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Coffee Shop Ends Ties to Duke

May 14, 2018
 
 

Joe Van Gogh logoJoe Van Gogh Coffee announced Friday that it would end all ties to Duke University and shut down its coffee shop on campus. A Duke vice president was offended by the music he heard there (a rap song featuring the N-word) and complained, leading to the firing of two baristas. Since then, Duke and the vice president have been widely criticized.

A statement from Robbie Roberts, owner of Joe Van Gogh Coffee, said in part, "Effective immediately, I have decided to cut my company’s ties with Duke University. I believe it’s the right thing to do to preserve Joe Van Gogh’s brand independence without conditions. I have extended jobs to our entire team at our Duke on-campus store, either at one of our off-campus locations or at our production offices. And, I have reached out to our two baristas who were provided severance so that they may either re-join Joe Van Gogh or secure employment elsewhere if they like."

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