- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Objections to its sign won't keep a Manassas coffee shop from opening in mid-November, the owner said yesterday.
Situated across from a Toys R Us and a couple of doors down from Family Christian Stores is a shop with the emblem of a donkey and large, red letters declaring it's the Bad Ass Coffee Co. Some parents say such a sign should not be near a place where children visit.
"To have [Family Christian Stores] here and Toys R Us there, to drop that in the middle is in bad taste," said Marilyn Keeler, who was shopping at the Christian-themed store with her 11-year-old twins yesterday.
Mrs. Keeler's husband, Steve Keeler, called the governor and other public officials' offices and said he would continue fighting the cafe.
Nelson Frey, owner of the coffee shop, said he never considered that the sign would be offensive.
He said other tenants in the strip mall have been supportive and that no one has approached him about problems with the name.
"I guess if people want to isolate a word, they can pretty much pick anything," Mr. Frey said.
Mr. Frey said he was not dissuaded by the outcry and that he chose the location because he believed it would attract customers.
He said he would be happy to provide an explanation of how the company was named. "I'll have to educate people about it."
The Bad Ass Coffee Co. of Hawaii Inc. gets its name from a legend of bellowing donkeys carrying loads of coffee up and down mountainsides.
The company, which prides itself on its rich Hawaiian Kona coffee, has headquarters in Salt Lake City and 20 stores, with two, including the one in Manassas, opening in the near future. Mr. Frey, 48, said he would like to open more shops in the area. His shop will be the first of its kind in Virginia, Maryland or the District.
Children may hear the offensive word in its colloquial usage several times, said parent Dorothy Eller, adding that the company appears to be using the same sense as those in dictionaries and the Bible.
"Even if they go to Sunday school, they're going to hear that word," said Miss Eller, 42.
Despite their offense at the coffee-shop sign, the Keelers say, they won't stop shopping at Family Christian Stores because of it.

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