When Donnie Simpson Jr. heard from one of his employees at Uprising Muffins that Hillary Clinton would be coming in five minutes, the owner of the Shaw-based small-business thought the guy was kidding.
“The funny thing is I was actually taking a little break,” Simpson, who’d stepped out for a walk on Friday afternoon, says. “He’s kind of a joker, so I said, ‘Whatever man.’ He said, ‘I’m being serious; there’s Secret Service here.'”
Sure enough, a couple of officers were stationed out front and a couple more were inside. Simpson says he gave them his full name after they asked whether he was Uprisings’ owner. (“I guess they have a magic phone that does a ten-second background check on people,” he quips.) A few black SUVs pulled up shortly thereafter and the store become a “flash mob” of press and politicians, Simpson recalls: among them Mayor Muriel Bowser, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, and Councilmembers Jack Evans and Anita Bonds.
“I’ve always wanted to meet President Obama as the first African-American president of the United States,” the owner notes. “But to have potentially the first woman who will be the leader of this country come here, I felt like I was shaking hands with history.”
He adds that he was especially glad to host Norton, who’s long fought for District voting rights. (“We have a new piece of art in here that a local artist did—a huge D.C. flag with the words ‘end taxation without representation.'”)
On Clinton’s tab, according to the owner, were “a bunch of iced chais and iced coffees” and a “six pack of muffins” that included piña colada, orange cream, and pumpkin flavors. “She said she loves pumpkin muffins and was happy that we have them all year round,” Simpson says. He adds, his staff “kept it professional, nobody geeked out” throughout the visit.
So what if presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump were to show up?
“Of course I’d shake his hand, and welcome him in,” Simpson says. But “he’s gonna have to pay. Hillary got hers for free.”