MEMPHIS, Tenn.– The owners of Makeda’s Cookies said late Wednesday that they have decided against reopening the Airways Boulevard store where Memphis rapper Young Dolph was killed in November.
Raven Winton, operations manager with Makeda’s, said as of Wednesday morning, the family-owned company planned to reopen the store, incorporating parts of the Young Dolph memorial into the reopened store.
However, after an interview with another local station Wednesday, the family said they started to get online threats that made them believe they could be in danger. They changed their minds about opening later that day.
“We saw a lot of comments under the news reporting about us reopening, and people were terrible, honestly. They were terrible with us, saying just all outrageous things,” Winton said. “We were full force, ready to go, and later on that evening my mom gave me a call and just said, ‘We’re not gonna do it.’ It’s just too dangerous. She doesn’t want to risk my life, she doesn’t want to risk employees’ lives.”
The Airways shop was the first location for Makeda’s. It opened in 1999.
Winton said she was heartbroken about the decision, but she respected her parents’ decision.
The news comes after Lloyd White, the owner of the building and laundromat next door to the cookie shop on Airways, said Tuesday that the growing memorial for Young Dolph was set to be removed from the location next week.
Winton said she still hopes to save and frame some of the pictures and keepsakes from the memorial.
“At the end of the day it is history,” she said. “That man was so much a part of the community. Dolph was loved in the community. I still can’t see those pictures being thrown away.”
Winton addressed persistent online rumors that suggest a conspiracy involving Makeda’s Cookies with Young Dolph’s death.
“I don’t think people really want the truth anymore,” Winton said. “They prefer to hear all the crazy stories than the real truth.”
The news of the closure comes as a shock to people living in South Memphis, including Milton Somerville who owns Milton’s Barbershop around the corner.
“I don’t want any Black businesses leaving the area,” he said.
Makeda’s still has a location downtown and online ordering that are doing well, Winton said. She thanked the shop’s supporters and prayed for those who had “a sour heart.”