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West Coast Grocery Co. and Victim Speak Out On Sexual Harassment Accusations

Late final week sexual harassment accusations have been leveled on instagram towards new Portland brewery West Coast Grocery Co.’s head brewer Owen Woods. Bartender/server Sarah de Noyo had shared on instagram that Woods had requested her to point out him her breasts as she closed up the brewery close to the top of her shift. Days later Woods was suspended and ultimately fired however not earlier than accusations of sufferer blaming and supporting sexual harassment within the office have been made, and proceed to be made towards West Coast Grocery Co. To be able to get the complete story and present a balanced account of what occurred, we spoke to each the sufferer Sarah de Noyo (who bravely shares her story under) and WCGco proprietor Charlie Hyde.

A quick timeline of the current occasions goes one thing like this: Whereas closing up the brewery tasting room Woods and one other brewer have been hanging out late whereas de Noyo completed her shift. Sooner or later Woods overhears a dialog which prompts him to ask de Noyo “can you show me your boobs!” After a reported Three hours of arguing and tears de Noyo leaves and later stories the incident. Administration requires a gathering between each events however after returning to work de Noyo feels unheard and Woods is suspended for one week with out pay. De Noyo quits and quickly after receives an e mail from proprietor Charlie Hyde on why he’s selecting to droop and not hearth Woods and calling it an “isolated incident” based mostly on”the place alcohol and a line between buddies and co-workers was crossed.” Upset, de Noyo shares screenshots of this message together with her personal commentary on instagram which ignites a firestorm on West Coast Grocery’s web page calling for Woods to be fired. A day later West Coast Grocery declares Woods has been let go however that does little to quell the backlash and accusations that they have been supporting harassment within the office and selling “rape culture” and calling for a boycott of the brewery.

It’s value noting that the incident happened on December 30th and WCGco introduced Woods firing on January sixth, a 7-day turnaround that Hyde says was essential to do due diligence however some say his firing was solely caused by the social media backlash.

After speaking with Hyde about what occurred, I requested him for his model of occasions and why he responded how he did. Right here is his phrases unedited:

Sarah de Noyo, the bartender/server at West Coast Grocery Co. who was sexually harassed by Woods put an unimaginable period of time and thought into her response. It’s fairly lengthy which is why I summarized a brief hand of what occurred above, however for these desirous about studying her full account and backstory, the troublesome to learn story is posted in it’s entirety under.

On Sunday the 30th I used to be closing the brewery alone. Owen Woods, our brewer, had been sitting on the bar consuming for some time. He stated he was hanging round due to one thing to do with the carbonation on a number of the beer that he needed to complete that night time so he didn’t have to return in on NYE. 

I lock the doorways at 10, I proceed to wash for the subsequent hour. At 11:03, nearing the top of my shift, I’m on the bar wanting by way of the guidelines and about to rely cash. Kitchen supervisor had simply left after having his shift beer, and one other member of kitchen employees, former base camp brewer Kyle, was having his second beer (?) I’m unsure as a result of I consider Owen was going behind the bar to get his personal beers whereas I used to be doing different issues. Owen steps away for a second, I’m alone with Kyle. Kyle begins apologizing to me for the final time we socialized, the place he made a number of bodily advances in the direction of me after I advised him to cease, informed him my actual expectations of him and how he ought to deal with me, requested him if he might adjust to that, and obtained a affirmation. He’s detailing that he didn’t perceive and that he was drunk, I say it’s not an excuse. I forgive him. Owen, having not been paid consideration to for 30 seconds says “can you show me your boobs!”, to which Kyle and I each say “what the fuck?” I inform Owen to by no means converse to me once more, to go away, he refuses saying he’s working. He says he doesn’t perceive what’s incorrect together with his conduct. He tells me that he doesn’t know anybody else like me, with my confidence, with my “swagger”, and that I’m so enjoyable and open that he thought I’d be okay with it. 

Kyle is defending me, however nonetheless taking it fairly calmly. Owen asks me to elucidate to him why what he did was fallacious. He says issues like “he’s just curious” or “I figured I could say whatever to you because I’m drinking”. So not like, his inhibitions are low and it slipped out, however he argued that he might get away with extra when he’s consuming as a result of individuals will let him get away with it. 

I start to elucidate which you can’t say no matter you need to individuals, Kyle and I each use anecdotes to reveal smaller classes in empathy and caring for others that you simply study when you’re younger. He retains mentioning he’s scientifically curious, has been preoccupied with what my boobs may appear to be for the time I’ve labored there. I’m one of many unique staff, so Owen and I met there in July. He tells me I can maintain my empathy, insults me for considering I’m a great individual for caring about others. 

