My wife discovered Penzeys Spices a few years ago, and since then we have become big fans. We order most of our spices from them, and really value the freshness and flavor, as well as the wide variety and specialty spices.
Their About Us page is not your normal corporate boilerplate. It was obviously written by the founder, Bill Penzey, and seems straight from the heart. Here’s the opening of the page:
What if your business, just by being its best self, could make a whole lot of the problems the world faces a chunk easier to solve? Given that possibility wouldn’t you owe it to everyone to try your best to do that?
Customer B.B. writes: “Penzeys makes everything better.” We noticed that ourselves pretty early on, and at first didn’t quite know what to make of it. But for some time now, without coming right out and saying it, we’ve been running our business as best we can to encourage the kindness and compassion that’s needed to take on the world’s problems and the resolve needed to overcome the obstacles in the way to solving them.
Now, for a host of reasons, I think the time has come to admit what we are actually up to and come right out and say it. So here goes. We are trying to make the world a better place. And with your help there are days where we actually seem to be doing that. Our goal now is to have more of those days.
Of course, he could be just blowing smoke. But from some of the other stories on the site, I get the impression that he takes the “make the world a better place” quite seriously.
Which leads to the other page: “About Republicans.” I’m not sure exactly when it was written, but by the content it seems that it was written during the latter years of the Trump administration.
I contacted the company to ask for permission to post it here, and got a response directly from Bill Penzey himself. So, without more introduction, here is their “About Republicans” page:
As we’ve now said on our first-ever About Us page on our website, there’s something unique about humankind’s relationship with spices that time and again have caused spices to be a driving force for change. We live in a time calling out for change and for solutions to the very real problems our country and our planet face. There’s two very different futures ahead for us totally dependent on whether we solve these problems or not. With so much at stake we feel obligated to use the unique position spices hold in our lives to try to help promote the solutions to these problems as best we can.
Watching the slow decline of the Republican Party over the last half century, and the steep decline/bottom falling out over the last decade, it can be easy to see the nonsense that has overtaken the party as pretty much random. Once you start seriously looking at the problems America and the world face and who and what are standing in the way of solving those problems, it quickly becomes clear there is nothing random to what the Republicans are promoting.
The Republican departure from conservative values and embrace of what, from a distance, looks a whole lot like insanity didn’t happen by chance. All of it has been intelligently crafted with the goal of preserving the position of those who profit from the inhumanity that is at the very roots of pretty much every problem we are facing. From the environment, to racism/discrimination, to health, to saving our democracy at home and growing it abroad, half the time Republicans are intentionally blocking the solution to the problems we face. The other half of the time they are the problem we face.
The truth of our time is we’ve arrived at the point where there’s no way to respect the nonsense the Republican Party is promoting and have any hope of overcoming the problems we as a nation and we as a planet face. Given the choice between saving America and planet Earth or saving the feelings of Republican voters, we are choosing to side with saving our country and our world. I’m sorry it’s come to this.
And no, there is no HATE!!! in any of this. There is a whole lot of propaganda at the heart of much of how Republican voters have been steered away from conservative values to what they now seem all too happy to vote for. The thing to remember about propaganda is that it doesn’t just misinform, it also works to make people immune from the truth by convincing them any facts that counter their propaganda are nothing more than HATE!!! But we really have no hate for Republican voters. None at all.
I actually like and respect most of you guys. Sure, there are a growing number that are there for the racism, but I still believe the majority of you have good hearts that want to help and do the right thing. I know you to be trustworthy, and honest, and funny, and caring, and good souls. The problem isn’t what you are, the problem is what you are now voting to support. You guys have been turned around.
Remember when your distrust of big city types, and your deep rooted beliefs in paying your debts, respecting your marriage, raising kids willing to serve, honoring your word, and going to church every week had you voting for Donald Trump over Joe Biden all because Biden’s son had a computer? Or how you couldn’t vote for Hillary because she was over-prepared and used emails? I know that to you your actions seem rational and in keeping with your values, but when it comes to voting you are now consistently voting in people who are the exact opposite of you and the values you hold dear.
What does any of this mean? Going forward we would still be glad to have you as customers, but we’re done pretending the Republican Party’s embrace of cruelty, racism, Covid lies, climate change denial, and threats to democracy are anything other than the risks they legitimately are. If you need us to pretend you are not creating the hurt you are creating in order for you to continue to be our customer, I’m sad to say you might be happier elsewhere.
If on the other hand you still want the best spices and don’t need us to respect what you now vote for to be our customer, Hooray! We are happy to have you here, but know that we will, on a regular basis, try to wake you up from this dream that has you believing there is anything conservative left at all to what the Republican Party has become. We can and will work without Republicans to solve the problems we face, but it sure would be nice to get back to a time where Republicans were equal defenders of equality, the environment, and democracy. We look forward to that day.
Thanks for reading. Thanks for being here,
I think Bill Penzey has done us all a favor by putting into words what many of us feel, and doing so without rancor. That’s why I asked to share it.
Do you agree? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. I will collect them and send them back to him.
Posted with permission. You can visit the Penzeys Spices site here.