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Op-Ed: Woke Mob Attempt To Cancel Iowa’s St Giuseppe’s Pizza Joint Backfires, Instead Helps Sales Skyrocket

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St Giuseppe’s Pizza in small town Camanche in Iowa, made the taboo move of weighing in on the “gender debate” on its social media.
St Giuseppe’s Pizza in small town Camanche in Iowa, made the taboo move of weighing in on the “gender debate” on its social media.

CAMANCHE, IA – While the left and the right fight battles on a detached elitist and political level, there is a cultural and spiritual war going on the ground that the media and Cable News completely misses. Including Fox News, which seems to be more concerned about pushing food fights between left and right, than addressing Main Street. 

It gives me great joy to feature a story on the everyday man, Iowan Joe Schilling, owner of family-run St Giuseppe’s Pizza, who is fighting his own culture war and actually won. Most importantly our conversation yielded important insights on what’s really going on in Main Street and on the ground, which turns out to be quite opposite of what the prevailing narrative tries to display, especially in our news media. 

St Giuseppe’s Pizza in small town Camanche in Iowa, made the taboo move of weighing in on the “gender debate” on its social media. This created an international uproar when his post caught the attention of the woke mob, fresh off the Bud Light boycotts, eager for their own moment. The woke mob, however, forgot that Bud was a national brand and this small mom and pop Italian joint localized in Iowa, would instead benefit from all the attention especially with its local conservative leaning clientele. Details matter. 

Here are some highlights from my interview with Joe, in his own words. Full interview here.

The background of St Giuseppe’s, 26 years in business, their unique selling points and his huge family. 

“We have two locations, located in the Quad Cities, which is on the Mississippi River. My dad started the business in 1997. I’ve never known any other work. I’ve been working there since I was three years old. My dad started the Camanche project that was supposed to be where he was working. But he got cancer back in 2020 and ended up passing away in 2021. We have a lot of pride in our work, we make our own dough, make your own sauce, make our own pork and sausage. Also we’ve employed hundreds, if not thousands of people, over the course of 26 years. I come from a family of 10 kids. I’m number four, my oldest brother is 37, my youngest brother, Tony is 13. We’re all about family life and tradition. And sometimes that can get expressed through our business.”

The Viral Post Asking “How Many Genders Are There?” & How The Woke Mob Caught On

I learned that edgy marketing can be super beneficial to your business. A while back, we were having a slower night at Camanche. We are a small town, and we’re not on the best side of town as far as traffic goes.  I was having a good day at the gym, and I was feeling a little squirrely. We all have our beliefs, and obviously, I believe there’s only two genders. So I thought, I’m going to put up post, and it’s going to be [an image of] our pizza, and then how many genders are there? And the people that comment on it, I’m going to message them [privately with] a free small pizza. So we start getting comments: two, two, two, etc. I would consider Comanche to be a based community, lots of really good people there who understand God’s creation and how there are only two genders. Well, it turns out that there’s a couple of people in Comanche who disagreed with “two”. And they say, “why are you privately responding to all the people saying two, and they ended up finding out why.” The transgender gender fluidity movement have a pretty wide internet network. They can spread [content] pretty rapidly. They shared it, they commented and what they forget, is that they’re exposing my pizza, my business. We are about to reach a million people this week, without having spent any money. This would have cost me $100,000. At first, we started losing Facebook likes, people saying, you shouldn’t engage in politics. This isn’t politics, guys. It’s a simple post, and if they don’t understand that, that’s okay. When I lose Facebook likes, that doesn’t mean I lose business, I just lose Facebook likes. I [did get] a little nervous because we went from 2420, down to 2397. And then five hours into the post, I noticed an uptick and we went up by, 40. Then all of a sudden, it goes up 100. I’m looking at my brother Sam, “Dude, we’re up 300 likes today, like what is going on here?” I was worried that it was the people who don’t like me, but then I started to see a type of engagement like, “Hey, man, keep up the good work, your post reached Wisconsin. Keep doing what you’re doing, keep fighting the good fight.” And then there’ll be another comment. “Hey, I’m up in Canada.” And we’re reaching people from the UK, from Ireland from Australia. There’s one guy from Portugal, all over the world, you know?”

