Wow…what a dirtbag.
I really tried to give Lou Reyes the benefit of the doubt. It’s just who I am. Deep down, I want to believe people are good.
But after the wave of emails I’ve received in the past week about this guy, there is no longer any doubt. He is in business to rip people off…plain and simple.
And our goal as a community should also be plain and simple: put him out of business.
A quick recap: Last week, after receiving several complaints about the Celiac Awareness Tour (now called the Gluten-Free Awareness Tour), I did a little digging and discovered some unsavory things about the tour. I wrote about it here.
I have given Lou every opportunity to respond. I’ve emailed him. I’ve called him. I’ve hit him up on Twitter. But his silence has been deafening.
So now let me share some stories that others have shared with me…
Dude note: Maybe the dog at his cash box.
Dude note: Charming and friendly is how a lot of scammers work.
Dude note: $16 or $1,600…doesn’t matter. There is no worse feeling than getting scammed out of your hard-earned money.
Dude note: Decency is too much to ask it seems.
Ok…I received a bunch more, but I think you get the point. The guy’s a total doink.
So what can we do about it? How can we protect vendors and others in our community from getting screwed over?
I don’t have a clear-cut answer. Personally, I’m going to reach out to some of the big names in the gluten-free industry (Udis, Rudis, Schar, etc) and ask them to stop supporting the CAT. I’ll reach out once again to Lou and let him use my forum to explain all of the complaints about him.
And if you’ve got more stories, share them. Spread the word. Expose the CAT for what it is.
And just to make this clear, this is ONLY the Celiac Awareness Tour we are discussing here. There are other expos that are totally legit.
Heather at Stuffed-Pepper.com had this spot-on quote:
“Sometimes, the gluten-free space reminds me of the Wild West, like gold miners and brothel owners on Deadwood. Everyone’s out to stake a claim. And without regulation and a sheriff in town… anything goes.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself. Maybe I’ll run for sheriff.