By New Times
By Robrt L. Pela and Amy Silverman
By Katrina Montgomery
By Kathleen Vanesian
By Monica Alonzo
By Benjamin Leatherman
By Robrt L. Pela
By Katrina Montgomery
Salib: You can come to a lot of conclusions. For me, it's my business, bug off! If the city wants me to get a permit every time I change my signs, I will obtain one. I don't have to break the law to sell doughnuts.
NT: So the City of Mesa actually photographed your store? They run around taking pictures of shops?
Salib: Mine, they photographed 24 times. I think it's like I say, this area is targeted. Limiting our signs is an excuse and now I think the city realizes their mistake, after talking to my lawyer, but I still must ask: Why in the first place start something? And they give no explanation, like civilized people. If the problem is too much doughnut pictures, I can eliminate a few of them. But they had no communication with me at all. They just show up one day and say, "You must take doughnut pictures down."
NT: That's kind of mean.
Salib: It became worse! My wife took some of the pictures down, and the city came back the next Monday and said, "You must take all doughnut pictures down!" You be in my place, what would you do?
NT: I don't feel qualified to answer that. But if there's a law against doughnut photos, how can you get around it? Can you fight city hall?
Salib: It's not a matter of fighting, it's a matter of justice. If I'm fighting, it is for my identity. I want my freedom to say, "I sell cappuccino for two dollars," you know, and not have the city say, "No, you can't tell people that." Next they will come in and say, "We do not like your clothes, you must take it off today." It's the same.
NT: Why did it take them three years to notice your signs?
Salib: I don't know. They showed up about six months after I took over the business from my brother, to start hammering me. Hello, city hall! Wake up and smell the coffee!
NT: I always see cops in doughnut shops. Maybe you'll have the Mesa police on your side.
Salib: I want only justice on my side. People are people, whether you're a cop or a normal person.
NT: Have you thought about advertising alternatives? Maybe you could get a guy dressed as a giant cruller to stand out on the street and wave people in.
Salib: This would only work once a month, only once in every blue moon you can do that. That's a special promotion.
NT: You might put a beautiful woman dressed only in carefully placed buttermilk bars in the window.
Salib: No. My mother said to me, "What if this were a bride shop," okay? And you had a wedding dress for a lady one day, and the next day a dress for the groom. What would that be?
NT: A special on transvestite wedding apparel?
Salib: No, no. Is the lady dress grandfathered in, and the groom dress not?
NT: I'm going to guess no.
Salib: Exactly. So you see.
NT: I see that it looks like the City of Mesa wants to run you out of town so they can use this property for something bigger and shinier.
Salib: I have no proof of this. I assume this, you know, the way it's been going. God knows what they have planned. They might lose this battle with me and then come back next year to get me another time. There are many questions.
NT: That's true. Here's one that's been bugging me: How do you get the cream into a cream-filled?
Salib: We have a special machine. I can show you. It's very good.