On Monday, the Twitter account of Ristretto Roasters published a Tweet-thread tirade that seemingly responds to the growing backlash surrounding the views of owner Din Johnson’s wife, Nancy Rommelmann. In the now-deleted tweet thread, which was captured by the Portland Mercury before deletion, the official account lobs snarky insults at competitor Heart Coffee, outspoken former employee Camila Coddou, and “outrage culture.” Rommelmann has admitted that she wrote the Twitter thread.
Rommelmann, who was previously listed on public documents as a member of Ristretto’s management, started a YouTube series in December titled “#MeNeither,” about women who accuse men of sexual assault. She and columnist Leah McSweeney spend episodes talking about women they see as manipulators and liars, criticizing #MeToo activist Asia Argento and complaining about the outrage directed at Louis C.K., who has been accused of sexual misconduct.
In response to the series, a group of former and current Ristretto employees signed a letter criticizing the roaster’s management and openly separating themselves from Rommelmann; they released that letter to the press on January 10. In response, Johnson claimed that Rommelmann was not involved with day-to-day operations at Ristretto Roasters. “The company has zero involvement with her work as a journalist, author, or any work she does in the media,” Johnson wrote in a statement to the Oregonian and WWeek at the time. For her part, Rommelmann welcomed any criticism be directed at her, noting it “comes with the territory.”
But January 28, the official Ristretto Twitter account — according to tweets grabbed by the Mercury — unleashed a storm which begins with a callout directed at local roaster Heart Coffee. “Back after time away, following our favorite folks and also some local coffee roasters, and see @heartroasters has blocked us,” the tweet reads. “Por lil’ things. Sorry we scare you!” Following tweets refer to former employee Coddou, who sent out the initial letter, as “the little lady grinding her ax,” claiming the ownership team planned to fire her before she quit. The tweets go on to claim Coddou is “trying to destroy a man’s business because his wife speaks her mind. Nice feminism, ladies!”
Rommelmann told the Mercury that she wrote the tweets on Ristretto’s account, despite she and her husband’s insistence that she is not involved with the business. “I was het up last night and stupidly (obviously) asked for the RR Twitter password,” she wrote in an email to the alt mag. “Believe me, our media guy is not happy.”
All of the tweets have been removed from the coffee roaster’s Twitter, but screenshots have circulated since the initial post. Oregonian environment reporter Rob Davis tweeted his set of screenshots, with the caption, “When your crisis management plan is ‘total brand meltdown.’”
When your crisis management plan is “total brand meltdown.” pic.twitter.com/gJW5S3n2ss— Rob Davis (@robwdavis) January 29, 2019
Updated January 30, 2019, 9:24 a.m.:
This story has been updated to show Rommelmann has admitted to writing the tweets on the roaster’s Twitter account.
• Ristretto Roasters [Official]
• Ristretto Roasters [Twitter]
• Ristretto Roasters Unleashes Condescending Twitter Rant [Portland Mercury]
• Ristretto Faces Backlash After Owner’s Wife Starts Questioning #MeToo Allegations [EPDX]