After removing the name Four Barrel from its café windows and crossing it off on signs and menus, the remaining owners of the embattled coffee company say they’ll keep the name Four Barrel after all. Initially, Tal Mor and Jodi Geren announced a plan to rebrand their business in response to sexual harassment claims against Four Barrel founder Jeremy Tooker, temporarily calling it “The Tide” before choosing a new, permanent name. But just as soon as that plan was in, it’s out again: Mor tells Eater over text message that they now plan to keep the Four Barrel name intact, a response to feedback from employees and customers.
In a recent public apology, Mor and Geren outlined a plan to remake Four Barrel as a 100 percent employee-owned business, revealing that Tooker had quietly left Four Barrel and agreed to divest his shares in the business. Their plan to transfer Tooker’s shares to employees — 50 percent of the company — and eventually divest their own until it’s entirely owned by employees, remains unchanged.
The reversal of course regarding Four Barrel’s name is the brand’s latest act in a highly public performance of damage control. Earlier this month, Geren and Mor declared that “we can safely say that Four Barrel died with [Jeremy Tooker’s] departure.” Now, Mor tells Eater that “our wholesale customers, our cafe customers, and our employees have told us that Four Barrel is not Jeremy, but rather something we all built together.”
An out of court settlement in the lawsuit was reached earlier this week for undisclosed terms.
Meghan McCarron contributed reporting to this story