The half that has been notably troublesome about that is that I’m terminally unwell. My proper breast is barely bigger than my left. The left aspect of my physique is lots sicker than my proper. I used to be fourteen when my pals began dying of what I’ve. I used to be 7 the primary time I lied about an IV in my arm and why it was there to my friends as a result of I used to be scared that I might by no means be thought-about lovely or worthy of respect. These are issues I hadn’t spoken out loud earlier than, and I’m explaining this to him as a result of he has introduced up that as a result of my breasts are totally different sizes he’s curious and has by no means seen that earlier than and can be tremendous . I’m crying at this level telling him how creepy and hurtful his probing questions are. I’m telling him that his curiosity doesn’t entitle him to something, and past that, that you could’t say these issues to ladies. He says he says it on a regular basis, will proceed to say it, that I’m the one one who has ever cared. He says I ought to take it as a praise, that it’s him telling me I’m beautiful. I clarify that past that being the mistaken solution to praise somebody, singling somebody out for his or her variations is egocentric, sadistic, and insensitive. I clarify that he has handled me like a background character in his life. He begins to apologize with issues like “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I’m not going to change” 

I proceed telling him how troublesome it has been to look within the mirror and see a physique that to me, seems sick. It has been extraordinarily painful noticing the bodily manifestations of my sicknesses. It has been one thing that has taken me so lengthy to really feel okay with. I say you haven’t any concept what individuals undergo, you haven’t any concept what sort of relationship I’ve with my physique and you haven’t any rights to it anyway. I ask him to go away, he says no. Kyle urges him to go away, he says no. He tells me that I haven’t been empathetic to him, and I say “okay… how?” And he blurts out “I have cancer!”, to which Kyle, who can also be his closest good friend, says “no you don’t, what the hell.” I say even in the event you did, I’ve not violated your privateness or made enjoyable of you for something. He says “ball cancer!” I’m crying extra as a result of it’s clear he isn’t listening.

From right here the dialog digresses additional right into a round dialog from hell. I clocked out the second he stated one thing to me regardless that I wasn’t completed as a result of I used to be apprehensive concerning the proprietor watching the footage (which he typically does) and getting mad that I used to be socializing on the clock or no matter it might have seemed like. Kyle, his pal, was lately fired from base camp for being drunk at work, and I’ve needed to give him clear explanations of my rights as a lady and how he crossed them on a number of events. Most of my socialization with Owen woods had been concerning the few dates I went on with Kyle and the boundaries he crossed that upset me, how individuals blamed me for being round him drunk, and so forth. He actually ought to have recognized higher, however as he said, it was and is a selection that his curiosity is extra essential. 

Upon leaving the bar I sat down with Kyle as a result of at this level, I used to be nonetheless confused and trusted him at the least a bit of extra with Owen. It’s round 2 now, the dialog began at 11. Kyle admits that Owen requested him about my breasts and my physique whereas we have been seeing one another. I clarify to Kyle that this has robbed me of confidence in all of my previous sexual encounters, questioning if my physique was one thing others we preoccupied on. I clarify to Kyle that that is this shit ladies cope with all of the tome and that’s why his conduct was so critical even when he’s “a good guy”.

Onto the subsequent query, I apologize that that’s so lengthy. I didn’t need to depart something out. I notified administration the subsequent day, defined it to Caitlin who’s the taproom supervisor, she instantly empathized and knowledgeable the proprietor who’s principally the GM however doesn’t do a lot. Charlie, the proprietor, reaches out to me that day. St this level they’re dealing with it properly, they contact Owen. They each ask me what I’m snug with from there. I discussed to Caitlin that he shouldn’t have the ability to maintain his job. That night time, NYE, after a day of crying, I FaceTime Caitlin. It was troublesome and embarrassing, however I inform her the whole story, full with the way it has made me really feel in my physique. That i’m scared to exit. She informs me that Owen isn’t denying any of it. (Which, how might he? There’s a witness and a digital camera pointed at him all through our dialog) and that we’ll do one thing about it. Charlie meets with Owen the subsequent day and he utterly matches my story, although I keep in mind far more of it than he does. 

The subsequent day, the second of the yr, I meet with Charlie. Charlie mentions he’s taking it significantly, and appears to be. However nonetheless throws round that it’s onerous to even take into consideration firing his brewer who gained him a gold medal. I say that one thing needs to be finished, if we don’t take it critically then it’s clear that we’re okay with this conduct, that’s how we have now a world

The place individuals in energy get away with issues like this. We rehash the story, and so on. I’m requested if he’s allowed to apologize to me in individual once more and I say as a lot as I don’t need to see him ever once more, I need to cooperate as a lot as attainable and that I’ll take part within the “mediation” with all of us there and let him converse to me throughout it. I stated I might attempt to have an open thoughts, however that Owen was fairly clear on not wanting to vary. 

Earlier than the assembly the subsequent day Caitlin tells me

Charlie gained’t hearth Owen, asks me what I’m making an attempt to get out of this. I stated justice. I stated this occurs to plenty of ladies and that I need to really feel protected at work, and that in the event that they don’t hearth him I should get justice in one other method. That being an ally to this conduct is identical as supporting it. 

