Cup Foods back open, weeks after George Floyd's death

(FOX 9)

The death of George Floyd will be forever linked to Cup Foods at 38th and Chicago. Floyd was killed after officers were called to the store for the report of a counterfeit bill.

Now, after being closed for three weeks out of respect for Floyd, the store quietly reopened earlier this week.

"We felt like with the community urging us to open, it has been enough time," explained co-owner Mike Abumayyaleh.

For 31 years, customers have come to Cup Foods for everything from snacks to cell phone service. But after a period of mourning for George Floyd, the store's doors are open once again.

"We've gotten a lot of response from our community," said Abumayyaleh. "Longtime patrons glad that we opened back up to serve the community again."

Since the call to police that led to Floyd's death came from a store employee, co-owner Mike Abumayyaleh says some on social media have said it is too soon to reopen and blamed Cup Foods for what happened.

However, he says they've made changes, like more training for employees on how to handle counterfeit bills and hiring a security guard for customer and employee safety.

"We've made sure we have a stricter protocol for when police are called," said Abumayyaleh. "That if someone does present a counterfeit bill, the authorities won't be called unless there is violence taking place."

While Abumayyaleh says the store has received threats, others in the community have stopped by to show their support.

"Cup Foods is not profiting in any sort of way from George Floyd's death," said Cup Foods spokesperson Jamar Nelson. "Whether it be t-shirts or anything else and they didn't have anything to do with the vendors being asked to leave."

As for the scores of flowers and other memorials at the intersection, Abumayyaleh says it should remain a sacred space for the community to grieve.

"We hope to continue to provide for our community and look forward to serving patrons in the future," said Abumayyaleh.

Abumayyaleh says there's been talk of creating a permanent memorial to George Floyd, and he says he would like to see some sort of garden under the mural so people can continue to come to pay their respects and what happened here will never be forgotten.