Chasing Amy: Overcooked Reality and the Decline of Western Civility

"If they [Amy and Samy] came to us right now and said take us from six feet under to try and get us above ground again," Rose said on a radio interview with KDKB 93.3 FM hours, oddly enough, before his firm announced it had been hired by the Bouzaglos to represent their restaurant, "typically what you do is apology and contrition."

The day Rose took on Amy and Samy as his clients he announced the restaurant would be closed until a "Grand Re-Opening" of Amy's Baking Company on Tuesday, May 21. In a press release, the "sold-out event" — a kind of set-the-record-straight affair doubling as a press conference — promised that "customers will be able to decide who is correct: a celebrity chef or the marketplace that has supported the small, locally owned business for six years." The press release went on to say a portion of the grand re-opening's proceeds would be donated to an organization dedicated to combat the effects of cyber-bullying, a group who, thanks to the events of the past few weeks, had their work cut out for them.

"We are very upset by what has taken place," Samy was quoted as saying in the press release, "and apologize about the acrimony that has ensued, but now must fight back to save our business."

Jon Stich
The Bouzaglos
The Bouzaglos

Location Info

Map

Amy's Baking Company

7366 E. Shea Blvd.
Scottsdale, AZ 85260-6471

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: North Scottsdale

It was the first time we heard the word "apologize" from the Bouzaglos. Jason Rose may be a loudmouth who once was fired by Special Olympics for comparing "knucklehead" to someone with special needs, but the man knows what the people want to hear.

He also knows a juicy publicity stunt for his publicity company when he sees it. Just days after he took on Amy's Baking Company and the Bouzaglos as his clients, Rose unceremoniously dumped them at the bottom of a press release dated Monday, May 20. Amy and Samy had been "hated on" again. This time, by a slick-talking salesman who appears to have used them.

And Rose's last press release for Amy's Baking Company contained another nugget of interest: The press conference had been cancelled by the Bouzaglos due to legal threats from the producers of Kitchen Nightmares (the Bouzaglos signed contracts agreeing to not speak about the show publicly) and threats of a non-legal nature by — who else? — the "online bullies."

However, the press release went on to say, the restaurant's "Grand Re-Opening" (now referred to as a "Grand Re-Opening Week" but with the same objective) was still a go for May 21, and that more than 1,000 reservations had been made since the event was announced. (Check in at www.phxfood.com to see how that went.)

Not that most of us would bet on Rose's "grand re-opening" caper actually working. For one, it is too soon. A better idea might have kept the Bouzaglos laying low for a while, at least until memories started to fade or someone else took their place on the Internet's sensationalized throne of what-the-fuck?

More important, it may be too late. Honesty, sincerity, perhaps a little shame, and an apology or two are what we've always wanted from Amy and Samy. But from the start, they can't or won't or haven't felt the need to provide them. And we have made them pay dearly for it.

We want the truth. Maybe so that we can feel vindicated or get closure or find it in our hearts to forgive. But now, the idea of the truth feels as unreachable as the Bouzaglos themselves. What we want from people and what they are willing to give us are two different things. All we can control is ourselves. And let's face it — in the case of Amy's Baking Company and the Bouzaglos, many of us haven't done a very good job.

The other day, a fellow Michigan transplant and friend of mine sent me an e-mail when she heard I was writing about Amy's Baking Company. She told me she had eaten there a few times, so I asked her about her experiences.

"Food at ABC was unremarkable," she wrote. "They were never busy."

I posed the question to her because I had never eaten at Amy's Baking Company. I never had any reason to. In the five years since it opened, the food, not one single dish, ever got the slightest bit of must-try buzz, Chow Bella never profiled Amy Bouzaglo as a noteworthy chef, and as far as making a difference in the Valley's food scene, well, Amy's Baking Company simply didn't.

My friend's recollection about Amy's Baking Company might have been brief, but in the end, it may be the one truth we can take away in all of this. That Amy's Baking Company is, and always has been, just another in a sea of forgettable Valley restaurants.

Everything else hardly matters.

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11 comments
cbreton1
cbreton1

Wow.  You are quite the writer.  This is the best story on the topic that I have read and one of the best written stories that I have read on any topic in some time.  Thank you.  And I would mention that these folks are hardly remarkable.  Every city has one just like them. Here in Tampa, a fellow Yelper received death threats from one and her fellow bloggers stood up for her.  The company is now in bankruptcy.  Yelpers and other bloggers are not trained and some have no idea what they are talking about, but they are a powerful voice and represent a cross section of your customers so it is a bad idea to attack them.  You can clearly see the effects here.

David
David

Refreshingly well-written!

bobby5527
bobby5527

the show spoke for itself. and what employer would keep the tips intended for staff.?

someguy111
someguy111

Fix your story he is Scottish not British.  JEEZ!

peteykins
peteykins

This is quite the best thing I've read on this whole kerfuffle. Well done.

Anonymous
Anonymous

@someguy111 Scottish people are British citizens, as Scotland is a part of Great Britain.

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

@peteykins Agree... it's pretty much the whole story since we first heard about Crazy Amy and Samy.

 
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