That’s Taylor Gourmet co-owner Casey Patten standing next to Donald Trump in the White House, where the president was signing an executive order easing regulations on small businesses.
Earlier yesterday, the sandwich boss was photographed shaking hands with Trump. The move was greeted with backlash and calls for a boycott on social media and in the comments sections of websites like PoPville.
Taylor Gourmet tweeted this yesterday, and Patten offered this statement to Young & Hungry this morning:
“Taylor Gourmet rejects any and all hate and/or discrimination against any human being. Yesterday, I attempted to affect change in a positive way by voicing my concerns for small businesses at The White House. To those who view this as wrong, I accept and respect you opinion. I believe change can be achieved through dialog and activism. I strongly reject any and all forms of hate and/or discrimination.”
Taylor Gourmet is not the first restaurant to face a public image crisis after interacting with the Trump administration. When Buttercream Bakeshop produced a replica of President Barack Obama’s inaugural cake for one of this year’s inaugural balls, the Shaw bakery saw a mix of support and vitriol.
An Instagram post from the bakery depicting the cake and an accompanying description that said profits would be donated to the Human Rights Campaign received more than 1,100 comments. Some congratulated the bakery for its decision to donate the money, while others said they would no longer patronize the bakery.
Owner Tiffany MacIsaac told the Post, “I’m a small-business owner, and one of the things I’m very, very proud about is that I don’t discriminate. I would never turn someone away based on their age, their sex, their sexual orientation, their political views. It’s just not the way we operate.” You might remember the Denver bakery that wanted to refuse to bake a cake for a gay wedding, citing religious reasons.
Tense moments like these are bound to continue to arise as the public figures out what it will and won’t tolerate when it comes to restaurants and other small businesses engaging with Trump and his administration.
This post has been updated to reflect yesterday’s tweet from Taylor Gourmet.