MONTCLAIR, NJ - The owners of Dairy Air Ice Cream Co. have decided to change its logo after receiving backlash from some community members. This news story has gained national attention and has brought negative and positive publicity to the local ice cream shop.
Montclair's newest ice cream shop had raised eyebrows for displaying a cow logo with the shape of a female 'derriere' on the walls and interior decorations of the store. The names of the various ice cream flavors also play on the theme.
In a recent release, the owners maintain that despite critics' disapproval, they have "served more than a thousand customers and has received numerous accolades for its over-the-top ice cream desserts".
Business partners Anthony Tortoriello and Jeff O’Neill have stated that they recently had been speaking with people about the controversy and state that they don't want the debate to overshadow the goal of serving dessert to the community.
“Dairy Air was created with one goal in mind – to make delicious dairy desserts for our customers. To us, it’s all about the ice cream and serving it in a super unique, family-friendly store, with awesome customer service,” said Tortoriello.
“We simply created a fun illustration to complement our fun name. In ‘hindsight,’ however, we realize that the illustration may have been offensive to some. In light of that, we are working now to tweak it,” he added.
After first defending the logo on her Facebook page, manager Natalie DeRosa wrote, "We have heard the complaints. We take them seriously and we are acting to change the cow to be more fun and less sexy. Our goal was always fun and not sexy." Within days of writing this, DeRosa quit. Owners stated that the pressure became to much for DeRosa to bear.
Tortoriello and O’Neill maintain that they never intended for their ice cream store or its brand identity to be controversial.
“We want the awesome taste of our ice cream to unify – not divide – our community. We stand by our product 100 percent, but we’re ok putting the cow out to pasture,” said Tortoriello.
Though not visible from the exterior of the shop, the images of the tattooed cow butt are plastered over the interior of the store walls and decorations.
For many, the logo became laughable, for others, a serious topic that became hotly debated. After standing in front of the store for more than an hour, there was a steady stream of customers curious enough to go in and purchase the ice cream, some with kids in tow. Among the supporters, are NJ101.5 shock jocks who dedicated an entire segment to discuss the controversy, then inviting their listeners to buy ice cream at the store located at 521 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, NJ.
“The positive response has actually been overwhelming,” says O’Neill. “And while we appreciate that, and all of our supporters, we want to do what’s best for our customers, our neighbors, and ultimately for our brand here in Montclair, and as we begin to expand regionally. Once we realized that sides were being taken, it was time to end the battle over the cattle.”
Dairy Air state that they are currently working on a variation of the illustration and will unveil it soon.
Tortoriello points to the fact that the actual ‘logo’ is an ice cream sandwich, which is featured on all of the exterior signage. “As for our product,” he added, “we think that utterly speaks for itself.”