Sonoma’s new empire builders hold objectionable views

Posted on September 10, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun

Sonoma’s Best Hospitality Group, a.k.a Ken and Stacey Mattson, have purchased yet another prominent property in our community, the iconic Sonoma Cheese Factory. A single entity buying up over 100 million dollars of Sonoma Valley properties is a big deal. What we know about the causes they support takes it to another level.

We first learned of the Mattsons’ buying spree in April of 2019. We also learned that they and their business partner Tim LaFever finance organizations that work to deny rights to LGBTQ+ individuals and curtail women’s choices. We read Stacey Mattson’s hateful and discriminatory comments directed at marginalized groups. Many of us decided then that we would not patronize their businesses, and we said so loud and clear. 

The Mattsons and LaFever have given us no reason to think they have changed their views or practices, or any reason to support them. In fact, we are seeing negative reports of how they treat their employees, tenants, and properties.

The Mattsons have obtained a great deal of financial and business influence in Sonoma Valley. Potential customers, local and tourists alike, should be aware of what they are supporting if they choose to spend their money at SBHG establishments. The same is true for those who are considering selling to them.

I choose not to put my money into anything they own. I will let others know so they can make their own informed choice. I am far from alone in this commitment. I hope people will keep using their voices, and keep making choices with their dollars.

— Carol Allison, Sonoma 


9 thoughts on “Sonoma’s new empire builders hold objectionable views

  1. I was disappointed to see the Mattsons bought the Cheese Factory. Like Cornerstone and their Best deli, here’s another business I will never set foot in again (unless they sell). I dislike that my hard-earned dollars would go to promote their bigotry.

  2. I’m extremely disappointed with this article. These accusations are unfounded. I’am an employee and they are the most amazing employers.
    Shame on you and you’re biased opinions.

    1. It’s my letter to the editor, not an article. I’m glad you have a had a better experience with these owners than have the people I’ve heard from. Their experiences and opinions are valid, too. Yours does not cancel theirs out. My opinion is based on what I have heard personally, and what I have read and seen myself. To you it may be biased, but it is still valid whether you like it or not.

  3. It’s a letter that still makes accusations even if it is not an “article”. Show us proof of the Matsons treating employees badly and tenants. And no, a Facebook post does NOT count.

    1. This is a letter to the editor and written as my own opinion and from my own experience. The examples I refer to are what I saw myself or was told personally and informed my opinion. It is a letter, not an article. You can certainly disagree with me, but telling me my opinion is not valid is irrelevant.

  4. Thank you Carol. You are certainly not alone. So many of us are disappointed and saddened by this heavy influence on our town. We don’t want our consumer dollars supporting marginalization of LGBTQI & women and will not be stepping into those properties & businesses.

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