On Tuesday, Sept 7, 2021 an op-ed came out in the Boston Globe written by Harvard emeritus professors Larry Tribe and David Rosenberg. In the article they discussed our legal battle from 1982, Larkin vs Grendel's Den, challenging a Massachusetts State law allowing churches to veto liquor licenses. With the help of Larry Tribe, who was our lawyer at the time, the case went all the way to the United States Supreme court, which ruled the law was unconstitutional. Tribe and Rosenberg feel that the legal precedent set by our case could work to overrule the Texas abortion ban, as the Texas law provides private citizens a similar veto power over the rights of others to obtain an abortion.
Later Tuesday evening (and completely unbeknownst to us) journalist Rachel Maddow aired a segment on her show, discussing this legal precedent and plugged our online retail shop, mentioning our doggie bowls, shot glasses and candied jalapeños, among other products. It aired around 9:15pm EST and we had absolutely no idea. When suddenly out of nowhere orders notifications started rolling in every second, we assumed we had gotten hacked. After a helpful friend notified us, we soon realized we had been on national television and all these orders were real. By 9:30pm we had sold out of all our inventory and we had to scramble to see if we could get our hands on more as quickly as possible. By the end of the week we had sold over 600 shot glasses, and countless t-shirts, hoodies, pint glasses and mountains of jars of candied jalapeños.
When we launched this little online shop, Grendel's Den was in the midst of a scary time. It was fall 2020 and we were preparing for what would likely be a very dark, slow winter. We were hoping to make a little extra revenue to help get us through the holiday season. There were weeks where the only revenue we had coming in was from our retail shop for gifts for the holidays. We had a modest return thanks to family, friends, and fans of Grendel's Den. Things slowed way down as business at the restaurant picked back up, but we kept the store going as a side project while we ramped up for a busy patio season. We were caught completely by surprise when this avalanche of orders came in. Surprised and thankful!
We are so grateful for the love and support you have shown our small business, and for the patience you've all given us as we restock our store and ship out these orders. We knew this 50th year in business would be an historic one for us, but we are overwhelmed by just how appreciated and supported we feel. And Rachel, if you're ever in town, come have a drink on the house!!
We are working on a line of retail celebrating this whirlwind turn of events. Here's a sneak peek of what's coming.