Michigan coffee roastery and franchise chain Biggby Coffee has suspended a new hire following a personal tweet that thanked God “for the bullet that killed Trayvon Martin.”
The tweet of an unnamed 17-year-old new employee came two days after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty of murdering Martin, according to several reports from Southeast Michigan media. The 17-year-old then deleted his or her Twitter account as complaints began to flood the coffee company’s social media platforms.
Biggby issued a response through Twitter:
A statement has been posted to our website in regards to today’s social media activity.
— BIGGBY COFFEE (@BIGGBYCOFFEE) July 15, 2013
Buried in the dark corners of the corporate site, Biggby’s statement reads:
BIGGBY COFFEE does not in any way condone the statements made by the employee at one of its franchise locations. The employee in question has been identified and has never worked in a BIGGBY COFFEE. This person was recently hired, but had not yet started training or working behind the counter. We have asked that the employee be suspended pending additional details. The thoughts and opinions of BIGGBY COFFEE franchise employees do not reflect the thoughts and opinions of BIGGBY COFFEE.
BIGGBY COFFEE’s cultural values have been and continue to be:
Drink great coffee
Biggby Coffee was founded in East Lansing in 1995, and has grown to more than 100 franchises in the United States. The company changed its name from Beaners to Biggby’s in 2007 after complaints from the Latino community about the name carrying derogatory connotations. The corporate founders at the time said they were unaware of the slang term, but wanted to keep the B logo.
Daily Coffee News last reported on Biggby’s when the company was considering rebuilding its flagship store, which some people considered to be architecturally significant and worth saving.