ELK RAPIDS, Mich. — The two farm stands lie just 12 miles apart along Route 31, a straight, flat road running through a bucolic wonderland of cherry orchards and crystalline lakes in northwestern Michigan.
Yet when one stand instituted a no mask, no service rule last July and the other went to court to combat the state’s mask mandate, they set in motion a split that still ripples across Antrim County.
Linda McDonnell, a retiree who began summering in the area 20 years ago, used to pop into Friske Farm Market regularly to treat herself to a few doughnuts. She loved watching them emerge piping hot from the kitchen, and delighted in their soft, chewy interiors beneath a crunchy outer layer. Then Friske’s joined the outcry against masks.
“Oh my God, I do miss them, but I will not go there because of the politics,” said Ms. McDonnell, 69, a former schoolteacher. “They will not get my business.”
On the other side, Randy Bishop…