Penzeys CEO plans post-holiday push on sexism

Says post delayed to allow for healing

Bill Penzey, chief executive officer of Wauwatosa-based Penzeys Spices, says he’s holding off on doing an email newsletter post about sexism during the election, with the hopes of allowing for healing during the holidays.

In an email today to customers, Penzey said the company had received an “incredibly positive response” to its posts about racism and also heard calls to do something similar aimed at sexism.


“It is one thing to yet again see a more qualified woman passed over, but to be passed over for the most openly sexist candidate for President in any of our lifetimes has been honestly heartbreaking to so very many,” Penzey wrote.

He said the company planned a post and promotion involving its Ruth Ann’s Muskego Avenue seasoning to go with it.

“Seeing how great the need for healing is here, we’ve decided the hecticness of the holiday season would not help the healing, so we are holding off on the Cooking trumps Sexism post until after the holidays,” Penzey wrote.

The company is still going ahead with the promotion. In an open letter to other CEOs earlier this month, Penzey said its online sales were up almost 60 percent in the two weeks after he said Republicans had “just committed the biggest act of racism in American history since Wallace stood in the schoolhouse doorway 53 year ago.”

“Yes, maybe for the moment we have lost 3 percent of our customers because of the so-called ‘right wing firestorm.’ And, yes, they send emails of rage, and ALL CAPS, and bad language with the hope of creating the perception that they are bigger than they really are. But what we learned is that, in terms of retail spending, Donald Trump simply has no one supporting his views for America. He has no constituency,” Penzey’s letter said.

Penzey ended his latest letter by encouraging customers to hug their moms.

“With all our moms have had to face, this has been a tough year. And if your mom voted for him, hug her twice,” he wrote.

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Arthur Thomas
Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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