Call For Divestment By February 15th
Here's a letter we wrote that you can use if you want to reach out to a cafe that still uses Four Barrel to put pressure on co-owners Jodi Geren and Tal Mor.
Dear NAME OF OWNER/COFFEE DIRECTOR/CAFÉ,
I’m writing to you to discuss your wholesale coffee provider, Four Barrel. On January 5th, eight women sued Jeremy Tooker, founder and co-owner, and the company itself, also co-owned by Jodi Geren and Tal Mor, for sexual misconduct and perpetuating a culture that condone the sexualization of its employees. When employees detailed these incidents of sexual harassment, violence, and misconduct, they were instead told not to ‘talk shit’ or ‘start drama’ by the co-owners, Jodi and Tal, and upper management, who are named in the suit and still continue to work at Four Barrel.
This story has been covered extensively—after the San Francisco Chronicle broke the story, they continued to follow up, reporting on Jeremy's divestment from the company, how the current owners then changed the name to The Tide, how The Tide is supposed to be a 'worker-owned' cooperative, and that the suit was settled after a week of media coverage and boycotts. This story has been covered by Eater, Tasting Table, Grub Street, Sprudge, and on the Boss Barista Podcast.
Jodi and Tal have promised to divest their shares from the company and had them over to employees, but there has been no timeline laid out and no transparency as to how employees will acquire shares. Will they pay for them? Will they be liable for the loss business resulting from this media frenzy? And when will Jodi and Tal step back? We simply don't know enough and on Wednesday, the majority of their production team (the folks who bag their coffees and send them to you) were fired.
As a continuing wholesale account, you still have power. YOU CAN DEMAND THAT JODI AND TAL DIVEST BY FEBRUARY 15TH. Jodi and Tal have already sent you an email explaining The Tide, but what assures you that they're telling the truth? If you continue to buy coffee from them, you're putting money directly into their pockets. By firing their production staff, they've shown they care little about their existing employees and do whatever it takes to save themselves. You have the power to show them that this is unacceptable. Other notable coffee companies have already ended their relationship with Four Barrel, including Subrosa in Oakland, Calif., all locations of Boba Guys in San Francisco, and Red Rock in Mountain View.
So please—demand divestment by February 15th. What they've done is wrong, and right now, you have the loudest voice they'll hear. Tell them that their time is up, and you will break your relationship with the brand by February 15th if they refuse to leave. If you truly want to support a worker-owned cooperative, we need to see more transparency from Jodi and Tal, and they must honor their promise to turn over their business to their employees.