Monterey reverses course, drops Brown Coffee after offensive tweet
First Brown Coffee Company owner Aaron Blanco put his bigotry over same-sex marriage on display on Twitter hours after same-sex marriage was legalized in New York state (see “Mea Gulpa” in this week’s QueQue), writing:
No human law can ever legitimaze what natural law precludes #SorryFolks #NotEqual #WhyBoth #ChasingAfterTheWind #SelfEvident.
Then he utterly bombed on the PR front with a non-apology apology (his tweet was about “philosophy,” not “people,” he wrote in a blog post titled “Correcting The Record” that also was later deleted but you can see via a cached version). But after closing the company Facebook account and setting their Twitter to “private,” Blanco still wasn’t done with what had become a one-way conversation. He returned yesterday to the company blog to crow about a huge upturn in business, apparently in support of his display of intolerance.
In a post titled “He Smiles,” Blanco talks about the “bile pits” of those he offended, expresses hope that the U.S. military will “bomb Bermuda” to distract attention from him, that he nearly didn’t open the shop on Wednesday to “let the crud blow over,” and how he and the staff were “a bit worried for our persons.” In other words, the man who challenged the world on same-sex marriage was suddenly everybody’s victim.
But he was not too poor, after all. In “He Smiles,” Blanco added that the company experienced possibly their “second biggest” day on record after opening. He writes:
They bought Brown shirts for themselves that they already owned. They bought practically anything that wasn’t nailed down. And they smiled. And it was good. And there was much rejoicing.
Response from Current readers was strongly negative.
Chad Carey, co-owner of The Monterey, told the Express-News he’d continue to carry the coffee and be at the shop when it opened again on Wednesday. But that wasn’t all he had to say on the topic.
He also opined:
“It’s frustrating that this couldn’t have been resolved with more of a conversation and clarification than with people automatically going to DEFCON 5 and proclaiming Aaron to be a combination of Hitler and a Klansman.”
Of course it’s hard to have such a conversation when your friend rolls up all his social-media accounts and refuses to allow any comments to post on the subject on their company blog. (For the record, two Current writers attempted to reach Blanco to have that conversation before the QueQue went to press Tuesday, without success. With the publication of “He Smiles,” we’ve stopped trying.)
Yet, despite that initial reaction, Carey has since reversed ship, posting on The Monterey’s Facebook account yesterday:
To our friends: this ain’t gonna be nearly as loquacious as you’re probably expecting. The Monterey has decided that we’ll no longer be carrying Brown Coffee. It ought to go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: The Monterey is a place for everyone (and I do mean everyone) to eat, drink, and enjoy this miraculous little party we call life. I hope that we’ll see you all soon.
The reaction to that has been universally positive so far.
Blanco? Is that really your final answer?