Hudson health food store spins bad situation into good
PHOTO BY ALEC SHELTON
Que de Bonnes Choses owners Heidi Nideröst (left) and Gwen Giberson are enjoying their new patio chairs on the outdoor terrace area of their Main Road health food store.
An ugly incident at a Hudson café earlier this week had a pleasant ending when the owners opted to deal with a criminal incident in a unique way – by allowing the perpetrator to make restitution thus avoiding a police charge.
“He’s not getting an easy ride from his friends,” said Que de Bonnes Choses co-owner Gwen Giberson after a video of the event was posted on social media the following morning.
At 1:18 a.m. on July 8, security camera footage at the grocery store/café/bistro on Main Road showed two young men kicking over patio chairs on the outdoor terrace until they lay broken in pieces. Giberson and co-owner Heidi Nideröst contacted Hudson Public Security and also posted the footage on their Facebook account, asking the community if anyone knew the fellows to please get in touch so the two women could, “have a little chat” with the vandals.
The video went predictably viral, garnering thousands of views and it wasn’t long before at least one perpetrator, a Rigaud resident, was identified.
In lieu of calling the Sûreté du Québec (SQ), as many on social media urged the women to do, they instead told the 18-year-old if he replaced the chairs and offered an apology, and listened to what the owners had to say, a police complaint would be waived.
“We wanted him to understand why it was upsetting to us,” said Giberson, “what we invest in doing business and why it made us sad more than it made us angry. We’re here for our community so to have this happen was so discouraging.”
Giberson reasoned that by offering a chance to make things right, the man – who she and Nideröst refused to identify – might act differently in the future when out with his friends. “Maybe he’ll approach things with a different background rather than just being angrier.”
On Tuesday evening, July 9, the young man arrived at the café as promised with four brand new patio chairs, purchased from nearby Castle Hardware in Hudson. His accomplice was reportedly not from the region and did not show up to offer any apologies.
“We were happy to meet the young man,” said Giberson adding he apologized profusely for his behaviour after having a ‘really bad day’ and thanked her and Nideröst for not contacting the police.
“It was only for about five minutes but I think he really understood what we were saying.”