ST. MARTINVILLE, La. (KLFY)- In St. Martinville a lawsuit filed by the mayor against a local business owner has been dismissed.
Espinola Quinn has lived in St. Martinville for 19 years and is a small business owner.
When she heard that the town’s decades-old Mardi Gras parade was being shut down her and her friends knew it was time to do something.
“And idea comes to my mind that we needed a meeting place. We needed a place where we as the people of Saint Martinville could come together where we could just sit around and talk about things and plan things we didn’t have that we didn’t have that place so I came up with this idea we need a coffee shop,” says Quinn.
Later Quinn was approached by a journalist from The Washington Post who was working on a story titled: “Difference, in black and white: Rural Americans’ views often set apart by race”.
In the article, Quinn candidly spoke about the city of St. Martinville and her thoughts on the mayor’s decision to cancel the parade.
“Even in Saint Martinville, I think freedom of speech is still a part of our rights. So the next thing was I got sued,” says Quinn.
It wasn’t till after Espinola was served with court documents that she knew it was time to open a safe haven in Saint Martinville for residents to express their freedom of speech.
The lawsuit has been dismissed. But Now Espinola is looking to make a bad situation better, by opening her coffee shop called “The Jury”.
Quinn says, “It kind of rang you know. What is a jury do? The jury, the shakers, and movers, they decide things they sit around and decide the fate of the case or the fate of the people.”
The Jury is set to open next year with Espinola looking forward to creating a positive space in the community.
We reached out to the mayor’s office on Wednesday for a comment and have yet to hear back.