Loyal customers of Eat More Produce, an organic grocer in Orange County, Florida, are rallying behind the owners who will likely have to shut down their Winter Park location because they were denied green cards by immigration officials. Central Florida ABC affiliate WFTV reported that Canada-natives Katja and Troy Gage, who employ 20 workers, were denied green cards because their employees are not considered professionals.
In 2009, the business started as a distribution center for the owners’ farm in Canada, and it has grown into a store that sells fresh produce, wine, cheese and Boar’s Head meat. The Gages recently signed a lease to open a second location because the business was doing so well.
“I’ve been told by several lawyers I’m on the right visa program,” Troy Gage told the Orlando Sentinel. “I’m not going to start trying to go on visas that aren’t really the appropriate one for me.”
Locals have started an online petition that has gathered hundreds of signatures to keep the Gages in the country and Eat More Produce up and running. Troy Gage is also calling on Florida senators and Representative John Mica to save his store.