FLORENCE, Alabama – A Shoals coffee roaster is back in the game after it vowed to abandon its business plan in early May following public controversy over anti-gay tweets from one of the brothers behind Shirey Ice Cream in Florence.
Lyons Coffee Roasters, a small startup planning to go into business with Shirey Ice Cream, declared it would close its roastery after Garrett Shirey’s now-deleted tweets about the LGBT community surfaced online.
A post on the Lyons Coffee Roasters Facebook page in early May said they wanted “to be peacemakers … and resist being drawn into bitter division between friends, businesses and faith communities.”
Over the weekend, Kenny and Scarlett Lyons announced they will reopen late this summer.
“We’re planning a do-over! But this time, different,” they said. “We want to do more than just provide fresh-roasted coffee, we want to make a difference in the Shoals.”
Lyons Coffee Roasters plans to donate $1 for every pound of coffee sold to a Shoals charity. To keep expenses down, the business will not operate a retail storefront and will roast its product at the nonprofit Culinary Complex in downtown Florence.
Here’s the complete announcement:
Published screenshots of tweets from what appears to be Garrett Shirey’s now-private Twitter account show where Garrett allegedly called the Boy Scouts of America “[s]issified effeminates” for reconsidering its anti-LGBT membership policy in 2013. Another tweet also addressed concern about LGBT discrimination by local businesses.
Click here to read about the controversy.
Jack-O-Lantern Farms, a year-round farmers market in Muscle Shoals, announced in May it would no longer carry Shirey Ice Cream’s products.
Shirey Ice Cream fired back on Facebook and defended Garrett’s tweets, saying they were based on “biblical convictions concerning human sexuality and the definition of marriage.”
Shirey Ice Cream has since deleted its Facebook and Twitter accounts, but maintains its public profile on Instagram.
In an AL.com post asking readers if they agreed with the decision to no longer support Shirey Ice Cream because of its public stance on homosexuality, 371 said they yes, while 170 said no.
Later, Matthew invited Jesus and his disciples to his home as dinner guests, along with many tax collectors and other disreputable sinners. But when the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with such scum?”
When Jesus heard this, he said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor–sick people do.” Then he added, “Now go and learn the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’ For I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.”