POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 10:11am
UPDATED: Friday, July 26, 2013 - 10:23am
Pizzeria in Madison, Wisconsin offends breast-feeding mother, tries to make things right
A pizzeria in Wisconsin is trying to make things right after offending a woman who was breast-feeding inside the restaurant.
Gordon Severson reports the owner offered free pizza, hoping to get back on the good side of mothers in Madison.
"Can you ladel this sauce into those four," says owner Gilbert Altschul.
It's been a rough start for restaurant owner Gilbert Altschul, opening a brand new pizzeria off of Williamson street and enduring backlash from several upset mothers.
Altschul says, "We've got phone calls like, is this Grampa's Pizzeria? I'm never coming there, and then they hang up the phone, and I've got probably 50 e-mails from upset mothers in the neighborhood saying we kicked someone out for breast-feeding, which isn't the case, you know?"
Owners say what really happened was, last Thursday, they asked a breast-feeding mother if she would feel more comfortable nursing in a private area.
She mentioned the incident to a few friends and within hours it had spread to hundreds of moms on Facebook.
Some even complained to the breast-feeding coalition of south central Wisconsin.
"Word spread and through social media it just kind of overnight took off."
The owners issued a formal apology on Facebook and offered up free pizza for all mothers and their children from 5:30 until 6:30 Thursday night.
Mothers showed up in droves.
Local mother Corrine Sheets says,"They feel bad about it, so that was a good thing that they're trying to reach out to other people."
Some came to support a new restaurant that offered to make amends.
Others came to support the rights of breast-feeding mothers.
"The law protects our right to do it anywhere anytime, and I think that regardless of how you feel about it, you should respect the law and respect mothers who take really good care of their kids by breast-feeding them." said local mother Melanie De Jesus.
Within an hour, cooks made more than 30 pizzas.
Each carrying an apology that reinforced how much the owners want to make things right.
"We're a young couple just trying to start a small business, and it really 100% was an honest mistake. I mean, we're just trying to learn from what happened and turn it into a positive thing."