A “left-leaning” gift shop in Falmouth has embraced a one star review it had on Google by having it printed on T-shirts which they sell in-store.

Bean Hive by the Sea in Arwenack Street, Falmouth, which has described itself as a "beige free zone" has stirred up controversy in the past with its political views, including being pro-abortion and anti-monarchy, which has been displayed in its windows.

Falmouth Packet: The shop in Arwenack Street celebrated its third birthday in SeptemberThe shop in Arwenack Street celebrated its third birthday in September (Image: Paul Armstrong)

But when owner Em Bean was alerted to a one star Google review nestling among the many five star reviews she knew she had to do something with it.

“The review had actually been up for a while before we saw it,” she told the Packet. “I didn’t even know we were on Google so I never checked.

“It was actually a customer who came in and said we were looking online to see your opening times and saw this review, it’s so funny.

“We looked and found it hilarious. I was trying to think of the timing of when it was posted and there was a woman who came in and yelled at me around that time.”

The 137 word review comes from a holidaymaker who says they were really “shocked and appalled” by the anti-Tory slogans in the window including a T-shirt for babies saying “I’ll never vote Tory” as well as something “completely obscene”.

“Completely detestable and pointless,” continued the review. “The 2 ‘young ladies’ who run this ‘shop’ need to realise that that hate speech goes both ways. Apart from anything, the rest of the stuff in their cave of horrors looked like complete tat.

“If they want to alienate half the population, render themselves financially destitute very quickly and just generally make themselves look ridiculous, sure there are quicker and easier ways of achieving it than by displaying gratuitously offensive merchandise in their 'shop window'.”

At first the shop posted the review on its Instagram account and it was their most commented post they’d ever put up and the most liked as well.

“So many people were saying you should put it on something then someone suggested putting it on T-shirt,” said Em “My mum’s friend makes a lot of our T-shirts for us and she screen printed them and all the staff got them and we’ve sold a few as well.”

Falmouth Packet: Em Bean with the T-shirt that displays the review on the backEm Bean with the T-shirt that displays the review on the back (Image: Paul Armstrong)

Em set up the shop three years ago after living in the town for ten years after first arriving as a university student.

She describes the shop as leftist, queer and vegan and stocks items by many women led business makers or crafters. In the back they also stock vintage clothing and art. 

Falmouth Packet: The shop stocks items by many women led business makers or craftersThe shop stocks items by many women led business makers or crafters (Image: Paul Armstrong)

It’s not the first time the shop has courted controversy, during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee it created a bit of a stir by displaying anti-monarchy posters in its window and the shop is strongly pro-abortion.


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“People are mostly positive come and talk to us about it,” she said. “We do get the other side. People do come in and yell at us and sometimes it can get a bit scary.

“Someone threatened to smash our windows, for that anti-jubilee window which we knew would be quite divisive. We had a lot of complaints about it, but there was also support.

“We are just lucky to live in such a supportive town ”