With the help of the grassroots organization Equality for Flatbush, Errol’s Caribbean Bakery in Brooklyn has recently accomplished what many small businesses have been struggling to do in the rapidly gentrifying borough: secure a new, affordable lease.
It’s a surprise ending to a three-month battle between the bakery owners, Dorothy and Errol Miller, and their landlord, Rothstein Management.
Months before their annual lease was set to expire last summer, they simply contacted the landlord to renew. It’s the same procedure that they’ve been doing since they opened the doors to the bakery 15 years ago.
After many unsuccessful attempts to meet with the landlord, it became clear that something had changed. Dorothy Miller said that she believed that the owners of Rothstein Management felt they could get more money from other occupants.
“That’s what I find so insulting,” Miller said, as she explained that the landlord didn’t even offer them an opportunity to agree or disagree to a rent increase.