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I am the President of my condominium corporation and have been sending out feelers to try and get some discounts for residents via our quarterly Newsletter. I have received a few interested stores and a few polite "thanks, but no thanks" replies. What I received from the Leslieville Cheese Market was absolutely astounding.

My e-mail:
"Good morning,

I am the President of YCC442 a.k.a. Marigold Gardens. We are a 93 Townhouse complex on the corner of Queen and Leslie (right behind the Duke).

I am trying to work with local Leslieville stores to create a membership card or discount coupon system to encourage our 93 home owners to support their local economy and buy in Leslieville.

Would your cheese market be interested in providing our residents with a discount coupon? We produce a quarterly newsletter to residents and would be happy to include an add for your store.

Please let me know your thoughts at your convenience,

Best wishes,"

THE RESPONSE:

"I'm sorry,

while i think it's a good idea, i'm sure that no amount of discount will bring those people to my store to buy cheese my cheddars run between double the price to four times the price of loblaws no name cheddar.

so for the cheapest they would have to get 50% off to make it the same regular price as no name cheddar."

"THOSE PEOPLE"

For the record, "those people" are 93 townhouses at Queen and Leslie. We have a mix of income levels and professions (just like the rest of Leslieville which contributes to our unique community and character). We have a retired CIBC executive and current Professor at UofT, account managers, product managers, directors, IT professionals, administrators, film industry professionals and artisans. Our condominium is the most affordable entry into Leslieville as our units hover just under the $3000,000 price point due in part to our brady bunch set exterior. We are a hidden gem as we have an internal courtyard which is nearly a full City block and an underground parking lot.

But apparently Leslieville Cheese Market thinks we are not cheddar worthy. I have no problem with not being able to discuss a discount for my residents. I do have a BIG problem with having my residents referred to as "those people" and the assumptions that no name cheddar is all we are interested in.

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Janice... I just want to point out that Ally's "Soup Nazi" reference (which was actually not in all caps) is from a very popular episode of the TV sitcom Seinfeld. If you Google it, you'll see lots of references to it. It's a completely different context than how you interpreted it, and refers to the owner of a soup restaurant on the show who gave notoriously bad customer service.

Your opinions are certainly welcome here...I just want to make sure this post doesn't turn into something entirely different.
wow, fun, I've never seen a business start a Flame War on a Message Board before!! Genius marketing ploy or impressive unprofessionalism? YOU decide!!
Isn't "Soup Nazi" a cultural reference? I thought it referred to a snobbish soup maker in NYC, not Adolf Hitler.
I can't believe this....

I have seen about three seinfeld episodes and have never heard of this soup nazi....

She called someone a nazi....no two ways about it....i'm sorry but a cultural reference which only part of the population has heard of is not an acceptable excuse....and probably not acceptable if all of the population has heard of it....the word nazi is there....

So this morning i thought she called him a nazi and now i'm supposed to think she didn't......doesn't make sense to me....

And by the way.....I didn't say it was in all caps in the headline... i said it was in 'big type'....and as far as me making a point by typing something she wrote in all caps, she didn't seem to have trouble capitalizing his words when she wanted.....
I think we're all losing sight of what this thread was initially about-- someone perceiving a negative tone in an email from a stranger. We all know it's hard to read tone in emails (maybe he should have used more emoticons :p) but I feel like this is more of a personal slight thing, and not based on any actual bad experience with the shop itself.

Let's all take a deep breath here and try to get on with our lives.
This is all too funny... had it been Nazi Soup... not so funny.
Hello all,

I too am a resident and condo board member of Marigold Gardens, I enjoy the local shops and am always glad when new small local business moves into the neighborhood. I may not be a regular fixture at each shop (I do wish I could be though), but I still like to shop local as much as I can and even if Michael from the Cheese Market did not intend for his response to be taken the way it has been, I don't blame Allegra for responding the way she did as I too thought the exact same thing upon reading it. Michael's response also deeply shocked me as he has been in the neighborhood for a while and I thought most shop keepers here were very aware of the mixed social classes in this neighborhood and that just because one might buy no name cheddar doesn't mean they won't splurge on occasion to buy artisan cheeses. This also being said, not everyone can afford artisan cheeses and one shouldn't be looked down upon just for that. A simple no reply or no thank you would have sufficed, the fact that Michael took the time to include the words "those people" is what really makes it response worthy to me and why I am glad Allegra posted here. Even Michael's response email I find a bit insulting even though he does apologize, which I will say thank you for that part. However, it just sounds like you are making excuses for comments you let out of the bag. Claiming Allegra's take on very simple words as a misinterpretation is just a bit insulting as I too feel the message was clear in the original message and in no way could I have interpreted it as business statistics.

To add to the record, the condo board at Marigold Gardens is working extremely hard to foster a community feeling for its residents and neighborhood and the discount was a way for us to encourage our neighbours to support the local stores and enjoy what Leslieville has to offer. I have noticed since I moved here that there seems to be sometimes a social class divide in the neighbourhood. It would be nice if instead of making the divide clearer that we could just encourage people of all social classes in the neighbourhood to enjoy what Leslieville has to offer.
You're glad Ally posted a response, why to punish him?....to make sure he sees a decrease in business so that he learns his lesson and remembers not to be abrubt in future emails?

I think it was the severity of her response that was the issue with me and others.

J.
It is interesting to me how people intrepret an email... and by one person's perception might have a big influence on a small business especially in today's economy.... Totally agree with the above response. The owner apologized and stated that wasn't his intention. Perhaps it would have been better to handle it privately first instead of punishing him.


All I know is I have got good service as well as great cheeses... that is all I care about.
I agree.

The beauty of a website like this is that it can be the "great equalizer" - it shifts the power from the merchant to the consumer. Used properly, this can be a very good thing. As the saying goes though, with great power comes great responsibility. To try and trash someone's small business, not because they sold bad cheese or you encountered a vulgar counterman, but because you've gotten your knickers in a knot over a perceived slight within an email is not responsible, IMHO. It comes across as vengeful and unbalanced and should have been dealt with directly with the merchant involved instead of immediately running off to the nearest community website where you can do the most harm with the least amount of effort.

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