San Francisco’s Wrecking Ball Coffee Roasters was all set to provide coffee catering services to Dreamforce, a Bay Area conference hosted by Salesforce that saw some 160,000+ attendees last year. Contracts had been drawn up, compensation agreed upon ($40,000), and everything seemed good. That is, until news broke that Salesforce had been contracted by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) agency, leading Wrecking Ball co-owners Trish Rothgeb and Nick Cho to decline the pay day pending changes in the relationship between Salesforce and Customs.
As told by the San Francisco Chronicle, Rothgeb and Cho had been contacted by George P. Johnson Experience Marketing, the firm in charge of acquiring vendors for the conference set to take place September 25-28. They agreed on a $40,000 fee for the event, which would “pay for [Wrecking Ball’s] raw coffee supply for about two months,” per Cho. Then on July 19, news came down that the nonprofit Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services rejected a $250,000 donation from Salesforce due to the company’s involvement with CPB, the agency the SF Chronicle notes is “responsible for enforcing the Trump administration’s policy of separating the children of asylum seekers from their parents.”
According to the article, the news has led to thousands of Salesforce customers signing a petition requesting the company end the contract. And to Wrecking Ball backing out.
But Wrecking Ball is standing by their decision.
“Business is going to have to be the resistance we want to see,” Rothgeb said. “That’s the truth. You can’t get anything done unless business is going to take a stand.”
“Because we do occupy a thought leader position, there’s more attention on what we do, and therefore there’s a burden of leadership,” Cho said.
Rothgeb and Cho state they would be willing to honor the original contract, under one condition:
It remains to be seen if Salesforce will respond to the pressure being applied by Wrecking Ball and their own customers. This story is developing and we will provide any updates here when they are made available.
Top image via the San Francisco Chronicle.