Monday, June 2, 2014

Penzeys Spices - Boycott

UPDATE, November 18, 2016: Bill Penzey Calls Trump Voters Racist, Need to "Make Amends."


Leftists love to organize boycotts. It's what they do. It's one of the favorite methods they employ to attack conservatives.

Why? Probably because it often works.

Sure, sometimes there is a backlash; but more often than not, the conservatives surrender.

So, now we have Leftist Bill Penzey, attacking conservatives once again. Penzey's attacks aren't just remarks he makes as a private citizen. They aren't merely donations he makes to candidates or causes he supports. These attacks come in his business catalogues sent to his customers.

A Penzeys Spices catalogue arrived in the mail recently. I didn't even open it. I tossed it directly into the recyclable bin.

I don't buy Penzeys Spices because Bill Penzey has made it very clear that he doesn't like me.

When I heard on talk radio that Bill Penzey had leveled another attack on conservatives, I wasn't surprised. It's crazy to use that approach in dealing with customers, but it's what I've come to expect from Penzey.

Hey, Bill! It's not smart to insult past, present, or potential customers.

Here's Bill Penzey's most recent screed:

This issue we spotlight Waukesha, Wisconsin and its rebirth as a place of kindness. This catalog is one of our Great Milwaukee issues, a four-times-a-year special issue we usually send only to our customers in Wisconsin. With the tremendous hope we found in the stories of the people of Waukesha, we thought we would share it with all our customers across the country. I really think this is one of our best catalogs yet. I hope you enjoy it.

In the Great Milwaukee catalogs we celebrate the strengths of the greater Milwaukee area that is our home and we also work towards healing its challenges. Our greatest strength is the incredible kindness with roots that go so deep and stretch back so far into our history here. Our greatest challenge is that for all the goodness we share we are still so very divided, by many measures we are the most segregated region in the entire country. It’s a pattern that comes from a time before most of us were born. It is the hand we’ve been dealt, but the cards are most certainly not the ones we want to hold.

In many ways it was our kindness that set this all in motion. Through the 1950s Milwaukee’s government was pretty much the most progressive in the country. At a time when other communities were putting up barriers to diversity, Milwaukee’s leaders thought the right thing to do was to allow it in. And it was the right thing to do and is a huge part of why Milwaukee is being discovered today by so many for the treasure it is. But it was a move ahead of its time. Many embraced the change. Many others were not ready for it and fled west to Waukesha and Milwaukee’s surrounding suburbs.

Almost overnight, Waukesha, a place famous across the country for its abolitionist roots, became overwhelmed and home to a very different way of thinking. For decades, defending this flight has been key to political success in southeastern Wisconsin. Even today the governor’s continued defunding of inner city schools, the congressman’s talk of bell curves and lack of effort on the part of those who live in the city, and the legislature’s talk of secession and its new deeply disturbing law defending the use of Native American mascots are all about getting votes in Waukesha, and places like it. I would like to think that, in their hearts, none of these people feel good about sending the message that America is only for some people, not others. To them I think it is just the price of politics. But all of this is finally changing for the better. With Waukesha returning to its roots, these race-based politics are rapidly becoming more expensive than anyone wanting a political future can afford. I’ve worked in Waukesha for over 20 years now and, yes, when I first arrived it really was what is was. But over those years, especially in this last five or six, a very real, very positive change has happened. As we reached out to our area customers for stories of the new Waukesha we were overwhelmed with the kindness they shared with us. Awesome people, awesome place. So here we go. Great people trying the best they can to make a difference and put things right in ways both big and small. And when you have people who pay attention, people who understand the good things set in motion by creating happiness in those around them, great recipes are always right at the heart of the story. Cooks really do create a better future for us all.

Heal the World
I can't boycott Penzeys Spices, because I don't buy Penzeys Spices.

But if I did, I would stop.

Bottom line: I think Bill Penzey's PRACTICE OF POLITICIZING HIS BUSINESS is nuts.

Since Penzey has decided to make purchasing spices a political move, I think it's appropriate to respond by NOT supporting Penzey's business.

Maybe you like being called a racist if you're a conservative resident of "Waukesha, and places like it." Maybe you consider Penzey's remarks to be flattering. If you do, buy his products.


UPDATE, July 15, 2014: Penzey Calls Scott Walker and Supporters Segregationists.

UPDATE, March 4, 2015: Bill Penzey Slams Scott Walker on Evolution.


Bmoorefree said...

I agree with you wholeheartedly! I was completely unaware that my being conservative and "gasp" a born again Christian to boot, made me a racist. And here I've been, the wife of a pastor who hasn't received one red cent for his eight years of preaching, teaching, counseling, marrying and burying - both of us giving to organizations to help others, regardless of their race, gender or background. Wow! How dumb am I? I received my first Penzey's catalogue, opened it eagerly to see a wonderful world of spices...only I didn't because I was dumbstruck by this man's attack! And everyone like me. Neither I, nor my family or friends will ever purchase from Penzey's.

Keith Schmitz said...

Truth hurts doesn't it?

Pass the oregano.

Anonymous said...

No the truth doesn't hurt. Following Gods word sets us free. If anyone wants to support & encourage a mental disorder that is destructive & even deathly it is certainly a choice they are free to make. I could never encourage anyone to engage in destructive & deadly behavior such as alcohol or drugs & yes, homosexuality. That's love, not hate. Penzey's will never receive another penny from me as I cannot support hate & Bills writings are chock full of it. Any organization or business that feels compelled to use it as an avenue to support such negativity does so at their own peril.

