Former employees started calling Dandelion Chocolate after social media posts expressing solidarity with Black Lives Matter

Chocolate Dandelion, a chocolate bean brand based in the Mission District with retail stores and cafes in SF, Las Vegas and Tokyo, has “culture issues with anti-darkness that are not being taken seriously.” former employee Adonis Valentine says Local Mission, Valentine says the CEO of the company took special care to make sure people with darker skin tones were always especially kind and smiley, “and was put on a performance plan to be” aggressive. ” Valentine resigned in August 2019 when, they say, they realized that “everyone who struggles to be seen as aggressive is black.”

In another case, former employee Cheyenne Eisert said that in March 2019, an official texted her a photo of an orangutan with the words “met your distant cousin.” Dandelion CEO Todd Masonis told Mission Local that the company moved this director “to a different location, with lower tips.” Another employee, Gjaidan Stewart, who first reported the texting incident to company HR, was moved to the same location, despite previous requests not to work with the alleged troubling texter. “It seemed very specific and intentional as a way to deal with me,” says Stewart.

Masonis says the company is ‘rethinking’ how it reacts to incidents like last year, but that “I think a lot of these incidents were in the past – don’t excuse them – but that just means I think our thinking has changed over time.

And in other news …

  • Restaurant owners are hoping to close Townsend’s Ritch Street to Brannan Streets to allow alfresco dining, one of 13 complete as yet unspecified street closures requested across the city. [Hoodline]
  • In Silicon Valley, black restaurateurs say the recent efforts to support their businesses was nice, but the push is already fading. [San Jose Spotlight] Meanwhile, Justin Phillips writes that “White people really only spend more money on black businesses that feel safe and familiar to them – soul food stores or bakeries with easily searchable online reviews.” which means that places that focus on serving their local communities are losing this influx of new business. [SF Chronicle]
  • The sign at the Hang Ah Tea Room in Chinatown, one of America’s oldest dim sum spots, was disfigured over the weekend. [ABC 7]
  • SB 939, a bill to help restaurants negotiate post-pandemic rents with the owners, failed and will not go ahead. [Commercial Observer]
  • Napa and Sonoma counties are open for indoor dining and wine tasting, but food and wine workers are nervous after the region sees a spike in cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID- 19). [SF Chronicle]
  • The world now knows San Francisco boss Melissa King won the final season of the reality show Top Chef All Stars, which aired its finale Thursday night. She also won $ 10,000 as a “fan favorite” in the show’s online poll, and King says she will donate that money to Black Visions Collective, Asian Americans for Equality, Asian Youth Center and the Trevor Project. [San Jose Mercury News]
  • Roma’s, a new “Italian farm-to-table restaurant” planned in the former La Briciola space in SoMa, bears the name Sister Roma of Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. Expect pasta served under “a rainbow flag of inclusiveness,” says Roma, with an opening slated for later this summer. [Hoodline]
  • A second location of Comal next door is slated to open today with a take-out menu of tacos, burritos and salad bowls. [SF Chronicle]
  • The SF DoorDash-based food delivery app, which is currently facing a trial from the San Francisco district attorney on how it classifies its workers, just closed an additional $ 400 million in funding, bringing its valuation to nearly $ 16 billion. [SF Business Times]
  • Azalina Eusope, owner of the Malaysian spot Noe Valley Mahila and favorite food hall Azalina’s, tells financial writer Kerry Hannon that the pandemic has “put her back into survival mode”, but she “doesn’t want a loan that will keep putting me in the hole.” This is stupid. I have to take care of myself. I can’t spend the rest of my life paying off my debt. [New York Times]
  • Cultural writer Rae Alexandra says the pandemic version of Zeitgeist is “endlessly, extraordinarily unnatural.” [KQED]
  • Robert Carter, a restaurant waiter from Sacramento, said in an opinion piece that “those most eager to eat out are the same people who have never taken this pandemic very seriously” and said that the reopening of the restaurant, as a whole, is “a frightening situation. [SF Chronicle]
  • 24 hour Castro dinner Andy’s Orphan made social distancing changes to its dining room which features plenty of clear plastic shower curtains. [SFist]


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