Facing cease and desist order, Friske Farm Market closes cafe, cancels second Christmas event

By: 
Linda Gallagher

ATWOOD — Facing a state-issued cease and desist order after a Dec. 5 Christmas event drew hundreds of people, an Atwood farm market and orchard has closed its indoor dining services and cancelled a second event.

In a video posted on Facebook on Dec. 11, which was headed by a sentence saying, "Tyranny is alive and well in Michigan," Rich Friske noted the closing and event cancellation, saying that the family-owned business was making the move based on the advice of its legal consul.

Noting that he was speaking on behalf of his family, Friske said, "The state is coming after us again big-time," referring to a Michigan Supreme Court lawsuit the business filed, and ultimately won, several months ago, to allow employees to forgo the wearing of face masks, a mandate implemented by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer statewide due to the threat of COVID-19.

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