A vegan popsicle seller in Chicago has apologized and has withdrawn from plans to sell from a push cart in a public park after being accused of cultural appropriation.
Peachy, a frozen desert startup, apologized Tuesday after the company’s enthusiastic announcement of the new push cart in Logan Square was met with furious online responses.
Hundreds of people visited the company’s Facebook page this week, accusing Peachy of stealing jobs from Spanish street vendors and appropriating the culture of paleteros, as the wandering ice cream vendors are known.
‘Get rid of it!’ one person responded. “Let the hardworking paleteros make their merits !!”
Peachy owner John Lawrence Geary (see above) apologized and made plans to sell popsicles from a pushcart after being accused of cultural appropriation
Geary planned to launch a pushcart (left) to sell popsicles in Logan Square Park (right), but withdrew after allegations that he would ‘steal’ income from Spanish competitors
Peachy owner John Lawrence Geary, 35, did not immediately respond to a message from DailyMail.com, but gave an emotional telephone interview with Block Club Chicago.
“I come from such a place of love that it only saddens me that I hate it so much,” said Geary, strangling tears.
Geary explained that he had lost his job at a concert venue when the corona virus pandemic hit, and in response, he dumped his time and savings into the new frozen dessert venture.
His goal was to open a healthy snack bar nearby, but when the plan ran into problems, he decided to temporarily sell a pushcart.
“I saw it as a viable way to get started – as a single person … entrepreneur on a budget – when I felt like I was waiting for my hands because the space is not ready,” he said. Wall outlet.
The controversy first unfolded on Saturday when Peachy announced it would launch a car selling frozen vegan treats at Logan Square Park, in the center of the northwestern Chicago neighborhood.
“ Today we are officially launching Peachy Vegan Ice Cream … and soon we will be a physical ice cream parlor / cafe serving fast vegan and vegetation oriented foods in Logan Square, ” the company said in a Facebook post.
Peachy’s Facebook announcement on Saturday was greeted with a wave of online responses
Thousands responded rejecting Peachy’s sweet treats (above), saying the sale of a handcart in a park is a cultural appropriation of Spanish paleteros
Geary proudly displayed his new pushcart on Facebook, but was not prepared for kickback
‘Today we are in the park at the monument with this cart slangin’ Vegan Ice Cream Popsicles (today’s flavs are Peach and Strawberry) … not dairy, vegan, all organic ingredients … locally made, small batch and home educated, “the post continued.
The company’s announcement was greeted with a surge of vitriol, with thousands of comments accusing Peachy of cultural appropriation and gentrification.
“Way to whiten a palette cart. Please leave Logan alone, “one person wrote.
Another agreed, “Our food is better than yours, I get it. If I were white, I’d be pretty annoyed that Mexicans had better food, but what about you making better food? Stop cultural appropriation! ‘
While paleteros struggle to support their families during the pandemic. You all love to fight them with your hobby, ‘wrote yet another. Go to non-POC [person of color] neighborhoods that don’t have paleteros to sell you fake palettas. ‘
The Census channel that includes Logan Square Park is, according to 2010 Census data, 56 percent white, 32 percent Spanish, 5 percent black, and 4 percent Asian.
In recent decades, the area has seen an influx of young, white and unmarried residents, as well as an explosion of trendy bars and restaurants for affluent young residents.
“You’ve already taken over people’s neighborhoods, don’t you dare take over their jobs,” a Facebook comment advised Peachy.
Peachy apologized bleakly statement on Tuesday. “I am surprised and saddened by all the negativity created by trying to sell ice cream from a push cart and starting a small business, from a really positive place in my heart,” the statement said.
Geary (above) deposited his savings in the company after losing his job as a concert venue in the pandemic. He responded to the response with a tearful apology
Some of Peachy’s frozen treats can be seen above. The future of the company is uncertain, as Geary’s efforts to open a storefront have been hampered by regulatory barriers
“I had no intention of offending, appropriating or offending anyone, nor did I intend to remove or tarnish existing palettes,” the statement continued.
“I understand how cherished palets are in the community as both real direct sources of income for individuals / families and as a cherished cultural tradition. Push carts are part of many ethnic cultures around the world. I listen and hear the feelings of the community about this … We will no longer use the car, ‘said the company.
The company added that the intention was to provide “healthy, organic food accessible and affordable for all” and “it’s strange and awful to read false reviews of people who have never tried anything from Peachy.”
Despite the online backlash, some did respond to Peachy’s handcart announcement with reports of support on Facebook.
“The Chinese invented ice about 1500 years ago, and a man named Charles Goodnight invented the concept of food trucks / carts in 1866,” one person wrote. “The idea of cultural appropriation for this is absolutely ridiculous.”