Utah Coffee Shop Owners Design New T-Shirt After Offending Mormons
TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – The owners of a suburban Salt Lake City coffee shop have come up with a new T-shirt after a design that showed java being poured into a Mormon angel's trumpet landed them in hot water with the church.
Just Add Coffee's new design is still irreverent. It shows a hand (with dark suit sleeve and white shirt cuff) pouring coffee from a pot into a horn and says: "The Lord giveth, and a church taketh away."
Store owners Van Lidell and Ed Beazer — both former managers for Starbucks — say they use humor to set their 4 1/2-year-old business apart from the competition. A Starbucks opened next door last year.
"We try to be a little more edgy, a little more funny," Beazer said.
Earlier this year, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sent a letter to Beazer, asking him to stop using the Angel Moroni image.
The T-shirts showed Moroni, a male figure in a robe, blowing a trumpet. The trumpet is turned up at an angle as coffee is poured in.
Not only is Moroni revered — Mormons believe he appeared to church founder Joseph Smith — but church members are discouraged from drinking coffee.
"We didn't do it to be mean. We didn't do it because we're anti-Mormon," Beazer says. "We did it because we thought it was funny."
A church spokesman hadn't seen the new T-shirt and had no comment.
Beazer and Lidell say they already have sold 150 shirts since the new model debuted in mid-April with orders from across the country.