Legal Battle Threatens Closure of Nation’s Potentially Only Black-Owned Cider Mill

Leandra King

Detroit Farm & Cider, purportedly the country’s only Black-owned cider mill, faces imminent closure amidst a contentious legal battle.

Owner Leandra King is embroiled in criminal charges for harboring livestock without proper permits, a situation that could lead to her imprisonment and the permanent shuttering of her cherished establishment.

Situated on nearly five acres of land, Detroit Farm & Cider has earned acclaim for its cider milling operations and animal husbandry. However, King’s efforts to obtain official certification for her business have been stymied, despite outreach to zoning officials.

As a result, the cider mill has been forced to temporarily close its doors, leaving King’s livelihood hanging in the balance.

For King, this endeavor represents a beacon of hope forged from a troubled past. Raised in foster care and juvenile detention centers, she found solace and purpose in the realm of agriculture.

“I just kind of did some soul searching and realized that nature is where I belong,” King shared, according to Black Enterprise, which first carried this story.

Yet, her aspirations face a formidable challenge as the city of Detroit refuses to reconsider the zoning of her property, citing violations of city ordinances.

Despite the lack of clarity surrounding the city’s stance, King’s attorney, Matthew Dupree, is baffled by the municipality’s staunch opposition.

“I have no comprehension of why the city is so committed to shutting down this woman,” Dupree remarked.

The looming legal consequences weigh heavily on King, who anticipates potential jail time and probation if found guilty. Nevertheless, she remains resolute in her fight, buoyed by the conviction that she is in the right. Her determination has garnered support from local Black Lives Matter organizations, who advocate on her behalf.

In response to inquiries, Conrad Mallet of the Detroit Corporation Counsel reiterated the city’s obligation to enforce ordinances, stating it is critical to respect the rights of neighboring residents to a peaceful environment free from disruptions caused by livestock.

However, the Counsel declined to disclose whether any complaints had been lodged against Detroit Farm & Cider.

As the legal saga unfolds, King continues to persevere, risking her well-being and livelihood in defense of her cherished passion.