Blake's Orchard issues apology after renting space to 'conservative outsider' for pro-Trump and police rally

Jul 27, 2020 at 1:36 pm
click to enlarge Blake's Orchard issues apology after renting space to 'conservative outsider' for pro-Trump and police rally
Liza Lagman Sperl, Flickr Creative Commons

Public reception of a popular family-owned Michigan orchard and cider mill turned sour after details of an upcoming event with some divisive political affiliations had been released, with many people calling for a boycott of their products.

Blake's Orchard issued a statement on Monday after Lisa McClain — a Republican candidate for Congress in Michigan's 10th district, President Trump devotee, and self-described “conservative outsider” — posted event details for an upcoming rally to support Trump's re-election, as well as local police, to be held at Blake's Big Apple in Armada.

Billed as a reception “hosted” by the Roncelli and Blake families, the event was to include an appearance by Trump's 2016 campaign manager and conservative news commentator, Corey Lewandowski, and former Milwaukee County Sheriff, Sheriff David A. Clarke, Jr.

The Blake Family, however, say they had assumed the reception would be “a small private gathering” and claim they were unaware that McClain was using the Blake name to promote what they later learned was a pro-Trump celebration. Upon backlash, they canceled the event.

“The Blake's family has a long-standing tradition of allowing members of all political parties to rent space to hold small private events at our facilities as a gesture of public service,” the statement posted to Facebook reads. “But the promotion and positioning of this event went beyond the scope of what we are comfortable with as a family and as a business.”

Official Statement from the Blake Family. Please read, thank you.

Posted by Blake Farms on Monday, July 27, 2020

Some people are calling bullshit.

One such discussion, originating in a private Facebook group for Ferndale residents, called for Ferndale bars to stop stocking Blake's products. Screenshots of an alleged Facebook message exchange started making the rounds on the Ferndale Forum and in the comment section under Blake's statement, in which a concerned consumer engaged in conversation with Blake's Hard Cider's Facebook account regarding Blake's transparency and hypocrisy.

“Vary [sic] sad and disappointed your [sic] not just hosting put [sic] also support trump. When DHS comes to Michigan I will be holding you as responsible as trump for letting fascist terrorists into our state.”

Blake's response included claims that they are “non-partisan” and their family is made up of people of varying political affiliations, adding they may even have a “Socialist cousin.”

“Lisa is a very qualified and capable person who is a Republican running for Congress whom the family has come to know and believe in,” Blake's Hard Cider Co. said in response. “Her campaign was looking for a safe place to have an event where she could meet her supporters and communicate in person her message and her positions. In these crazy times, we think that was/is the neighborly thing to do.”

click to enlarge Blake's Orchard issues apology after renting space to 'conservative outsider' for pro-Trump and police rally

According to a recent post made by the McClain team, the Friday, July 31 event has not been canceled and those previously announced guests are still billed to make an appearance at a location that has yet to be released. But now some McClain supporters are calling to boycott Blake's because they canceled McClain's reception due to pro-Trump affiliation.

“BOYCOTT BLAKES!” one commenter said. “if they said you could hold a rally and backed out, hold them accountable!!!”

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