11 days after the owners of Waking Life Espresso were outed for the misogynistic blog, twitter, and podcast they had kept for over 2 years, a search on Google shows the popular West Asheville coffee shop as permanently closed.
Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens have run the formerly successful coffee shop on Haywood Road for the past 6 years. Saturday September 19th, a protest was held in front of the coffee shop, where concerned citizens gathered to voice their disappointment and outrage about the situation. Waking Life Espresso has been closed since the 19th, and a formal apology was posted on the business website, reading:
To Our Asheville Community:We know many of you are very angry right now. That anger is justified. There is nothing to balm the wound for now, and we recognize that. We validate and affirm your frustration and disappointment. We’ve issued separate individual apologies, and those stand more than ever.We’ve said terrible and demeaning things – things that belie unhealthy thought patterns that do not contribute to a stable and equal society. Things our mothers and sisters had to hear. We cannot and will not excuse these things. We grieve for the systematic and ongoing actions we’ve taken. We apologize to the women in our lives and the greater community for the harm we’ve caused, and the potential danger we’ve put them in with our attitudes and beliefs.We opened Sunday in order to have conversations with some of our regular customers, and to give an opportunity for folks to chat if they wished. A few did just that, and we’re grateful for your thoughts and feelings. We’re humbled by and undeserving of the grace displayed by so many in the face of our actions.We’re going to close for the next couple days so we can have some room for introspection. We want to allow ourselves to be accountable to our friends, family, employees, clergy, and counselors for our actions, and give ourselves room to be silent and reflect. These attitudes were not grown in a day, and they will not be destroyed in a day. We want to humbly commit to that process. We’re not good people, but we want to be.We’re going to donate all our business profits through the end of the year to Our Voice. Many of you in the community have great regard for this organization, and their work is of immense importance. We know this is but a step, but it’s something to which we can commit. Our employees who have lost their jobs due to our behavior will be given severance to help as they transition.With deep regret,Jared & Jacob
5 days ago, the owners used Twitter to reach out to the Asheville Community, simply stating:
Our previous apologies are inadequate. We’re facing the issues within ourselves and preparing to face them with you. Thank you Asheville.
On Wednesday it was revealed that the coffee shop may be for sale, and since then several local business owners have stepped up to offer to buy assets of the business. Interested parties include Battlecat, Sanctuary Brewing, and Short Street Cakes.
We’ve reached out to the owners of Waking Life and are awaiting a response. Currently, the ‘open’ sign on the coffee shop still remains off.