Saffron Colonial softly opened in early March, and it has been embroiled in controversy ever since. The bakery and restaurant opened on N Williams Avenue in an historically African American neighborhood in North Portland where gentrification has been heavily criticized, and when it announced that it would serve globally inspired food from the height of the British Empire, many Portlanders countered on social media that colonialism shouldn't be glorified. (Britannica.com defines Western Colonialism as "a political-economic phenomenon whereby various European nations explored, conquered, settled, and exploited large areas of the world.")
A protest called Stop Romanticizing Colonialism! involving an estimated 75 people took place at Saffron Colonial on Saturday, March 19, and the protesters wrote an open letter to bakery-owner Sally Krantz. Among its demands, it lists an apology from Krantz and for Krantz to rename the bakery and restaurant. So far, Krantz has not changed the name, and WWeek reports Krantz earlier this week commented, "I haven't made an active decision on anything regarding the name...If Expatriate wasn't taken I might consider that!"
Following the controversy, Ristretto Roasters, a local roaster with three locations, has severed ties with Saffron Colonial Bakery. According to WWeek, Ristretto Roasters will no longer sell baked goods from Saffron Colonial Bakery, and Ryan Cross, Director of Wholesale for Ristretto, said, "Since they released their colonial branding, we've been in the process of dealing with the repercussions of it."
- Via: Coffee Roaster Cuts Ties With Portland’s Controversial Colonial Bakery [WWeek], Updated: Saffron Colonial Now Softly Open, Serving 'British Colonial' Cuisine on N Williams [EPDX], and Activists Marching Down Williams to Protest “British Colonial” Restaurant Today [WWeek]