crap email of the day

How beautiful is that multi-colored nasturtium leaf??? I grew it! Sadly, you can't taste how RIDICULOUSLY AMAZING Maresa's carrot cupcakes are through the computer.


I stopped at your shop awhile back to get some chocolate and a cupcake.  I
waited until I got home to taste them and wound up throwing them both away.
I didn’t realize until today (when I looked at your website) that they were
vegan.   I like some vegan food, but don’t like chocolates and cupcakes made
with coconut milk substitute instead of dairy.    Are you planning on
expanding to non-vegan menu items?   I like to shop local but an all vegan
sweet shop is not appealing to me.

I was hurt by it…then I got over it. Here’s what I sent back:

Hello xxxx,

Oh dear! I’m so sorry you had a negative experience with our products! I’m just curious, did you taste them and *then* throw them out? I’ve never had anyone not like our products because they were vegan, it’s so strange. Most of our customers come to the shop because they just love our chocolates and baked goods, not because they are vegan. I’m wondering what flavors of chocolates and cupcake you got–could it be that you just didn’t care for that particular flavor? If so, I’d be happy to replace them with flavors that might suit your taste more.

We don’t use coconut milk instead of dairy as a “replacement,” we use it because it tastes great! Throughout history, humans have used all different kinds of milks for their dairy. In the west we got used to cow’s milk. Our chocolates draw on inspiration and flavors from around the world, and using coconut milk just feels more natural to us.

Again, so sorry about your experience, and please let me know if there’s anything I can do to make it up to you!


Pretty great response, right?

I will win over this person if it takes all the free samples in the world.

12 Responses to “crap email of the day”

  1. adriennefriend

    Infuriating. You were nice, possibly too nice. This e-mail reminds me of too many things, none of them pleasant. Most, though, of totally set-in-their-ways, minds-made-up, stiff, ungracious people who can’t be appeased with any amount of kindness or free samples. Good luck. You certainly acted with dignity and grace. I guess if there’s anyone to win them over, it would be you, simply by virtue of the total perfection of your product.

    Seriously, “I like some vegan food”? …?! …?!

    • adriennefriend

      TO BE NOTED: On top of the fact that I am an ***incredibly sweet person*** who almost always sucks it up and confronts this kind of uncalled-for stubbornness with kindness – setting that aside – I just got back from the gym and am now totally saturated with feel-good chemicals and this STILL ruffled every single one of my feathers. Seriously, “are you planning…” … “are you planning…” it’s like, has s/he read ANYTHING on your website? No. Of course you aren’t. Next question. (UGH.)

  2. m rowe

    Your response was perfect. Bottom line, you’re a small business and you want repeat offenders (tee-hee).
    Nasty doesn’t move product. Never has, never will. Well done.

  3. Meghan

    Is it horrible and cynical that I immediately thought it might be the “I got your truffle box and it was gross and could you send me more” person? Because the total off-the-wallness of the whole thing just seems kind of fishy. As in maybe fishing for nice Lagusta who really wants to help people appreciate the awesomeness of ethically-sourced, vegan treats to make her case with samples?

    A specifically vegan shop has obviously made a conscious decision not to offer conventional products. I guess maybe this person really, really wants to buy local stuff, but it still just seems a little weird that someone with a million options for non-vegan goodies would take the time to contact a relatively rare specialty vendor to make the point that they don’t care for that particular specialty.

    Disgusting lack of faith in humanity aside, though, your very nice response is perfect for someone who probably just genuinely needs a little tasty education.

    • lagusta

      I know, it does seem a bit fishy, right? Which is why I’m so curious to know if she actually tasted them, and to meet her and talk with her personally. No response yet…

  4. Randal Putnam

    Lagusta to Customer: Looks like I have to pick between, on one side, animals, the environment, the health of my customers and my preferences, and, on the other side, your preferences. I’ll pick the former ten times over. There are a handful of local chocolate makers that use cow’s milk. My intention is to remain an alternative rather echo their mistakes.

    Ha! Just kidding! Your response was perfect I just didn’t want to miss an opportunity to be more confrontational. Later!

  5. Stephanie

    Now, I’ve never had the pleasure of physically being in your shop, but I’ve eagerly viewed all of the photos here. While there is no blatant “THIS IS A VEGAN SWEET SHOP!!” sign over the front door, isn’t there that amazingly clear sign under the main counter explaining your ethics and ingredient choices? Maybe I’m the exception in that I try to take in the whole environment of a place before doing something like, I don’t know, buying some chocolates and a cupcake. This customer sounds clueless and inconsiderate. I would have been tickled pink to find such an amazing shop when I was on the search for a cupcake on a random weekday! Just for that, I am going to order some chocolates from you right now for being such a good sport about this!! ;)

  6. Nicole

    I had a customer pretty much exactly like that on etsy, except she actually asked for free samples first. Which I sent. There was no “gee, thanks for those free samples,” no “golly, you shipped this stuff super fast and the packaging’s pretty sweet too,” nothing like that. There was “I don’t like anything about my order and I didn’t know they were vegan and ew vegan stuff and I want a refund. I’m really very upset [verbatim: REALLY VERY UPSET] about having ordered it and I really think you ought to refund me.” (Except that the entire email was in capslock and she signed off with GOD BLESS.) Nothing about what she specifically didn’t like, apart from that the caramels were “too sweet,” which, um. I sent her a nice email back (still probably not as diplomatic as yours though!) and she never engaged with me re: actual problems. Just the one bitchy one and then gone. It was the first and thus far only nasty email I’ve gotten from a customer, and, oddly, the only one who’s requested free samples. Coincidence?

    P.S. Every omni I’ve given your chocolates to was very enthusiastic about them. Very. Enthusiastic.

      • Nicole

        I bet you are. I just read through that and there’s fire shooting out every orifice in my head. LITERALLY. Does it make me a bad vegan if I think this kind of person would be best repurposed as fertilizer? I bet they could help grow some really spectacular kale.

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