Earlier this week, Riverdale’s beloved Moss Cafe had a burglary. The quaint, cheerful farm-to-table kosher restaurant was hit with an unfortunate turn of events, which has also been impacting many homes and businesses throughout Riverdale in recent weeks. Owner and manager Emily Weisberg arrived Monday morning to discover a missing cash box and safe, with other valuables and electronics taken.
While there are no leads yet on who broke in, the community has banded together in support of their favorite cafe. “The community has been incredible,” Weisberg said. “People have been so supportive and it’s been really amazing.”
Weisberg has been approached from all sides by members of the community who have expressed their concern in helping Moss Cafe recover from the damage, which was significant to the relatively new eatery. She explained that she has already been approached by a respected religious community member because several expressed their concern and wanted to see how they could help. A crowdfunding campaign was suggested. In response to this inquiry, Weisberg hesitated, suggesting that “I’m humbled and almost embarrassed because there are plenty of things that people can give money to that’s not a business.” In response, the community member told her that her cafe provides a community service and many people want to see this type of business thrive.
“That’s all I really wanted—to create a space where people wanted to have another home to interact and connect with people in their neighborhood despite superficial boundaries such as who goes to what shul or who goes to what school,” Weisberg explained.
Her attitude has been quite positive, despite the upset. As a business owner, Weisberg deals with a fair share of negativity and criticism about how she does things that don’t necessarily jive with her customers. More often than not, she deals with more negativity than positivity. “That’s the position I’m in and I know that no matter how many hours I work ... and how much love and compassion I put into it, there’s always going to be something that’s really hard and I don’t get to hear the good stuff. This is the silver lining, that people really like it here.”
Fortunately, there was minimal damage to the restaurant, and after the police gathered the evidence, the restaurant was able to re-open the same day for business—albeit only accepting credit cards. Security will be ramped up and Weisberg promises to keep business up and running as usual. After all, the Moss Cafe regulars and her staff are counting on her.
“I was so saddened to hear that the wonderful Moss Cafe was burglarized earlier this week,” said Rivkah Tuttle, a patron who often visits the cafe from Monsey. “It’s a fabulous eatery that cares about the community and takes pride in its farm-to-table values. I’m so happy that they were able to reopen quickly, and I look forward to visiting again with my family (and taking delicious food home with us as well!) very soon.”
At press time, a crowdfunding campaign was not yet finalized. If one becomes available, details will be posted to the Moss Cafe Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/mosscafeny/.
By Tamar Weinberg