watch: Man targets coffee cart owners with racist rant in California

(KTLA) - Video captured the moment young business owners were targeted in a racist rant by a man in Altadena, California.

The owners of Ka-Ibigan Cafe had set up their coffee cart on the street outside their home after receiving permits to open up shop. The shop serves drinks inspired by Filipino and Mexican fusion flavors.

The cart was only open for a few days when on Monday, a male neighbor suddenly approached them and began yelling at the entrepreneurs in a racist rant.

Video of the confrontation showed the man walking up to the family while angrily saying, “Maybe you could open a whore house, that might be good too, or a meth lab. Maybe you could open something else that’s illegal.”

A man caught on video during a racist rant targeting the owners of a coffee cart in Altadena on July 8, 2024. (Ka-Ibigan Cafe)Customers ordering coffee from Ka-Ibigan Cafe, a coffee cart set up in an Altadena neighborhood on July 9, 2024. (KTLA)The young entrepreneurs of Ka-Ibigan Cafe serving handcrafted coffee drinks in Altadena. (KTLA)The young entrepreneurs of Ka-Ibigan Cafe speaking to KTLA on July 9, 2024.A man caught on video during a racist rant targeting the owners of a coffee cart in Altadena on July 8, 2024. (Ka-Ibigan Cafe)A man caught on video during a racist rant targeting the owners of a coffee cart in Altadena on July 8, 2024. (Ka-Ibigan Cafe)Customers enjoying drinks from the Ka-Ibigan Cafe coffee cart in Altadena on July 9, 2024. (KTLA)The young entrepreneurs of Ka-Ibigan Cafe serving handcrafted coffee drinks in Altadena. (KTLA)The young entrepreneurs of Ka-Ibigan Cafe serving handcrafted coffee drinks in Altadena. (KTLA)Customers enjoying drinks from the Ka-Ibigan Cafe coffee cart in Altadena on July 9, 2024. (KTLA)Customers enjoying drinks from the Ka-Ibigan Cafe coffee cart in Altadena on July 9, 2024. (KTLA)Customers enjoying drinks from the Ka-Ibigan Cafe coffee cart in Altadena on July 9, 2024. (KTLA)A man caught on video during a racist rant targeting the owners of a coffee cart in Altadena on July 8, 2024. (Ka-Ibigan Cafe)

He is later heard yelling, “You’re breaking the law!”

The family said they calmly explained that they were licensed, but the man would not listen and threatened to take legal action against them.

“He was throwing his hands up and pointing fingers in my face,” said Jennifer Schweitzer, the mother of the business owners.

The young owners of the coffee cart said they worked hard to open their business after securing the proper permits and their food handler’s license.

They initially set up shop on their driveway with a table. As residents and neighbors continued supporting their business, they eventually purchased a small trailer where they could prepare and serve drinks to customers.

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“We’re just out here with a dream and a plan, and we’re just trying to make it happen,” said Marina Solis, co-owner of the coffee cart.

According to the cart owners, the man later came back to apologize but continued to make racist comments about the family while saying he was surprised to see their business thrive in a predominantly white neighborhood.

The cart owners said they remained stunned and disturbed over the confrontation.

“Given the community support we do have, it was upsetting to see somebody that upset and angry about [our business],” Solis said.

“The fact that it’s down the street from where we are, it was kind of scary,” said neighbor Fatan Tchelepi. “I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, this is in the neighborhood,’ so it’s pretty uncomfortable.”

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After video of the confrontation was posted to social media, the Ka-Ibigan coffee cart saw a community outpouring of support and a notable uptick in customers.

“I know the hustle and I know what it’s about,” said patron Askan Emami. “It’s so exciting to have an idea and want to share it with people and for people to show you love. When I drove by, I was just super happy to see them out here.”

The cart owners said the incident left them a bit shaken but they remain dedicated to pursuing their dreams and serving up the best product for their growing number of loyal customers.

They also hope to earn enough money to eventually purchase a generator so their cart can conduct business at different venues. Their ultimate goal is to earn enough funds to open a brick-and-mortar location.

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