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Penzeys Spices says sales up after owner slammed Trump in letter

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Posted at 3:32 PM, Dec 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-02 17:21:49-05

Wauwatosa-based Penzeys Spices found itself in the middle of a political controversy last month after its owner heavily criticized President-elect Donald Trump; but it looks like the company's strong political stance has only served to help sales.

Owner Bill Penzey Jr. attracted both harsh criticism and support when he said to Republicans: "You just voted for an openly racist candidate for the presidency of the United States of America."

"The open embrace of racism by the Republican Party in this election is now unleashing a wave of ugliness unseen in this country for decades," Penzey Jr. added.

Though some called for a boycott of the nearly-60-year-old company in that letter's aftermath, a new letter posted to their Facebook page would suggest the gamble paid off:

Willing to take a hit for what is right, we did what we did. In the two weeks since, online sales are up 59.9%, gift box sales up 135%. And we didn't have a catalog arrive in this window this year, while last year we had 1.1 million! Yes, maybe for the moment we have lost 3% of our customers because of the so-called "right wing firestorm." And, yes, they send emails of rage, and ALL CAPS, and bad language with the hope of creating the perception that they are bigger than they really are. But what we learned is that, in terms of retail spending, Donald Trump simply has no one supporting his views for America. He has no constituency.

Penzeys Spices had 600,000 catalog customers as of 2007, CNN reported. There are nearly 70 retail locations around the country.