Picture circulating social media suggests Helbach’s Coffee in Middleton is a “Mask Free Zone”, sign is not currently posted

Mask Free Zone sign at Helbach's Coffee

MIDDLETON, Wis. — A photo circulating online shows a sign hanging in Helbach’s Coffee that says it is a “Mask Free Zone” and asks that customers remove face masks upon entering. As of 1:00 p.m. Monday, News 3 Now staff could not find the sign in the window.

This comes on the first day that the mandatory mask ordinance is in effect across Dane County.

The customer who posted the photo said his 6-year-old daughter was shamed for wearing one inside.

In a phone interview, the customer said, “We went in with our kids. They went in with masks on and when we went in everyone turned and looked at them. People were laughing asking , ‘Don’t they know how to read?’ and there were a bunch of people pointing and laughing at her.”

The customer said he approached a man working at the front counter and asked “why they had to make our 6-year-old feel that way.”

The customer said the man told him in a whisper “so the owners wouldn’t hear” that the owners have a very strong mask stance and don’t allow employees to wear masks and put the sign up.”

News 3 Now staff spoke with the owner of the store who denied the sign was posted.