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Local restaurant deserves better treatment from its community


To the editor:

Thank you for your thoughtful article regarding the recent video that circulated showing mice at Colton’s (June 23). The article clearly explained, in detail, the steps the owner has taken to follow health department requirements to prevent and eradicate mice. I think it was terrible that someone posted that video on the internet, and that others shared it.

Haley Mitchell has worked very hard for many years to provide a restaurant and catering service for our community. For the last several years, she has done so as a single mother raising three young children. 

As a former restaurant owner, I can tell you that it’s an extremely stressful and difficult business — that’s why most of them fail. It takes an enormous amount of time, money and effort to keep the doors open. No matter how hard you try, sometimes, stuff happens. Mice happen. Sometimes it’s because staff fails to follow proper procedures. Sometimes, it’s beyond anyone’s control. If Ms. Mitchell had ignored the situation, she might deserve this unwanted attention. But, as your article explained, she did everything within her power to correct the problem.

My mother and I had lunch at Colton’s a couple days ago, and the normally packed and impeccably clean restaurant was practically empty. So, congratulations to those who posted the video. Is this what you wanted? Be careful what you wish for.  

Colton’s is one of the few good restaurants we still have in this town. Ms. Mitchell is a lot tougher than I am; I gave up years ago. Maybe that’s why I’m determined to support her. My mother and I will be dining at Colton’s much more often. I ask that others do the same.

Toni Chritton Johnson

West Plains