Four Barrel Coffee founder accused of sex crimes

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He wanted to be a hipster, but he ended up being a pervert instead.

Former employees of Four Barrel Coffee, San Francisco’s popular coffee roaster, filed a lawsuit on Friday in San Francisco Superior Court against the company and its founder Jeremy Tooker, alleging he sexually assaulted multiple women, harassed others and created a toxic workplace culture for Four Barrel’s female staff members.

The eight women named in the lawsuit allege incidents where Tooker assaulted a female employee in a hotel room; grabbed another female employee’s neck with enough force to cause soreness; and threatened to fire a staff member for speaking to a former Four Barrel employee.

Overall, the suit depicts a company with rampant sexual misconduct, and an ownership group — led by Tooker, along with partners Jodi Geren and Tal Mor — that chose to address neither the misconduct nor employees’ complaints about it.

The San Francisco Chronicle conducted interviews with 14 former employees over two months, 10 of whom spoke on the record regarding the workplace culture at the coffee company. All 10 said both Geren and Mor were aware of Tooker’s behavior yet did not address complaints in an official capacity.

Though eight women came forward with allegations in the lawsuit, two — Megan Kepnach and Karley Webb — are listed as plaintiffs, seeking damages from Tooker and Four Barrel.


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