- The Washington Times - Friday, December 2, 2016

The CEO of a nationwide spice retail chain is continuing his attack on President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters, painting them as a bunch of uneducated, white heterosexual males that his company is actually doing better without.

Penzeys Spices CEO Bill Penzey made headlines last month for comments he made in an email newsletter to customers slamming Trump supporters for electing “an openly racist candidate.” He remained unapologetic amid the backlash and accused Republicans of committing “the biggest act of racism in American history since Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway 53 years ago.”

On Thursday, Mr. Penzey penned an open letter urging America’s CEOs to join in rejecting the president-elect.

“In the aftermath of the election, seeing the intentional damage inflicted on so many outside the white heterosexual male world, we raised our voice. We felt we had to,” he wrote. “And while the reasons for why we took a stand might be specific to our unique outlook, what we learned actually applies to all commerce in the United States. What we learned is that President-elect Donald Trump has no real support. Voters, sure, but no constituency. Running a campaign on ‘that horrible-terrible-woman who should be locked up,’ while at the same time working to raise fear of minorities among white voters with limited access to education, clearly achieved its goal. But none of it left Americans with any sense of connection to the candidate they actually voted for.”

Mr. Penzey said that while the company has lost many of its angry, fringe-right customers, online sales are actually up 59.9 percent and gift box sales up 135 percent since his original newsletter.

“Yes, maybe for the moment we have lost 3% of our customers because of the so-called ‘right wing firestorm.’ And, yes, they send emails of rage, and ALL CAPS, and bad language with the hope of creating the perception that they are bigger than they really are,” he wrote. “But what we learned is that, in terms of retail spending, Donald Trump simply has no one supporting his views for America. He has no constituency.

“America’s Values, on the other hand, have a really sizable constituency, and that constituency moves quickly to support those that stand up for the values of America. If, as a company, you have values, now is the time to share them,” he continued. “You may well lose a chunk of your AM radio-listening customers, but if you really are honest and sincere, don’t be surprised to see your promotions suddenly, finally, find active engagement with the Millennial generation.

“If you wait until after the wheels come off the track for the incoming administration, this moment will have passed,” Mr. Penzey wrote. “In this moment there is finally the real chance to unite our nation in our shared rejection of sexism, homophobia, and racism.”

His post has been shared nearly 7,000 times. The reaction appeared to be overwhelmingly supportive, with many commenters saying Mr. Penzey’s comments have made them new customers.

“I know at least six people, including myself, who placed orders within the last couple of weeks. Kudos for standing up for what you believe in and thank you for making a great product,” one commenter wrote.

“I’m a new customer and was so gratified to find a company that shares my values. I placed my first order and will look forward to using all my Penzey’s products!” wrote another.

Negative comments were hard to find, but at least a few signaled that they were taking their business elsewhere.

“I am done shopping here. I do not come to a spice company for political advice. Any Penzeys store I have ever been in, are in white areas of the city and I have never been waited on in your stores by anyone other than white women, tired of this bullcrap,” one commenter wrote.

Penzeys Spices, based in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, reportedly operates 70 retail outlets in 29 states nationwide.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide