“She just turned white, with absolute anger in her expression.”
He said the woman spat at him “right, smack on the face”, saying “how dare you, you pig”.
Mr Cohen said some of his regulars had this year sat out of the sweep, following ABC’s damaging expose on the racing industry.
The shop owner said it was fair enough to avoid the sweep after the allegations of mass animal cruelty were aired by the 7.30 program.
“What that is, is terrible. Absolutely terrible,” Mr Cohen said.
“I thought about not doing it, but I just thought, ‘You know what? It’s a busy day for me’. It’s not like everyone was putting their hand up saying ‘no’.”
He added that it would have been fair enough for anti-racing customers to take their business elsewhere, but spitting was “disgraceful behaviour”.
“It’s a shame that people think that they can do that … It’s upsetting. It’s disturbing.”
Mr Cohen has lived in Brunswick for 15 years and believes the area has changed, but he has no plans to stop running the sweep.
“Outrage in this suburb has become a sport unfortunately.
“Is this woman going to chase me out of Brunswick? Absolutely not.”
He shut the store a little early on Monday night, closing about 7.30pm instead of 8pm.
Mr Cohen has decided not to report the incident to police.
The 7.30 program alleged thousands of Australian racehorses were being sent to slaughterhouses every year.
It also aired allegations of animal cruelty at slaughterhouses, including horses being beaten, shocked with electric prods and kicked while they lay dying after being shot in the head with bolts.
Rachel is a breaking news reporter for The Age.