The public should know what type of establishment they are supporting with their hard earned money and time. Thus, I will share our experience at Gregory Vineyards located at 275 Bowling Spring Drive, Angier, North Carolina on December 23, 2012. You, the reader, may make your own
decision on whether you want to support this family owned business.
I am an African American female, and my husband is Caucasian. My husband and I went for a joy ride. It was my idea to go by Gregory Vineyard in Angier, NC to check it out. We did their full test taste of
all eight wines in order to support their family business. We were discreet when we noticed that none of the wine tasted as though they were ready to be bottled in our opinion. But we were still willing to
give the two year old business a chance and purchased a bottle of their
wine, cheese, and Lance crackers.
The Gregory family were having a Christmas gathering at the public
establishment with customers present. [continued below]....
..... The eldest Gregory (and called himself the head of the family) is Larry Gregory. He also holds the title and function as the business' "Special Advisor" on their website. Larry was clearly in charge of this event showcased by how he took charge of the direction of the
Because I stated that I was cold earlier, they offered us a table at the fireplace. We took it. Shortly thereafter, Larry ordered Lane Gregory to turn off the gas fire place. Larry didn't even glance in our direction or ask if it was OK to turn off the fireplace right next to our table where we were invited to sit. Lane obeyed and turned it off immediately with absolutely NO concern for our comfort. He purposefully didn't even look at us as he quickly turned it off and returned to the family circle of approximately 20 other Gregory's for a Christmas gathering.
From the head of a circle created, Larry loudly shared of past Christmas gifts when he asked one of the family member do they, "remember you got that black n****r doll! Yes, this was a direct quote. The family members showed their amusement by laughing out loud. COMPLETELY ignoring my husband and I's presence or stating it on purpose so that we knew where they stood. Hard to tell. Either way, it was humiliating for us though it showcased the utter ignorance of the Gregory's.
Right after displaying his "hate speech," Larry immediately proceeded to remind everyone that the reason for the Christmas season is Jesus. He then asks everyone to bow their heads in prayer for continued blessings upon their family and ended with in Jesus name, Amen.
As a Christian mixed race couple, we were appalled by the mixture of blatant show of prejudice and praying in the name of Jesus in the same breath!
When they were done with their "prayer," Larry's final word was, Im the oldest, so follow me. I thought that to be the saddest thing of all metaphorically since there were quite a few children there that will likely do just that ... follow his example and world view. As they went to get into the buffet line for the family, my husband beckoned Lane Gregory over to our table. I asked Lane if I heard the head
of his family correctly about the prejudice comment and the show of support of the comment with laughter by the family. He was a bit antsy and not quite sure what to do and lied, um I think he said negro. That is a direct quote from Lane Gregory.
However, his wife, Teresa, later admitted that she heard exactly what I heard as we were paying for the wine tasting, crackers, and a bottle of wine that we had already opened. Did she or Lane offer the light snack and bottle of wine as complimentary in order to lightly make up for humiliation that caused us to quickly get out of there? No. Not that we would have accepted it. But it would have been the right thing to do if they had any business ethics at all. Horrible example. Just horrible.
I love to support small family owned businesses since they are economically the backbone of our country (or use to be). Obviously, that wont be happening here. They took what would have been the end of a very pleasant day for my husband and I and utterly ruined it with their open display of ignorance. The saddest thing was that quite a few of the family members were young children that will likely grow up with the same mind set.
We will, however, pray from a distance for a true repentant heart instead of a sorry that you over heard it type attitude of the Gregory family members present.
Because we choose to support family owned businesses with ethical standards and not that of bigotry (hidden or public), we will not be returning to Gregory Vineyards and pray for a sincere conversion of heart by each of them that are prejudice at heart.