A TOWN centre cafe which was accused of discrimination by a breastfeeding mother has hit out against the claim following backlash on social media.
Molly Musto visited Gallagher’s, on the Victorian Arcade, last Thursday with her six-week-old daughter before staff allegedly asked her to ‘breastfeed discreetly’.
The 22-year-old sought advice from other mums following the incident and put in an official complaint against the company.
“It was our third visit to Gallagher’s - the staff have always been welcoming,” Molly told the Chronicle.
“It was our go-to, somewhere we could go when we wanted to get out with the newborn.
“When we walked in, one of the staff members told me they needed to have a word with me.
“I was told I was welcome to breastfeed but I would need to do it discreetly and if I couldn’t adhere to that then I’d have to leave.
“The staff member was rather confrontational, forthcoming and confident, almost like I wasn’t the first person she’d said it to.
“So I just said I wasn’t happy to adhere to ‘breastfeeding discreetly’ and left.
“This is the first time I’ve experienced breastfeeding discrimination and I really hope it’ll be the last.
“I was really upset, I left crying and shaking, because I just wasn’t expecting it, especially after the two previous times we’d been to the cafe.
“It was our first time out in public - I really didn’t think this was still a thing.”
However, the cafe’s owners hit back at the claim and said breastfeeding mothers are welcome.
A statement said: “In relation to a customer who has made a complaint against our cafe on social media before formally making a complaint directly to us on April 20, the incident has now been fully investigated and the customer has been updated with the outcome.
“The incident which took place is not as reported.
“Briefly, she reported that she was breastfeeding on the day in question and was treated unfavourably.
“She was not breastfeeding in the shop at the time, she was spoken to regarding rude and discourteous behaviour towards staff at her previous visit.
“There has been no breach of the Equality Act 2010.
“Unfortunately, this untrue statement has created a malicious hate campaign towards our business.
“We support and encourage breastfeeding in our business and many mothers have enjoyed breastfeeding within our cafe peacefully and without incident.”