The lasting dividends of the woke mob’s failure to cancel St Giuseppe’s. 

“What’s so great is that every post after this, we’ve made some regular pizza posts since then talking about our deals or whatever. All of a sudden, when we post a deal, instead of getting six likes, we’re getting 190 or 500. We’ve since started a Twitter, been advertising our Twitter, follow us on Twitter, we’re putting up, you know, funny but true content. We’re trying to build our YouTube presence, it’s just turned into a really cool thing. I’m getting so many people from all over the country, Rhode Island, New Mexico placing orders now supporting our business. We had a fake order placed for $72. And I’m not one to ask for money for like free or whatever, but I said, You know what, I’m getting this money. I’m not gonna let these guys win. The devil’s laughing right now. And so I’m going to start a GoFundMe for $72. And we raised that 72 bucks in like 10 minutes. Now it’s up to over $700 now. And all of the money over the original $72 is now going to be donated to the women’s Choice Center in Bettendorf. They help women who are in crisis pregnancies, they don’t provide any kind of contraceptives or abortions or anything. They help women with ultrasounds, and any kind of medical assistance. They also help families that need affordable health care, not health insurance, but like, if your toddler has like a skin rash, or something, they charge 90 bucks a month, and you can go see them anytime or whatever. That’s where the money’s going. And it’s just super cool to see that their wicked ways, and their attacks have now played out to be something super positive, and that’s been super motivating. I’ve been doing my best to respond to all of the positive messages, and I can’t keep up. Now, we’re going to be creating an online spot where people will be able to order shirts, and we’ll be shipping shirts out all over the country with our logo on it. It’s because people want them, so we’ll get them out here. I want to make sure the shirts are quality and something that’s gonna last, more than a couple of years.”

Where the woke mob failed. 

“You could read the book of Proverbs and find out exactly why they failed. God does not let the wicked win.  There was one night our Google reviews, we had gotten over 100 one-star reviews. And the first reviews I saw being removed were five-star reviews saying, this is a base, place, ultra Christian, whatever. And I’m [worried] Google’s removing our good reviews that are coming in. I don’t worship Google, I don’t worship Facebook, we can get by just fine without those guys, I don’t care about my reviews, I care about my customers. If I get a bad review, I do what I can to make it right. And, sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t, sometimes people just don’t like our pizza.  I was about to make a post telling people, please start leaving us as many one-star reviews as possible. If you’ve already left a five star review in the past, change it to a one star review, we are going to be the number one, one-star pizza place on Google, but right when I was about to do that, I went and checked to see what our reviews were at. And Google had removed all the one-star reviews that had come in in the past 72 hours. I think that’s in Google’s best interest, because what I was about to do is show that there’s no credibility with Google, if the mob can come after you and just bomb your reviews. Now, any business that has, any beliefs that are in any way Christian are gonna say, ’we’re not listing our business with you guys. We’re not spending money advertising with you’.  I haven’t been able to sleep at night, because I’m so thrilled.”

Woke Mob: He’s a racist and a bigot. Reality: Black and Latino customers have increased their support for St. Giuseppe’s. 

There’s a line I heard, it’s “offend the mind, reveal the heart”. So all these comments on my pizza talk talking trash on my pizza is only because they’re offended, and their hearts are now showing. Their hatred is now showing. One of the best things about this whole thing is I was attacked a couple of years ago for a number of reasons during the COVID years, and somehow, I ended up being a labeled a Nazi, racist and all this crazy stuff. Clearly I’m not a Nazi, and I’m not a racist. But what’s so awesome is there’s there’s two cultures who I’m noticing an abundant amount of support from customers: black people and Mexican people. And it’s because their cultures don’t tolerate this crap. I’ve been getting a ton of phone calls and support like, it’s so funny how this is all backfiring now, because because now we have more black customers and more Mexican customers coming in and finding out this guy is great. He’s not a racist. So now it’s being revealed that not only are there only two genders, but I’m also not a racist now.”

