Why I boycott Mattson

Posted on September 13, 2020 by Sonoma Valley Sun

I have always held the belief that people should be educated and informed on topics as much as possible in order to make a decision that works for them. It is especially true in these challenging times when there is so much information out there that we have to sift through.

Case in point here in Sonoma with the most recent purchase of the beloved and historic Sonoma Cheese Factory building. This landmark and a centerpiece on the Square now belongs to Ken and Stacy Mattson and what they call their Sonoma Hospitality Brand. 

Since making the move to Sonoma about two years ago the Mattsons have purchased over $100 million dollars worth of Sonoma property and businesses. Clearly they are very private people who do not participate in many local events, which is fine as that is their choice. They donate anonymously as I have been told (by the Mattsons themselves) which also is fine. 

What I along with many others in our community have a difficult time with is their religious beliefs against LGBTQ people as well as their stance on women’s rights and more. 

When it was discovered a little over a year ago that Stacy Mattson had anti-gay statements and anti-Obama posts on her Facebook page she immediately took her page private. Again, her choice, although my feeling is, why not own it? If you strongly believe your words, why take them away?

I’ll tell you why: because they believe in god and business first, over people. They may hate who I am as a gay person and not want me to have equality, but they will take my money as certain as the sun rises! In turn some of that money will go to their church, which will then take that money to fight against my equal rights and yours.

This is why I feel it is imperative that the public be informed and educated when it comes to knowing where their hard-earned money is going. You as the consumer can then choose to support that business or not. 

There are some who say you are hurting the employees not the business.  I do realize that many people do not have a choice when it comes to their job. I feel for them. I know many who do work for this company and are not happy about it, but they also understand my choice not to support the business.

Fortunately for the Mattsons we live in a tourist-based town.  Most of their business will end up coming from tourists. In the end, though, the Mattsons stand alone in a town that believes in community first. 

— Gary Saperstein, Sonoma




6 thoughts on “Why I boycott Mattson

  1. So even though Ramekins and Gen. Daughter management and staff support the gay community you would not support because Ken and Stacey are the owners?

    1. Personally, I would not support anyone who is not inclusive, and promotes their ‘religious beliefs’ as intolerant towards the LGBTQ community.

    2. As I stated in my opinion even though a staff supports the LGBTQ community the owners do not. Why would I put money in their pockets so they could turn around and try to take away my rights and equality for ALL people.

  2. The author reflected “ They may hate who I am as a gay person and not want me to have equality, but they will take my money as certain as the sun rises!” In my opinion he is claiming to be a victim of hate that well may not exist. All folks have a right to express their beliefs, even on FB. I would not demonize a person(s) of a place bringing honest money to the community based on an paranoid assumption. If the establishment’s owner actually discriminates, then I would understand the authors intent on bringing this whole subject up. Otherwise, it’s prejudging people which I’m sure the author doesn’t want to happen to him or his beliefs. We all have a right to be who we are although we may not agree on issues. That’s America

  3. During my 75 years, there have been many “boycotts” For years, I avoided Amazon. I grew up loving malls, Sears and K-Mart. I would not buy a Japanese auto to honor my Father a Navy veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor. The list is endless and futile. I have glad when someone invests in Sonoma, creating jobs and showing confidence that their is a future. Money is the elixir of life! Now I use Amazon too. Life goes on!

  4. What is honest money? Is money the elixir of life? How much money do each of us actually need to be happy and secure? I ask myself these questions each day. I have come to the conclusion for myself and the businesses I run that I will not do things that are not ethical or discriminate against others. With my profits I will only fund those causes that do the same. As for the Mattson’s, I personally will not spend money at the businesses they own and I will advise others that believe in a fair and inclusive society to do likewise. I do not want the the profits they reap to come back and bite me and others in the ass. As they actively fund and their business partner even runs organizations that try to take the rights of LGBTQ people and stop schools from teaching common sense sex education that protects young women and all young people, why would I give them my money to do so? I applaud Gary for writing this piece. And I hope he spreads the word to the LGBTQ community not to book Mattson venues for their weddings and events. For myself, a wedding florist, I have decided that if a client is having an event at a Mattson venue, I will tell them as diplomatically as possible, why I do not work these venues. So for me money is not the elixir of my life. Sometimes you just have to say no to money.

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