EXCLUSIVE: NYC coffee shop Caffe Aronne serves 15,000 customers in a day with help of volunteers – including Israeli woman whose Tel Aviv apartment was hit by Hamas rocket – after five pro-Palestine baristas quit

EXCLUSIVE: NYC coffee shop Caffe Aronne serves 15,000 customers in a day with help of volunteers – including Israeli woman whose Tel Aviv apartment was hit by Hamas rocket – after five pro-Palestine baristas quit

EXCLUSIVE: NYC coffee shop Caffe Aronne serves 15,000 customers in a day with help of volunteers – including Israeli woman whose Tel Aviv apartment was hit by Hamas rocket – after five pro-Palestine baristas quit

New York City coffee shop owner Aaron Dahan has received close to $50,000 in donations, served 15,000 customers in a single day, and rapidly expanded its following after a walkout by his staff due to his support for Israel.

Dahan, 25, served a continuous line of customers reaching around the corner of Caffe Aronne for two straight days, and stayed open until midnight – far past closing hours – after at least five baristas resigned on Tuesday when he addressed the ‘Free Palestine’ pins they wore to work. 

Amidst the chaotic scene of supporters on Wednesday afternoon in Manhattan’s Upper East Side, Dahan split his time between taking out the trash, accepting generous donations from community members, and expressing gratitude to his family, friends, and strangers who rallied to help the café cope with the extra workload. 

The community’s strength was on full display as dozens of volunteers, many of whom had personal connections to the war, joined in to offer their assistance.

Susan Lax, a peace activist and owner of Naot, a renowned Israeli shoe brand, has a close friend held hostage in Gaza. She came out Wednesday afternoon, waiting nearly two hours in line for a cup of coffee, simply as a show of support.

Caffe Aronne owner Aaron Dahan has gained close to $50K in donations, served 15K customers in a single day, and rapidly expanded the business’s Instagram following to 10K in just one day, following a walkout by his staff due to his support for Israel 

Friends, family and community members came out to support Caffe Aronne Wednesday afternoon after his baristas quit on him due to his pro-Israel views

Friends, family and community members came out to support Caffe Aronne Wednesday afternoon after his baristas quit on him due to his pro-Israel views 

There were lines down the block and around the corner of customers waiting to order their coffee as a show of support

There were lines down the block and around the corner of customers waiting to order their coffee as a show of support 

‘Mostly because in these really horrific days and dark days, when we do for someone, we feel helpful as opposed to helpless,’ Lax said. 

‘And community is what brings resilience to the surface. As a Jewish, Israeli American, I am part of a community in many areas and we need to lift each other up. We become stronger and more resilient.’ 

‘I will not walk around with my head down. I walk with it very high and proud as an Israeli and as a peace activist all in one.’ 

While on line, she spoke with other supporters – becoming emotional while sharing her story.

Shira Dekel, an Israeli citizen who had her Tel Aviv apartment blown up by a rocket during the October 7 Hamas attack, is living temporarily in New York and volunteered her service as a barista, having four years of experience making drinks in Israel. 

Upon hearing the news, she immediately showed up to Cafe Aronne, ready to lend a hand – and has not put her hands down since. 

As a war refugee, she said that Café Aronne has become a place where she feels she is accepted and belongs. 

‘I already met friends here,’ she said. ‘I’m not lonely anymore. It’s important to have a place where people support Israel and I feel like I belong.’ 

Others brought home-baked goods for Dahan, who sells them in store and gives the proceeds to Magen David Adom – Israel’s Red Cross. 

Dahan split his time between taking out the trash, accepting generous donations from community members, and expressing gratitude to his family, friends, and strangers who rallied to help the café cope with the extra workload

Dahan split his time between taking out the trash, accepting generous donations from community members, and expressing gratitude to his family, friends, and strangers who rallied to help the café cope with the extra workload

Susan Lax (right) a peace activist and owner of Naot, a renowned Israeli shoe brand, has a close friend held hostage in Gaza and came out  Wednesday afternoon with musician Michal Reshef (left) to show her support

Susan Lax (right) a peace activist and owner of Naot, a renowned Israeli shoe brand, has a close friend held hostage in Gaza and came out  Wednesday afternoon with musician Michal Reshef (left) to show her support 

Sophie Sassoun, a native of North London who moved to New York 17 years ago, said she never thought the fear and discomfort she felt as a Jew in the UK would ever follow her to America

Sophie Sassoun, a native of North London who moved to New York 17 years ago, said she never thought the fear and discomfort she felt as a Jew in the UK would ever follow her to America

Additionally, businesses offered their services free of charge. One company sent coffee cups to the store and instead of listing charges on the invoice, they wrote ‘Am Yisrael Chai,’ a phrase that translates to ‘long live the nation of Israel.’ 

Dahan said he never could have predicted the extent of the support his business has received in the last 48 hours. 

‘My mother’s like, I told you to double the order. I was like, I did – I tripled it,’ he said smiling. 

‘We had a woman come in earlier, She brought two trays of orange muffins that she baked in her house … the guy right behind her online said, I’m buying all of them on you. Just like that,’ he recalled. 