Anonymous said...

"Bottom line: I think Bill Penzey's PRACTICE OF POLITICIZING HIS BUSINESS is nuts."

There are some other businesses that politicize their business. Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby are arguably stronger examples on the right, openly expressing their conservative values and oppose, via the courts in some cases, liberal and progressive causes.

Other conservative businesses take a similar approach as Bill Penzey, simply taking a public stance through donations, website write-ups and open letters such as this one. Waffle House, Interstate Battery, Tyson Foods, In-N-Out Burger, Forever 21, even Walmart... all known to openly support conservative causes. These companies politicize their businesses too. Agree or disagree, it's no different than Bill Penzey's open letters and catalog write-ups that.

Bottom line: It's a free country, and you can choose to shop wherever you want just as much as any company can politicize their business.

The real bottom line: who cares?

Anonymous said...

Um...I care so...I guess I will boycott.

Leeroy said...

I was kind of irritated by the last few catalogs. But the slimy political slopfest disguised as a spices catalog is the last straw. This time it's the gay marriage issue, to wit: the "equality in marriage" law just passed in Ireland. Bill Penzey shoves it in our faces with "feel good" articles from various FOBs who tell us how great it is to have the definition of marriage cheapened and turned into a mockery.

Just imagine if tomorrow a law was passed that said that diamonds didn't need to be made of crystalline carbon: that anyone with a CZ or a moissanite could call it a diamond. Now what happens to the value of a traditional diamond?

Gays can call their setups civil unions, bonding, partnerships, whatever. They can't call it marriage because it's not. Perhaps the civil authorities wish to change the definition. It doesn't change the original definition that has stood for thousands of years.

If any of you haven't yet seen the latest catalog "Notes from Bill" dreck, go ahead and read it. I don't care which way you see this: the important thing is that he pushes his political agenda in such a way that if someone like, say Chick-Fil-A did (their slightly politized move was treated as anathema, remember?) they would be put out of business pronto. They sure were pilloried for it. But no one in the media will point out the Penzey hypocrisy.

I will also point out that most of the conservative businesses that are open about it, do NOT rip up and diminish others' beliefs and viewpoints. Bill, however, is often snarky and uses weasel words to couch his hatred in politically correct terms.

Hey Bill: Keith Haring made a poster you should have on your bathroom wall. Loaded with disgusting images. It's all about "love" (self-destructive behavior).

Anonymous said...

I too got sick of the editorializing in the catalogs with which I did not agree. Count me as a former customer. I sent them an email to let them know that they had just lost a customer and why.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I guess it explains the pissy, narrow-minded attitude of the employees me and my friend encountered last weekend when we stopped by the Southridge store. Customer service was atrocious - no surprise if they are a bunch of Dems with their panties in a wad. My friend, who has had issues on and off with Penzey's sub-par service, had brought her sister's account info and coupon with her since her sister does not live *anywhere* near a Penzey's store (She lives out of state and is legally blind as well so cannot drive or easily order off the internet), so my friend wanted to buy a few products for her and use her sister's coupon for a free product, all the while using her account information and treating it as a separate purchase. However, the lady behind the counter showed her "nasty" side and started giving both of us attitude and grilling my friend on the current "location" of her sister and asking her a bunch of personal questions about her. Totally inappropriate and typical attitude of Dems who tend to hate everyone else as much as they hate their own selves. I don't think I'll be buying their products ever again. If the owner of Penzey's hates Wisconsin and the Governor's Republican agenda so much, they should go down to Illinois... Oh the high taxes too much for you Penzey's? The corruption and almost-bankrupt state not appealing to you Penzey's? Yes, that is a Democratic run state and you can see how "Well" they are doing.. funny how they don't want to actually move their operation down there. Hmm.

Anonymous said...

President-Elect Donald Trump.... that has to just kill this Penzey guy.

BTW.. I have noticed the words "fair trade" never appear on the Penzey website. So while he talks big about respecting the diverse peoples who grind his spices.. he doesn't seem to want to pay "fair trade" prices.


Where's the Beef said...

I absolutely loved Penzey spices, I am both angry that he took away my spices and thankful that I now know where my money was going. I unsubscribed from Penzey's and will NEVER do business with them again.

Knuckles said...

The gay marriage issue was the last straw for me, too. Marry each other if you want, but don't shove it down our throats in a spice catalogue. I, for one, now buy my spices at Whole Foods.

lotusblossomjin said...

I want to let it be known to Mr. Penzey that I will not be buying any more spices from his company. I don't care who he voted for so I am not sure why he is concerned about who I voted for.

Anonymous said...

Too bad so many customers that go into the Penzey's stores have no idea how insulting Bill Penzey is toward cusomers that don't share his political views. Thank goodness I eventually ordered Penzey's spices on-line and subsequently began receiving his on-line catalogue. I was shocked to see how he uses his business as a platform to shove his political views down customers'throats while insulting them at the same time! If only all customers could have this knowledge and be able to make informed decisions whether or not to buy Penzey's spices, before walking into his stores. I would never, knowingly, give my business to anyone who runs their business like this,insulting customers, no matter what side of the aisle they are on.

Anonymous said...

I agree that Republicans can choose to boycott just like Dems and other left leaning folks.

There is a site that sells spices that people might consider, though the selection is not as great as on Penzey's. spices for republicans dot com