Former employee shares photos, claims of filthy conditions at Richmond cafe

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RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — A former employee of the Capitol Market Cafe in Richmond shared photos of mold and unsanitary conditions inside the cafe with 8News.

Bailee Hampton claimed that she left the job after only three days because she couldn’t stomach the conditions at the cafe located on West Main Street.

“My initial reaction was like horror,” Hampton told 8News.

Hampton said she was so horrified that she felt compelled to snap photos from inside the cafe. The photos provided to 8News show what appears to be a rotten avocado, uncovered cornbread sitting on a shelf and green mold growing on the inside of a dark chocolate container.

“I was texting people like ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe the conditions here,'” Hampton explained.

Hampton, who said she has worked in restaurants for over eight years, claimed that she had never seen conditions as bad as she did at Capitol Market Cafe.

“I noticed that all of the meat and eggs were unlabeled and undated in the refrigerator, pre-cooked meats that were just in bags open,” she told 8News. “I can’t like sit by and not tell people this is happening.”

Hampton claims that the meat grinder hadn’t been cleaned in weeks and she was told to wash dishes in the same sink that dirty mop water was poured into. After three days, she said she had to quit.

Capitol Market Cafe opened its doors in October 2019. According to the Richmond Environmental Health Division, the cafe does not have a registered permit for the business.

No registered permit means Capitol Market Cafe has never been inspected, a violation of state law. Hampton told 8News she filed a complaint with the Department of Agriculture as well as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The owner of Capitol Market Cafe denied the claims in a phone conversation with 8News on Monday. He said he operates three other businesses in Richmond and plans to open a fourth location in Scott’s Addition next month.

The Department of Agriculture said they are aware of the complaint filed against Capitol Market Cafe and will be sending someone to conduct a full inspection of the business.

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