Community spotlight: Gender, sexuality inclusive businesses


Kristen Bowe, 22, of Bolingbrook, an employee of Cristaudo’s, stands outside of the business on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. Cristaudo’s has both a “Hate Has No Home Here” sign and a pride flag hanging in their front window which indicates a business with an inclusive environment. “I feel that it’s important to have an environment for everyone to feel at home even when they’re not,” Bowe said. (Chase Jordan)

By Austin Phelps, Staff Reporter

Many of Carbondale’s local businesses are gender/sexuality inclusive, expressing support or acceptance in various ways. 

Some businesses the Daily Egyptian contacted were Town Square Market, Shawnee Trails and Global Gourmet, to see what their inclusivity meant to the businesses.

All businesses either had a “Hate has no home here,” sign outside of their establishment or a rainbow affiliated sticker.


Town Square Market

Town Square Market is located on East Jackson Street. It’s a grocery store, a deli and bakery.

Saxon Metzger, the deli and catering manager at Town Square Market, said the store wants to make people feel welcome and to have a space where they can do what they need to do for their daily lives.

“We represent clean, healthy, living when it comes down to food, cleaning supplies, household goods, medical supplies and for people to be able to feel like that’s accessible for them is really important,” Metzger said.

The business has always experienced a happy and cooperative environment with suppliers, customers, employees and management, Metzger said.

“We really feel like it’s a space where we can express who we are and also just learn more about people as they come in,” Metzger said.

Metzger said there are people from all different parts of the world that come to the university and Carbondale and some people may look at that as a clash.


“But really I feel like it’s an opportunity for people to learn and share,” Metzger said. “There’s something about this space that allows for people to have more of an open perspective and more of an open-mind.”

The decision for putting the sign on the establishment came around the time when some of the really intense rhetoric was coming out in the political scene, Metzger said.

Metzger said the Market and Longbranch Cafe and Bakery are majority Islamic workforces.

“What we’re doing is important and we feel everyone has a place in it,” Metzger said. “You don’t have to qualify as a certain kind of person or a certain kind of expression to be valid in that greater movement.”

Global Gourmet

Global Gourmet is a restaurant and bar located on East Jackson Street.

It features a rainbow colored sticker on the outside of the establishment.

Andrea Barclay, owner and chef of Global Gourmet, said it was a sticker she had gotten from the Key West Chamber of Commerce and she asked how to get a safe-zone sticker.

“We love everybody,” Barclay said.

Barclay said for her the sticker is personal, as she has a gay brother and her bestfriends are two gay men.

“I want our customers [and] anybody walking by here to know that they can come in and not feel threatened,” Barclay said. “[To] know that it would be a safe place for them to dine and they could come in and be who they are.”

Barclay said the restaurant has a very global outlook, and not just from the reflection of the menu.

“Just the whole vibe, we believe in one human family and we love people of all races and religions,”  Barclay said.

Barclay said if there were discrimination taking place, she would immediately intervene and ask the person who was doing the bullying to leave.

“I don’t need the money, I don’t want people like that here,” Barclay said.

Shawnee Trails Wilderness Outfitter

Shawnee Trails sells outdoor gear, camping supplies and apparel. The outside of the establishment features a “hate has no home here,” sign.

Richard Reeve, owner of Shawnee Trails, said the sign means everyone should be respected.

The sign was put outside of the establishment for people who are confronted for their nationality, color and sexual orientation, Reeve said.

“I believe everybody’s our friend in here and we’d like to be everyone’s friend too,” Reeve said.

Reeve said one day he was in the shop with the door open and he heard a bystander reference the sign and say ‘see that that’s why I would never step foot in that store.’ After Reeve explained what the sign was about the bystander said it meant Reeve supported ISIS.

Reeve said he explained the meaning of the sign and told the bystander he should learn what the sign was about. He has no plans of taking the sign down.

Staff reporter Austin Phelps can be reached at or on Twitter at @austinphelps96.

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