When you walk down El Paseo Drive, there’s no doubt it’s fancy. It’s filled with brand name boutiques like Gucci and Burberry. And then you see this store: ‘Try My Nuts’. You can’t miss the big blue sign.
Palm Desert Resident Ronald Marra says he was surprised when he came face to face with thee store, "I was really upset I wanted to stop for an ice cream and at the time they had an ice cream sign up and then when I went up to the window right over the banner where it says chocolate and gourmet nuts it had all this food labeled with obscenities," adding that when he went inside the store it got worse, "believe me the sexual implication is meant … I mean you know with no warning, there should at least be a sign that says you know adult nature or adult something."
It’s clear he’s upset, so we went to see why.
The shelves are filled with a variety of gourmet nuts, candy, chocolates, spices and hot sauce. And while most of the products were specialty items with average innocent labels, we did find some products with swear words and double meanings. We asked the store owner of ‘Try My Nuts’ what he thought about Mr. Marra’s opinion.
"I don’t hold anything against him, I understand where he’s coming from," says Adam Cintas adding it’s just a play on words and he’s never received this type of complaint before, "Actually not really, and that’s the most interesting part about this, we’ve had a some people who were taken by the terms but they also enjoy it as well."
The store owner says the store is a national brand and the family owns three franchises and most people who come in do not find it offensive. And that’s what we saw when we visited the store too. In fact, we spotted one woman taking a selfie with the store sign so we asked her to come inside the store and ask her what she thought.
"At worse a little off color but I’m sure it’s, you know, in a light sense … I’m not offended, no, I thought it was silly," says Carol Levi who was visiting from Chicago, adding she was sending the selfie to her children because they would find it funny.
We wondered what businesses thought of their neighbor.
Next door there’s a high end shoe store called ‘Cactus Flower’, the owner Carey Woods says the owners of ‘Try My Nuts’ are kind, hardworking people and likes their store, "It’s a great business people stop all the time to go in there if anything it gives us good traffic, the food is good … hey have been great neighbors and they have a viable business."
So we went to the city of Palm Desert to find out if they investigated the complaint.
Ryan Stendell, with the city says they found nothing obscene legally, "This business like any business is regulated by the First Amendment, secondarily the state does have laws on the books related to obscenities, our compliance review didn’t you know kind of showed that this doesn’t rise to the level under state law," adding it’s the only complaint they’ve ever received about this business, "This doesn’t trigger any obscenity issues, doesn’t trigger any level of compliance review that required that warning to be implemented."
Mr. Marra says that’s ridiculous and wrong. He says it’s not just harmless fun.
Cintas says ‘Try My Nuts’ is just a small family owned business, "We take a lot of pride in what we do … there’s been a lot more positive than negative … if you find it offensive I get it, it’s okay, but it’s not going to deter us from being here by any means and everybody again, is entitled to their own opinion."
Mr. Marra says he may be old fashioned but he’s right, "Sorry to see that society’s deteriorated with this proliferation of profanity, we put it on food and put it in the window and nobody’s opposed to it, so I guess I’ve just gotten old."