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Gourmet Food Company Ousts President After His Transphobic Reply To Pride Group's Donation Request

Gourmet Food Company Ousts President After His Transphobic Reply To Pride Group's Donation Request
Global News/YouTube

The president of a gourmet foods company located in the Canadian Province of Alberta has been fired after he sent a transphobic email in response to a LGBTQ+ group asking for support for an upcoming Pride event.

Canmore Pride reached out to Valbella Fine Foods to help fund their fall rock climbing and BBQ event.

While a simple "not interested" would have sufficed, Jeff von Rotz, who claimed to be the owner of the company, wrote back a vitriolic response that read in part:

"I'm sorry to say but you could not pay me enough to sponsor anything to do with child-grooming tr****ys."

"Grooming" refers to the action of predators preparing a child or a minor they meet through the internet to build an emotional trust for the intent of sexual exploitation and abuse.

Rotz continued:

"Please keep these sick people away from the children of this community. You should be disgusted with yourselves."
"I'm sure there's some woke organization mentally ill enough to help you with your event, but it isn't Valbellas."

Global News/YouTube

Canmore Pride co-chair K Kealy, who read the message after initially reaching out to Valbella, was utterly dumbfounded by the hateful response.

“I was not expecting a reply like that,” said Kealy.

“I know there are people who are homophobic, transphobic and that type of thing."
"To be that outwardly, almost proudly transphobic is super sick and just so disappointing and shocking.”

You can watch a news report here.

Canmore company apologizes after transphobic email sent by "former team member" goes

The gourmet food company was quick to respond with a message revealing that Jeff Von Rotz–who is the son of the company’s founders Walter and Leonie von Rotz–was "removed from the company and its operations."

They also confirmed he was the president, and not the owner, of the company.

Valbella posted the following message on Instagram.


Valbella said of its former employee:

"He held the official title of President. Effective July 26, 2022, he was terminated from his employment and no longer has any role or interest in the business."

Some people were unconvinced of the company's sincerity in its efforts for damage control.

Valbella, which is located in the town of Canmore, received immediate backlash after learning about the transphobic email.

Many in the community have called for a boycott of the company's products.

Businesses like Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity said they were pulling Valbella products from shelves, and they said they have cut ties with the company.

"Following the recent communications that were made public within the Bow Valley community and Valbella Gourmet Foods today, Banff Centre has chosen to remove all Valbella products from company operations and will seize any business relations."

Blush Land Organic Market CEO Rob Horricks issued a statement, which read:

“We have pulled all their product from our shelves and canceled existing orders."
“Our team is reaching out directly to Valbella to confirm their position and will make a decision on future sales once that investigation is complete.”

Jasper Park Lodge Hotel also said they are officially done doing business with Valbella.

"We are saddened and disappointed to learn of the hateful remarks made by Valbella, particularly as we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive and safe environment."
"EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY: We will no longer work with, or purchase from, Valbella."

Canmore Mayor Sean Krausert expressed his disappointment and asserted that his town was inclusive.

He tweeted:

"The Town of Canmore proudly stands in solidarity with our LGTBQIA2S+ residents and visitors who make this town a more vibrant and diverse place to call home."
"Our municipal buildings and programs are safe spaces for everyone."

More support came in for Canmore Pride.

Valbella said in a statement that they hope to work with LGBTQ+ leaders to implement training and education for its company members.