On Bud Light and woke corporatism

“I think Anheuser Busch is a trash company. They don’t make any quality products. When I drink a beer, I prefer it to be something that tastes good. Something that’s more local. They did what they did because these guys, l have investors like BlackRock, which have a standard where you’re not going to get money invested in your company unless you support this ideology. They think they run things, [but in reality] we run things, and eventually, they will lose everything they have, because they are they are wicked. Go through Proverbs, you’ll find out whether it be tomorrow or in the next 50 years it will come to an end. 

On the Hypocrisy of Conservative News like Fox

I’ve always noticed that the news that the conservative news networks always go on and talk about ‘look guys the transgender ideology is now in the schools. Aren’t you mad now? Aren’t you mad?’ It’s almost like they’re advertising it. I’m not getting mad. I’m gonna speak my mind and work as hard as I possibly can, live my life and, love my kids and my wife and [I’m not going to act like]Tucker Carlson saying, ‘So this is America.’ No, it’s not. It’s not America. What they’re doing is not America, What St. Giuseppe’s is doing is America.  I don’t think it’s ever been as easy to speak your mind. But yet, people are so scared. I think COVID has a lot to do with this. A lot of people were afraid to speak up about COVID because people’s grandparents were dying. But the thing is, is they’ve increased the amount of fear. And now people won’t talk, especially the kids. When I first put up this post, my my brothers and sisters, my younger ones, they go to a Catholic grade school, and they came in terrified. They’re like, Joe, we’re gonna get such bad grades now. Our teachers don’t agree with this.  Now I’m realizing now we really have to go hard. Because we cannot have teachers who are a huge influence on kids, they’re partially raising the kids, at school seven, eight hours a day. These kids can’t be l told that they can have gender fluidity. That’s insane. The scariest part about that is that now kids might be missing out on things that they should be learning. I have 16 year old employees. I asked them, ‘How many days are in a year? They don’t know.’

On Staying Silent and Just Making Pizza 

“My life would be completely meaningless and I would hate making pizzas if that was the case. We’re supposed to speak up, when something is infringing on us. When the wicked doers are at work, we have to speak up, what’s funny about all this is that original post, I wasn’t expecting to escape a 10 mile radius. I was just wanting to send people free pizza, and market my business. I didn’t realize how big of a problem that was until it went viral. I really hope that this leads to other people, other businesses, not standing for it. When I go into BestBuy, and they have LGBTQ propaganda propped up at their little phone desk, if they get to push it down our throats, like that. The thing is, is us Christian people, we’re not actually haters. If we were I’d be walking into BestBuy said, get that crap out of here. They do that to me when I say, there’s only two genders, you know? It’s just crazy.

On solutions for the future

The big thing is just not being scared to talk and speak your mind. And not having fear, when they call you a bigot. When they call you a Nazi. The definition of bigot is, remaining true to ancient beliefs. So, I mean, considering that the teachings of Jesus Christ are now 2000 years old, I think I am quite a bigot. Prayer is the number one thing, it can be as simple as, ‘God, please help my enemies, show them the way, show them the light’. Parents with kids, I see a lot of really good people, their kids go to college. These kids come out crazy, forgetting everything their parents ever raised them to be, it’s it’s such a sad thing to see. It’s heartbreaking. They come out just totally distorted. Parents, step in, we aren’t supposed to tolerate these things. If your kids are going to school and, and coming back, educated about gender fluidity, go to the school, and say ‘hey, this is a problem, we’re going to take our kids out of the school.’ We need every single parent doing this. My kids personally, they’re not going public school. Another thing is, if you own a business, you know, don’t make it political. It’s okay to say there’s only two genders. I would say, the false binary of people keep saying I’m Maga or Trump. Guys, that stuff is like, way beneath me. I’m almost tempted to say, don’t waste your energy on the red, blue, focus on the issues that are actually destroying society.

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