Hi Bart. It’s me…Gluten Dude. I hope you had a nice weekend.
In case you forgot who I am, allow me to refresh your memory.
On August 12, 2013, I wrote a blog post about how I didn’t think you were careful enough in your practices to be able to call your cookies gluten-free since you use shared equipment. I mean, here is a screenshot of a video you put together showing your mixer making your regular cookies.
You use that exact same mixer to make your gluten-free cookies. I shudder at the thought.
Anyway, you wrote me a nice email after my blog post trying to persuade me your gluten-free cookies really are safe for celiacs. I didn’t bite (no pun intended) but I did write another blog post three days later, gently explaining that while I root for the little guys such as yourself, I cannot support your gluten-free cookies. Although you insisted they test to 5.6ppm via private testing, I was not convinced.
And that was that. Until May 21, 2014, when someone told me you created GlutenDude.org for the simple reason to bash me. So 9 months later, out of the blue, you come out from behind the curtain and turned things ugly.
So I responded with this and then all hell broke loose.
You got rightfully slammed on social media for not only breaking the law by using my trademarked name, logo, etc. (lawsuit pending), but also for lying your ass off.
And frankly Bart, as a fellow small business owner, your response on Facebook was just odd. Instead of engaging with your audience, those who may be willing to listen to your side of the story, you simply copy and pasted canned responses that made no sense.
And naturally, you continued to lie not only about me, but about your cookies.
And that’s when the good folks over at Gluten Free Watchdog got involved. Because your actions caused such a sh*t storm, they took the liberty of running your cookies through their scientifically backed testing process.
The results came in late last week. You may want to shut your eyes for this one Bart.
YOUR COOKIES ARE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO GLUTEN-FREE!
You kept claiming them to test at 5.6ppm? Well, if you multiply that number by 100, you still wouldn’t approach what your cookies tested at. Yes, the results were that bad.
When I was notified of the results Bart, I had a wide range of emotions.
I was angry. Angry that you hurt the celiac community. Angry that you put profits over people’s health. Angry that you attacked me instead of listening to me, when I was simply trying to help you when we first communicated.
I was horrified. Horrified that the test results came in so high. Horrified at the number of celiacs whose intestines have been damaged due to your selfishness and ignorance. Horrified that you are still selling them on your website.
I was disgusted. Disgusted at the whole ordeal. Disgusted at your attitude toward the celiac community. Disgusted that you chose to simply jump on the gluten-free bandwagon instead of trying to do it right.
I was sad. Sad that a company would be so reckless. Sad that your business will take a hit because of this. Sad because it all could have been avoided.
I was content. Content that there is an end in sight for all of this craziness. Content that the FDA can now get involved and take things from here. And yes, even a bit content that your plan to attack me instead of listening to me backfired so spectacularly.
But I don’t take pleasure in this stuff Bart. I’d rather not have to call companies out and deal with all the crap that comes along with it. You think I really WANT to take legal action against you? It creates drama and angst in my life when I have enough of that already thank you.
So here is what I say to you Bart…
Enough with this. I’d like to move on. And I’d like to see you have continued success with your business. Just not on the backs of the celiac community.
There are a few things I’d like you to do so we can move forward:
1. Stop producing your gluten-free cookies immediately.
2. Notify every retail store that sells your gluten-free cookies that the cookies are not gluten-free and need to be taken off the shelves at once.
3. Remove the gluten-free cookies from your website. Today.
4. Write an apology to the celiac community. We’re a real understanding bunch…I promise. If you write it, I’d be happy to post it.
5. Take down GlutenDude.org.
6. Relinquish the domains you grabbed using my trademarked name.
That’s it Bart. Let’s chalk this up to a learning experience. I’m not perfect. You’re not perfect. We all make boneheaded moves. Let’s learn from it and move on.
I wish you well.