Ninja Mike’s Announces New, Socially Conscious Name
Back in July, we reported that Ninja Mike’s was in search of a new, socially conscious name, following a post by Ethan, explaining their decision.
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We need a new name and we want your help! The story of Ninja Mike’s dates back to 2009, when we started at the Clark Fork River Market under the name, ‘Local Breakfast Sandwiches’. Every Saturday, I wore a used mechanic shirt from Missoula Textiles with the name tag ‘Mike’ on the left chest. Three years later, a young child said that I looked like a ninja swinging my two spatulas around cooking eggs, and in 2011, we named our business Ninja Mike’s. Without properly investigating the name or the history of the word ninja, we moved forward and unexpectedly grew from our market stand to a mobile food truck and ultimately to our current brick and mortar location. This growth could not have happened without the continued support from our community, family, and friends, and for that we are so grateful. We have reflected on our name, we have learned new things, and we now recognize that Ninja Mike’s is problematic in terms of cultural appropriation. In recognizing the gap between our intentions to cultivate positivity and a supportive community and the potentially hurtful and/or offensive impact of our name, we are ready to take accountability and make appropriate changes. Behind the scenes we are working to restructure our business from the inside out, with intentionality and guidance from the amazing folks at @empower_mt among many others, so that we may embody inclusivity and anti-racism more fully and sustainably, beyond the veneer of a name change. We look forward to sharing more about this process in the coming months. While we have decided to change our name, we do not have one yet, and I am reaching out to the same community, family, and friends that helped us get started to submit business name ideas; ideas that may reflect what you think of when you think of our business. We are excited to include you in this process! We have been a grassroots community business from the start, and it makes perfect sense that you would help us in this next big step. Much love, Ethan
This morning, August 31st, they announced that the new name is…GOLDEN YOLK GRIDDLE! We love the new logo too, nice, bright sunshine. Don’t know about you but the word “griddle” alone makes me hungry for breakfast. Reminds me of eating pancakes in my grandparent’s dining room. Also loved what they had to say following the announcement of the new name.
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We started a breakfast restaurant in 2009 with a simple but important goal: to bring delicious, locally-sourced breakfasts to our friends, family, and neighbors in Missoula. A few years later, without enough consideration, we married our good intentions to a long history of anti-Asian racism in Montana and the United States. When we branded our business ‘Ninja Mike’s,’ we didn’t fully understand how we contributed to that history. We understand now. . . Thank you to everyone who has helped us learn and grow to get to this point, especially our Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and Asian community members. We understand that Asian and Asian American people are not a monolith and that there are many shades and layers to instances of cultural appropriation. However, we don’t want to be in a gray area of causing harm and definitely don’t want to profit from it. . . We are proud to reintroduce ourselves. We are Golden Yolk Griddle. Under its new name, Golden Yolk Griddle reaffirms its commitment to the goal it has had since its beginning: fostering inclusive communities, building meaningful relationships, and serving delicious food. . . For more information about our rebrand and the steps we are taking to implement anti-racist business practices, visit us at our new website goldenyolkgriddle.com and follow us on Instagram @goldenyolkgriddle #accessibility #PhotoDescription: [The words Golden Yolk Griddle are beneath a golden half circle, which resembles a morning sun or a half-yolk. Beneath Golden Yolk Griddle, five golden lines radiate down and out like rays of the sun.] . . #accountability #wemessedup #wewilldobetter #integration #transformation #grateful #thankyou #communitylearning #closingachapter #beginingagain #goldenyolkgriddle #goldenyolk #goldenyolkgriddlemt #missoula #montana #missoulamontana #downtownmissoula #localisdelicious #localdeliciousness #knowyourfarmers #sustainablebusiness #breakfast #lunch #espresso #coffee #nicetomeetyou #evolution #smallbusiness A post shared by Ninja Mike’s (@ninjamikesmt) on
We haven’t been to Golden Yolk Griddle in about a minute, just because of the pandemic and working from home, our schedules aren’t the same, but we will make a point to visit this week. They are in the process of updating the website, which is now here for online orders, or you can swing by and see them across from the Courthouse at 200 West Pine Street. Current hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends.