Roasters Coffee founder Wes Heyden ‘resigns,’ source says
TRI-CITIES, Wash. — Roasters Coffee founder and owner Wes Heyden has decided to resign from his company, according to an employee who asked to remain anonymous.
The Tri-Cities-based coffee chain has been criticized in recent weeks by supporters of Black Lives Matter for allegedly refraining from taking a stand on the movement and refusing to allow employees to show their support while at work.
A BLM protest was held Saturday at the Roasters on Burden Boulevard near Road 68 in Pasco. A protest organizer told KAPP-KVEW many of those who participated were Roasters employees.
Then, a series of tweets posted Sunday night by the Twitter account @ResilientCoffee, which was allegedly run by Heyden, started getting shared on social media. The tweets were made on a thread while responding to Twitter user Jordan Hansen, a Tri-Cities resident.
Several comments into the thread, it appeared as though Heyden tweeted, “I can’t vote. I can’t buy a gun. I can’t rent an apartment. I can’t get an SBA loan. I’ve been hated! NO! If I protest anything it’ll be for reformed sex offenders so they can restore their freedoms that should be open to all people. #sexoffenderlivesmatter mostly juveniles.”
Court records show Heyden was convicted of two sex crimes in Josephine County, Oregon in 1996, when he was a juvenile.
“Just saying, I’ve have [sic] less rights than most. Except I’m white which had its benefits. What’s worse being beat and profiled by cops, which I have over and over again, or living like you don’t deserve to? Being hated by all…,” another tweet said, to which Jordan replied, “Are you seriously comparing being predator to being black right now?”
By Monday morning, the @ResilientCoffee Twitter account was deleted.
On Monday afternoon, a Roasters employee showed KAPP-KVEW screenshots of a company-wide group text message that was reportedly written by Heyden:
All of you have been amazing supporters of Roasters Coffee’s desire to serve and love all, unfortunately I have no other option but to resign immediately. I will be handing over all authority to the long term employees that have helped build this company since we began. I love all of you and know that these kinds of experiences will be challenging but will bring out the best in everyone.
Building this company was a labor of love. It was never about the money or the success, rather the desire to serve others, and in serving find a purpose to life. We did that and we do it well..
With this change I am confident Roasters will prevail without me much better than it did with me. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart and I will always be available from afar for anyone that ever wants to reach out to me..
I love you, care for you, and look forward to seeing all of you continue to grow into the amazing people you are and will become.
KAPP-KVEW reached out to Roasters to learn what this will mean for the company’s future. We are waiting to hear back.