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Four Barrel’s Plan to Restructure as ‘The Tide’ Met With Skepticism

Criticism has been rolling in

Four Barrel/Facebook

A proposal from Four Barrel co-owners Tal Mor and Jodi Geren to rename their embattled coffee company The Tide and transfer its ownership to employees is being met with some applause, but even more skepticism today.

The plan comes as a response to allegations that Four Barrel founder Jeremy Tooker sexually harassed and assaulted eight women at the company, accusations that are detailed in a discrimination lawsuit against Four Barrel which was first reported by The SF Chronicle. According to the lawsuit, Mor and Geren were aware of Tooker’s alleged misconduct, but ignored their employees’ complaints and discouraged them from “creating drama.”

In an apology letter released yesterday, Mor and Geren outlined the new corporate structure, pleading with customers and wholesalers to continue patronizing the business. As Mor and Geren revealed this weekend, Tooker resigned as CEO in November, and he’s now divesting his 50 percent stake in the company. Their plan is to give Tooker’s 50 percent stake in the company to employees, and eventually divest their own shares until it’s 100 percent employee-owned. The statement did not provide a timeline for either of those actions.

Some industry commentators, like Berkeley-based chef and food writer Samin Nosrat, applauded the effort.

But others conveyed their doubt as to the sincerity of the apology and the motives for restructuring the company.

Some responded with jokes referencing Tide detergent, implying that the new name was an attempt to launder the old business.

Others, like the owner of a Lansing, Michigan based coffee shop Strange Matter Coffee Co., pointed to Geren and Mor’s alleged complicity and silence in response to employee’s complaints about Tooker.

Meanwhile, more criticism of The Tide and Four Barrel is still rolling in.

Four Barrel Coffee

375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103 415-935-0604 Visit Website