A Barrio Logan business owner living his dream of opening up his own coffee shop is facing backlash, not because of the way he brews his coffee but because he's a law enforcement officer.
Brewing coffee is a labor of love for Jeff Rambo, but some people in the community where he set up Storymakers Coffee Roasters aren’t returning that love.
"It hurts personally in the sense this is my dream and someone is trying to tear it down," explained Rambo.
In late September, disparaging flyers started popping up near the shop in Barrio Logan, Rambo said. The flyers accused him of being a racist and taunted him with the phrase “No pigs allowed in our community” because he’s also a U.S. Border Patrol agent.
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The allegations of racism may in part be connected to content Rambo published on a personal website, jefframbo.com, that appears to have since been taken down. In a post from 2011, which was archived by the Wayback Machine, Rambo writes in reference to the Syrian civil war and a "Free Syria" protest he came across in Balboa Park: "It’s about time that these 'hyphenated-Americans' take pride in the land that they now call home and fix the problems here before they rally and call for our intervening in matters that don’t concern us abroad. Gone should be the days of us being the World’s Police."
Also on the flyers is a reference to a 2018 investigation — which documents appear to show he was cleared of — into accusations that he blackmailed a journalist to reveal her sources.
“I’d say it’s unfortunate," Rambo said. "Whoever posted them never asked me about the accusations before posting, because they’re all untrue."
Rambo said the flyers sent his once-soaring sales plummeting 60% percent, forcing him to close two days a week. The closure impacts two of his employees who live in the Barrio Logan community.
“When you target me and you’re jeopardizing the business, it affects them because I have to reduce hours, or an unfortunate aspect is if I have to lay them off because business is being impacted," Rambo said. "And that hurts."
NBC 7 has not been able to confirm who's behind the anonymous flyers being posted, but not all patrons in the area agree with their message.
"I definitely don't think it's fair,” said a man at the taco shop next door who didn’t want to be identified. "As long as he's treating people right, I’m all for equal opportunity."
"He's a business owner at the end of the day," ," Daniel Gonzalez said. "I think it's pretty unfair for them to treat him based on his occupation outside his business."
Rambo said he understands not everyone supports law enforcement, but that difference of opinion is part of the reason why he opened up his shop and why he will continue to pour his passion into keeping it open.
“I’m in law enforcement to be a reflection of the community," Rambo said. "I wish to serve and to kind of change the narrative people have of law enforcement."