We go into the assembly, Owen seems unhappy and apologizes, he apparently had no concept how a lot he was hurting me, and regretted it as quickly as he stated it. ? Charlie is crying and repeatedly guilting me with issues like, “I just know Owen is a good guy and is sorry”. I ask for forgiveness doesn’t minimize it. I clarify that folks can’t get away with issues as a result of they’re star gamers or good at making beer. Caitlin does her greatest to advocate for this aspect, saying that his position right here made it troublesome for me to return ahead and agrees with me that this can be a drawback, and that it might have been simpler to fireside another person vs. our solely brewer. I point out that that is a part of the difficulty. If his place of significance is coming into the choice making, we’re clearly being extra lenient due to it. Charlie says he hasn’t seen that aspect of him. Which, males by no means see that aspect of different males as a result of they aren’t sexually aggressive in the direction of different males, particularly once they’re their superiors. Charlie suggests two weeks unpaid suspension and a category. I say that it took me years even to start to know my rights as a lady, that a class isn’t going to chop it. It might take years for him to vary his conduct, and letting him hold his job since you like him tells him that if he retains being likable he can do this sort of factor. Charlie says it was an remoted incident. I say he has made feedback like this earlier than, that I’ve been indignant with him, that I’ve spoken to him about why it was mistaken and that he has given me comparable half assed apologies after the very fact many occasions earlier than. That they’re not actual. Owen mentions that he hasn’t slept. I clarify that I don’t really feel snug in public, that I refused to be in photographs on NYE, that I’m sporting a hoop on my ring finger so individuals don’t speak to me,  that I’m fearful of the world we stay in, that it worries me that his place of energy is what’s maintaining him round even when he admits what he did. Charlie says sick hear from him about what is going to occur within the subsequent 24 hours. 

26 hours later I present up for my shift. Simply earlier than my shift I had loads of hassle getting dressed as a result of even sporting a sports activities bra, every little thing appeared to cling to my physique. Having a physique was one thing that mad me emotional. I’m going into work and Charlie is sitting down having drinks with Three-Four of his pals, laughing. This instantly makes me really feel like they aren’t taking it critically. Caitlin instantly pulls me apart as a result of I’ve tears in my eyes and asks me if I have to go residence. Not in a very good method, however in a supervisor who’s upset method. I don’t assume she is aware of what she was doing, truthfully, and I feel has plenty of internalized misogyny and doesn’t perceive that she deserves higher. I clarify that I used to be anxious all day ready for this e-mail that Charlie had apparently already began. Then I attempt to dress and it’s actually troublesome emotionally. Then I get right here and Charlie is ready to have a pleasant time someway. I say I needed to be right here however I don’t really feel protected. I’m afraid of males and I’m scared that having a physique is asking for it, as Owen defined to me. She says to not let him get to me, males are creepy, I have to get my recreation face on or depart. I depart.

I went to a film after my 6 minute shift, throughout which I cracked a tooth from clenching my jaw from stress. I awakened fascinated with this. I messaged Charlie asking for an replace, simply mentionin that the previous few days had been hell for me and I used to be feeling actually uncomfortable. He says he wants a couple of extra days, I ought to hear by Monday. Caitlin texts me again lastly at this level and asks me why I need to work there nonetheless amongst different problematic issues. I inform them each I’ve to give up. I don’t really feel protected, I don’t really feel heard, I really feel I’m being blamed, the stress is destroying my physique and thoughts. I ask them to let me know what occurs so I can reinvolve myself as vital.

Very quickly after I give up I get the e-mail that I then screenshot and shared. There have been so many points with it that I couldn’t even reply. Then once I shared it, Caitlin instantly received upset that I threw them underneath the bus. 

That is getting exhausting and I’m making an attempt to be thorough. I’ll e-mail you once more if I understand there’s something I forgot, however I’m gonna transfer on from there for now. They solely considerably apologizes, and solely on Instagram. They’re nonetheless pretending it was a single remark and not an extended dialog. They’re kind of appearing prefer it’s he stated she stated, although he admitted to the whole lot. And I’m not even mad about Owen anymore, he discovered his lesson. He has to know what he did was mistaken by now. I’m indignant that Charlie solely took motion when lots of of individuals noticed his e mail the place he blames me for being “friends” with Owen. I’m ready for an apology on an enormous scale, and a real admission of the internalized misogyny and a dedication to study extra and make it higher. I needed to give up my job earlier than I even heard something. That isn’t okay. And past that, they’re nonetheless skewing it. 

I spoke to de Noyo additional about if she thought Woods deserved a second probability, or if Goman and West Coast Grocery Co. had did something to make up for it in hindsight. De Noyo says “I don’t feel too guilty about the way things have gone” and says wanting again on it and what’s occurring.