Caribou's district manager, Meike Fonteyn, told the Chicago Tribune the brand is "open to a lot of possibilities to resolving this but it has to be authentic, not just saying, 'I'm sorry.'"
Glenbrook North found out that the GSA's decoration had been removed when the cafe's manager left them a message saying he heard a couple complaints about the window and decided to erase the painting, according to the Chicago Tribune.
A few blocks away, Northbrook's United Methodist Church hung a sign showing their solidarity with GBN's Gay/Straight Alliance.
Updated on Friday at 12:30 p.m.
A representative for Caribou has issued the following statement on behalf of the company:
It is a corporate-wide key pillar that we are accepting of all individuals regardless of age, gender, race or sexual orientation. It’s our hope that all of our guests feel welcome in our coffeehouses.
Unfortunately, the actions undertaken by the Northbrook store team were not in alignment with our executional standards and policies; however, we take full responsibility of these actions.
We completely understand your concerns and we are taking an immediate review of our policies and practices at the store level to ensure every customer has a welcoming and positive experience in our stores.
It is homecoming weekend at Glenbrook North and to celebrate, GBN student have decorated storefront windows across town. The yearly tradition pairs student groups with various stores, and the result is a colorful celebration of the school's relationship with its surrounding community.
This year, GBN's Gay-Straight Alliance group was tasked with painting Caribou Coffee at 1347 Shermer Rd. in downtown Northbrook. A few days after the cafe's window was painted, the decoration was removed.
"They're the only window in town that decided to wash their window," said Debby Shulman, a Northbrook mom and member of Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays.
Employees at the Caribou branch declined to comment, deferring the question to a corporate representative at the company.
However, the company could not be reached after multiple phone calls. Calls are answered by an automatic reply that say the mailbox is full and additional messages can't be left.
"As a member of PFLAG, I think it's pretty critical to let the community know this is unacceptable," Shulman said.
District 225 spokesperson, Karen Geddeis says the school is dissapointed by the circumstances.
"We are proud of our safe and open environment at GBN, where students support and respect each others rights as individuals,” she wrote in an email.
On the Northbrook Patch Facebook page, Melissa Miller Morreale urges residents to "not purchase Caribou Coffee or visit their establishments. This is outrageous!"
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