Gourmet food store sends disgusting email to LGBTQ group full of insults

An Alberta gourmet meat company has come under fire for a transphobic email sent by its president.

Canmore Pride asked for a donation for their fall rock climbing and barbecue event. Jeff von Rotz, who identified himself as the owner of Valbella Gourmet Foods, wrote on Tuesday that the event would support “tr***y’s child grooming.”

“I’m sorry to say this, but you couldn’t pay me enough to sponsor anything to do with children. Please keep these sick people away from the children of this community. You should be disgusted with yourselves.

“I’m sure there’s an awakened organization mentally ill enough to help you with your event, but it’s not Valbella’s.”

Grooming refers to a set of techniques used by predators to gain access to children for the purpose of sexual abuse and to avoid detection.

“I did not expect such a response,” said Canmore Pride Co-Chair K Kealy, who sent the original request. “I know there are people who are homophobic, transphobic and that kind of thing. To be so outwardly, almost proudly transphobic is super sick and so disappointing and shocking.

The company, based in the town of Canmore, faced backlash on social media and called for a boycott after the email was made public. Several companies, including the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, confirmed they were pulling Valbella’s products and cutting ties with the company.

“We have removed all of their products from our shelves and canceled existing orders,” Blush Land Organic Market CEO Rob Horricks said in a statement. “Our team is contacting Valbella directly to confirm their position and will make a decision on future sales once this investigation is complete.”

The email also prompted a response from Canmore Mayor Sean Krausert, saying the city’s LGBTQ community makes Canmore “a more vibrant and diverse place to call home.”

Valbella responded on Tuesday, saying that Jeff von Rotz, who is the son of company founders Walter and Leonie von Rotz, had been fired.

“The owners and management of Valbella Gourmet Foods express their sincerest apologies to the LBGTQ+ community of Canmore for an intolerant email sent earlier today by one of our former team members,” Chantal von wrote. Rotz in a statement posted to the company’s Facebook and Instagram. accounts.

“Jeff von Rotz, although he used the title, is not the owner. He bore the official title of President. Effective July 26, 2022, he has been terminated and no longer has any role or interest in the company,” the statement continued. “We are deeply sorry for the harm this has caused the LGBTQ+ community and we will work to ensure our company advances the values ​​of equity, diversity and inclusion in our company and in the community.”

Kealy, however, still has questions.

“As a family business…how will he not profit from the business anymore?” Canmore Pride co-chair told Canada World News. “What are they doing to support their staff at the moment? »

“I have always known the owner and many people who work [at Valbella] are quite conservative, but I didn’t know how far it went,” said a current Valbella employee who wished to remain anonymous. “He could have just said no or made up an excuse. It’s so much better to be hurtful and throw insults at people.