MONTCLAIR, NJ - After nearly a year in business, the embattled Dairy Air ice cream company, has permanently closed its doors.
Located at 521 Bloomfield Ave, Dairy Air came under fire for having, what residents called, a "sexualized" logo.
Shortly after opening in 2017, the ice cream shop encountered problems with many Montclair residents, who took to social media, calling its logo “disturbing” and “offensive”.
In November of 2017, many residents and business owners were very vigilant in expressing outrage over the logo. The verbal outrage turned into action, when residents set out to force the owners to take action by changing the logo.
One such business owner, Amy Tingle, of Creativity Caravan, penned an open letter to the new ice cream shop, stating, "I will also be dropping off a hard copy at their location today. I urge anyone who feels the same way to cut and paste my words and send one yourself. This is not okay."
Tingles letter begins, "To the owner and the marketing team at Dairy Air,
I am writing to you to ask you to reconsider your logo design and to remove it from your packaging, storefront, marketing plan, etc. It is offensive and sickening. A hyper-sexualized, obviously female cow with her ass upended and poking through a circle, tail raised up, waiting for what? I’m not sure, but I do know that I am repulsed and offended."
She continues the letter expressing her dissatisfaction and also took to social media to express her concern.
It set off a brushfire of debate both, in favor of the ice cream shop and against. Many news programs were talking about Dairy Air, but this wasn't quite the type of publicity the owners had hoped for. When DJs at a popular NJ radio show got in on the action, they came out in support of the ice cream parlor and then blasted Tingle and others for their positions. The debate continued for weeks, until it died down. By then, the damage had been done.
Though there were residents who were against the logo, others supported the business, saying they were okay with the logo and claiming that the logo was funny or irrelevant. One such lifelong Montclair resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, after hearing the news of Dairy Air closing, gave a compassionate response.
She said, "That's awful. They probably put their life savings into that shop. For someone to push them into closing or attack the business like they did, is just plain terrible."
After a bit of controversy and growing publicity, Dairy Air owners had initially reported that they would change the main logo of the parlor. When this didn't happen, business seemed to suffer.
According to eyewitness reports, the lights have been off in the establishment for nearly two weeks, but it wasn't cause for alarm, since Dairy Air was open during afternoon hours and it is the winter. However, this week, a "for rent" sign was placed in the window, the business dissolved and the phone number is no longer in service.
Natalie Heard Hackett contributed to this report.