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Penzeys Spices Offers Hope (And Free Vanilla) in the Face of Trump's Racism

Everyone fights back in their own way. Penzeys Spices spreads hope with (free) delicious messages of freedom and equality!

For the second year in a row, Penzeys Spices is running a special to celebrate their opposition to the roll out of Donald Trump's white nationalist campaign by offering free Mexican Vanilla Extract:

Three years ago today, 7-6-15, our President rolled out his campaign including these words: "Likewise, tremendous infectious disease is pouring across the border." No one with any sense of history had any doubts about who he was channeling.

No future historian of 21st century America will be so unaware of 20th century history to not know exactly who the then candidate was channeling with the words "tremendous infectious disease." At the time, many hoped this was not who he really was, but just a cynical ploy to stand out in a crowded field. But if there was then any doubt or feeling this was just an act, on this the third anniversary of his launching his campaign with such calculated words, that doubt is long gone. There is also no doubt that the threat this kind of thinking represents is very much real.

You really should go read the rest of the post as well as the Facebook page in general. It's awesome.

Last year is was just the vanilla (which has since spiked in price due to vanilla bean shortages). This year it's the Hope Gift Box:

Hope – Vanilla & Tastiness.
In those the President and his Party would dehumanize, we find all the goodness humanity has to offer.

The hope at the heart of immigration.

The tastiness of Penzeys Salsa & Pico just in time for the fresh tomato season.

And the wonderful and now rare Pure Mexican Vanilla Extract that makes this box the most expensive combination we’ve ever given.

Embrace Hope — A Whole lot of Humanity in a Bright Yellow Box!

The Hope Gift Box includes the vanilla, the salsa & pico seasoning, an Embrace Hope pin, a Kind Heart magnet, an Embrace Hope card, and some recipe cards for both the vanilla and the salsa & pico. Not bad for exactly $0.

Penzeys Spices Goes All In

Penzeys Spices has been an openly liberal company run by Bill Penzey since long before the 2016 election. However, it wasn't until Trump was installed by the Russians that Penzeys Spices really took a stand:

A week after Donald Trump was elected the forty-fifth President of the United States, Bill Penzey sent an e-mail to a few thousand people. “The open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades,” he wrote. “The American people are taking notice. Let’s commit to giving the people a better choice.” The recipients weren’t friends or colleagues or the fellow-members of an activist group. They were customers—subscribers to the mailing list of Penzey’s Wisconsin-based company, Penzeys Spices, which, with an online store and sixty-five retail locations, is America’s largest independent spice retailer.

The right threw one of its many hissy fits and called for a boycott. Penzeys Spices lost....3% of its customers. At the same time, online orders shot up 60%. According to The New Yorker, gift box sales went up by more than 120%. Penzeys Spices continues to be aggressively vocal about its politics and is still doing regular giveaways. Clearly, that the right wing boycott failed. And then some.

Corporate Cowardice

It's a shame more businesses are not standing up to Trump and his white nationalist fascism. A lot of people used to imagine they would be brave enough to speak out against the Nazis. But they're finding out that staying quiet is a lot easier and "safer". By the time they realize that they're not safe at all, it'll be far too late. No one will be left to speak for them.

Full disclosure: My next door neighbor's sister works at a Penzeys Spices which is how I found out about them. I've been using their spices for several months and they're darn tasty. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to make my order. Some pie spices, salad seasoning, and maybe a little adobo powder to go with my free Hope Gift Box. They ran out last year. Better get a move on.