A blind shopper was left outraged after being told by kosher bakery staff that his guide dog was barred from the premises, writes Matei Clej.
Kelvin Sheridan entered Grodzinski bakery in Edgware with his guide dog Mia and wife Valerie last Thursday.
According to Mr Sheridan, on approaching the filled roll section of the bakery, a man behind the counter shouted: “No dogs, no dogs. Out.”
He said: “I politely explained to him that Mia is my guide dog, to which a woman behind the counter also screamed: ‘No dogs’.”
Discrimination legislation requires businesses to make adjustments to ‘no dog’ policies so blind people can make use of their facilities.
Mr Sheridan said the incident occurred in full view of other customers. “The way staff shouted and screamed at me was humiliating and degrading”, he added.
After he and his wife complained about his treatment, the owner of the family-run bakery apologised, but initially refused to make staff apologise right away as requested by Mr Sheridan.
“He said that this was not going to happen now as he didn’t want to do it in front of the customers. I said that if his staff could scream and shout at me in front of the customers there was no reason for them not to apologise in front of the customers,” Mr Sheridan said.
Mr and Mrs Sheridan reported the incident to two nearby police officers, who attended the bakery to speak to the owner.
The issue was settled when the male and female members of staff who told Mr Sheridan to get out said sorry for their behaviour.
The owner of Grodzinski has responded with the following reply to the Jewish News.
“Last Thursday Mr Kelvin Sheridan was told by two of our staff that his guide dog, Mia, was not allowed in our shop.
This does NOT reflect our policy which is fully compliant with the law.
I, as owner of Grodzinski, immediately apologized to Mr Sheridan.
Following a briefing conducted with the staff involved, they also apologized, hands were shaken, and in the words of Mister Sheridan “the issue was settled”.