Legal Battle Threatens Closure of Nation’s Sole Black Woman-Owned Cider Mill

by Gee NY
Leandra King

Detroit, a city known for its resilience and cultural diversity, is witnessing a legal showdown that could shutter what’s believed to be the nation’s only Black woman-owned cider mill.

Detroit Farm & Cider, owned by Leandra King, faces closure as King grapples with criminal charges for housing livestock without proper permits.

The cider mill, nestled on the outskirts of the city, has become a beacon of hope and economic empowerment for King, who has overcome a tumultuous past marked by foster care and juvenile detention.

“Nature is where I belong,” King reflects, underscoring the transformative power of agriculture in her life.

However, bureaucratic hurdles threaten to extinguish King’s aspirations. Despite her efforts to navigate the labyrinth of zoning regulations, Detroit officials have remained steadfast in their refusal to grant the necessary permits.

This impasse has forced Detroit Farm & Cider to suspend operations indefinitely, leaving King’s dreams in jeopardy.

The legal saga has escalated to the brink of imprisonment for King, who faces the prospect of jail time and probation if found guilty. Despite the looming threat, King remains undeterred, drawing strength from the belief that she is fighting for what is right.

In response to inquiries, representatives from the Detroit Corporation Counsel have reiterated the city’s obligation to uphold ordinances, citing concerns about potential disruptions caused by livestock.

However, they have remained tight-lipped about any specific complaints lodged against Detroit Farm & Cider.

As King continues to wage her legal battle, she finds solace in the unwavering support of her community, including local Black Lives Matter organizations.

Their advocacy underscores the broader significance of her struggle, not only as a quest for justice but as a symbol of resistance against systemic barriers faced by Black entrepreneurs.

In the face of adversity, King remains resolute, risking her freedom and livelihood to defend her cherished passion.

As Detroit Farm & Cider hangs in the balance, the outcome of this legal showdown could have far-reaching implications for Black woman-owned businesses across the nation.

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