Walnut Market is a hidden gem tucked away in Newton Highlands, down the road from the Hyde Community Center. I’ll admit that I didn’t know about the establishment, run by Moe Khalaj, until an unfortunate event happened to Moe. In the words of local Belle Linda Halpern, who helped organize an event today supporting Moe:
Mitch and I are regular patrons of the lovely Walnut Market on Lincoln Street owned by Mo Khalaj. Mitch regularly takes his small sales team from Kinderlab to Mo’s for a beer tasting if they make their monthly numbers. Last time Mitch was in, two weeks ago, Mo told Mitch that he had been harassed by a man who asked for cigarettes and lottery tickets, neither of which Mo sells.Mo said he didn’t have them and the man said very aggressively “you should go back to your country” Mo spoke to the police but did not press charges. Mo told Mitch that this was not the first time people had said negative things about his immigrant roots. Others have said, “we won’t shop in your store because your country breeds terrorists”. Mitch and I have been brainstorming with Newton neighbors about doing something to signal support of Mo and his store- very excited that people are coming into the store and supporting Mo and that we now have the (flash) Mob for Mo event Jan. 29!!
In response, the community formed a flash mob to support Mo and his market. We sang songs, heard speeches from Moe’s supporters, the Mayor, Lieutenant Bruce Apotheker, and Moe himself (who could barely hold back his emotions), and then marched down to Walnut Market where we were treated to a wine and food tasting. Many of the participants made purchases, and almost everyone in the crowd agreed to continue their support.
In that vein, I’ll issue to you the same challenge issued to us tonight: Try to stop by Moe’s market at least once a month for the next year to show your support for small business and to show Mo that we stand with him against hate. He is a welcomed and valued member of our community.