‘And he took them and he gave, the police officer who was here, and an ambulance outside. Everybody online got a muffin. I didn’t get a muffin, but I heard they were phenomenal.

‘So it’s amazing. You know, New York really came together,’ he added. 

Dahan, who considered his employees as family, was deeply surprised when they abruptly left and sent him hostile messages after his public stance in support of Israel. 

He said his team recently enjoyed a shared meal at a Thai restaurant just one week prior. 

He was taken aback when they sent him messages saying, ‘F*** you, F*** Israel,’ after they walked out on him. 

Shira Dekel, an Israeli citizen who had her Tel Aviv apartment blown up by a rocket during the October 7 Hamas attack, is living temporarily in New York and volunteered her service as a barista, having four years of experience making drinks in Israel

Shira Dekel, an Israeli citizen who had her Tel Aviv apartment blown up by a rocket during the October 7 Hamas attack, is living temporarily in New York and volunteered her service as a barista, having four years of experience making drinks in Israel

Zoe, a Barista who has stayed with Dahan after her fellow baristas quit - has remained long after closing hours to get to everyone on line

Zoe, a Barista who has stayed with Dahan after her fellow baristas quit – has remained long after closing hours to get to everyone on line

Dahan's mother, Peggy (right), works in real estate but has been helping her son manage the cafe since his staff quit.

Dahan’s mother, Peggy (right), works in real estate but has been helping her son manage the cafe since his staff quit. 

Many customers brought home-baked goods for Dahan, who sells them in store and give the proceeds to Magen David Adom - Israel's Red Cross

Many customers brought home-baked goods for Dahan, who sells them in store and give the proceeds to Magen David Adom – Israel’s Red Cross

The line snaked around streets poles with posters of kidnapped Israelis

The line snaked around streets poles with posters of kidnapped Israelis 

The coffee shop stayed open until midnight - far past closing hours - after at least five baristas resigned on Tuesday when Dahan addressed the 'Free Palestine' pins they wore to work

The coffee shop stayed open until midnight – far past closing hours – after at least five baristas resigned on Tuesday when Dahan addressed the ‘Free Palestine’ pins they wore to work

Dozens of volunteers, many of whom had personal connections to the war, joined in to offer their assistance

Dozens of volunteers, many of whom had personal connections to the war, joined in to offer their assistance

Sophie Sassoun, a native of North London moved to New York 17 years ago. She said she never thought the fear and discomfort she felt as a Jew in London over two decades ago would ever follow her to America. 

‘It’s a wake up call for every minority,’ she said. ‘I don’t think this is an Israel issue. I feel very strongly that this is not a Jewish issue. This is an issue of whether we’re on the side of morality and humanity, or if we’re not and I feel people ripping down posters has become the norm.’ 

Ben Lemel and Avi Hitkes, two Israelis who recently finished their military service as paratroopers, were in the US during the Oct. 7 attacks when their flight home got cancelled. 

They showed up together on Wednesday and offered their help in any way they could. Dahan graciously accepted their assistance and they immediately got to work. 

Aaron’s mother, Peggy Dahan, works in real estate but has been helping her son manage the cafe since his staff quit. 

Her son initially suggested to close for the day when his baristas quit but Peggy refused and has been running the register since. 

She said the community has come out to help and show support. There’s a line down the block with people from the neighborhood expressing support for the café that’s been open for less than a year, she said, expressing her gratitude.

Zoe, a Barista who has stayed with Dahan after her fellow baristas quit – has remained long after closing hours to get to everyone on line. 

The line stretched down the block with people from the neighborhood expressing support for the café that's been open for less than a year

The line stretched down the block with people from the neighborhood expressing support for the café that’s been open for less than a year

Dahan proudly displayed the Israeli flag in his coffee shop window on Wednesday

Dahan proudly displayed the Israeli flag in his coffee shop window on Wednesday  

Dahan, who was interrupted multiple times by people on the street offering him baked good and envelops with cash as donations, said he raised nearly 50k in two days – since his employees walked out. He now donates a dollar from every order to Magen David Adom. 

Dahan said a total of five baristas had walked out since the October 7 terrorist attack in Israel, in which Hamas slaughtered 1,400 Israelis and kidnapped more than 200 civilians – including at least 13 American citizens and 23 Thai farm workers.

The business owner displayed an Israeli flag at the café and started a fundraiser for Magen David Adom, the Israeli Red Cross.

‘Our staff was young. They think they know everything, liberal, college-educated,’ Dahan, who is Jewish, told The New York Post on Tuesday.

‘They think we’re supporting genocide, we’re supporting colonialism. They know the keywords but they don’t really know what they mean,’ he added.

He said he was disappointed in the resignation of his staff, who he considered family.

Before they quit, Dahan made an effort to sit down with his baristas and speak with them about their differing views.

‘We knew our staff. We knew they were thinking these things. I said, ‘Let’s go for dinner. Let’s sit. Let’s ask questions. Let’s learn. Let’s realize that we’re not all here trying to kill each other,’ Dahan said.