Cafe Hon owner defends Herself against criticism that she trademarked the word ‘hon’ for financial gain

Denise Whiting photo by Kitty Charlton, Baltimore Messenger

Dense Whiting says she’ll sue those who use her oval logo

by Larry Perl, The Baltimore Messenger, 12/10/10

Denise Whiting, owner of Cafe Hon and founder of the annual HonFest celebration in Hampden, said she thinks controversy about her branding the word ‘hon’ — including registering it as a federal trademark — is being blown out of proportion by merchants and the media.

“Am I going to go after everybody that uses the word ‘hon’? No,” she said.

But she said that if people try to sell merchandise with her trademarked oval logo on it, “I’ll sue their pants off.”

Continue reading “Cafe Hon owner defends Herself against criticism that she trademarked the word ‘hon’ for financial gain” at The Baltimore Messenger.

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15 Responses to Cafe Hon owner defends Herself against criticism that she trademarked the word ‘hon’ for financial gain

  1. I think it’s high time we had a “Take Our Hon Back” rally outside of her deplorable restaurant. Get organized, hon!

  2. joanne says:

    I’ll be at that Rally ! It’s really Hun…isn’t it

  3. Michael C says:

    This woman shows herself to be more of a vile disgusting pig every year. It’s about time people started boycotting her restaurant and organizing some raucous civil disobedience at the next Hon Fest. She needs to be tarred, feathered, and driven out of town.

  4. Daily Breather says:

    The backlash has already begun on Yelp

    Pretty much every review made in December 2010 is a backlash.
    Food sucks too.

  5. Wendy Sites says:

    I guess it is okay to say nasty things on the internet about people you do not know, because no one gets hurt, right?? Just think people – she is a human being, just like the boy who was “outed” and committed suicide – internet posts don’t hurt anyone do they??????

  6. Momfromtheburbs says:


    That is the most pathetic analogy ever. It is shameful that you would even try to compare your sister who is a carpetbagger and bad taste monger in the deepest sense, to a boy who was living his life an outed as a homosexual on the internet.

    And besides, the most recent statements from your sister don’t appear to be at all from anyone ‘hurt’ by internet backlash – why just yesterday the quote I read was ‘bring it on…” and the brilliant “unchallengeable”.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is just amazing that this causes such outrage. And the real irony is that there is a facebook group orchestrating a boycott. Ironic because facebook is doing the same thing with a real word…..”FACE”. So many are intoxicated with companies that have made a ton of money, that they project the halo effect, while kicking a smaller struggling more realistic business concern, who doesn’t have a twenty-something multi-millionaire at the helm. Give the lady a break, “hon” is not even a real word.

  8. Blackie Lawless says:

    Jeebus: you people need to get a f’ing life. She’s a businesswoman, she put in for the trademark, it’s done. Bite it. Ain’t no going back. Good for her that she’s built a successful business in a middling craphole like Baltimore. You dipsh*ts will put her out of business and a g*ddamn Bob Evans will move in to take its place. Or, heaven forbid, a f*cking STARBUCKS.

    I’m still kicking my own ass for not writing the code for FACEBOOK 10 years ago…ooops, somebody beat me to it. Lets PROTEST! If you want something to “protest” I think Iran has nukes and North Korea treats its people real bad.

    Now, on the devil’s advocate side of things, I hear her lawyer has been going around and actually telling people they can’t use the word “hon.” Well, f*ck him. And her, if that’s the way its going to be. You got the stupid name, now go print up some t-shirts, shut the F up and go about your business.

    As an aside, I have to say I don’t think the food at Cafe Hon is really that great…I always wonder why they put the little orange slices and fruit with their omelets. Its like I’m taking crazy pills or something.

    Okay, and lastly, some commentary on your commentary:

    Mike Hughes: pipe it down, slim. Where the F was your protest when we were invading Iraq (the first or second time)…if you’re gonna wave the protest flag, for the love of christ, point it in the right direction. Before you come back with a “I protested at the WTO in Seattle, I’ll have you know…” I wanna tell this joke real quick: What’s orange and looks great on hippies? FIRE.

    Micheal C: Civil disobedience? Really? Over the word HON? Gandhi is turning his little betoweled, bespectacled body over in his little grave. MLK too.

    Mom from the Burbs: You must be a stay at home Mom, right? Because it doesn’t really sound like you know WTF you’re talking about? Which burb is it, anyway? Essex or Glen Burnie? I digress. And you’ve bored me already.

    Before all of you start spouting off about Cafe Hon, lets take a look at the number of individuals whose daily subsistence you’re going to F up by preventing people from eating there. The servers who won’t get tips, the cooks and busboys who will get laid off (tough break, Juan, you can find something else in Hampden to support your family back in Mexico), and the impact it will have on local business.

    Every one of you is a bandwagon-jumping moron. I hope you all choke on a Cafe Hon Cinnamon Bun. Hon.


  9. Yo “Blackie,”

    I’ve been active in the antiwar movement since a guy named Reagan was fighting proxy wars in Central America. Nun raping and murdering and all that jazz. But you were probably too busy picking Cheerios® out of your Pampers® to pay much attention to politics. So bite my middle-aged ass. And all I’ve encouraged is active mockery of the Whiting™’s silly statements and behaviors that begat this tempest in a teapot. I’ve never called for a boycott of Café Hon™ because I don’t know anyone who actually eats there. I don’t know the Whiting™ and have no grudge against her or her success, thought I do find the “HON™” stereotype to be pretty insipid, demeaning, and about as reality-based as Mickey Mouse™.

    I detect the aroma of Café Hon™ flapjacks in your faux-sincere defense of the servants of the Whiting™. Are you sure you’re not a minion of the HON™, or maybe a PR flack with a love of the asterisk, using some snarky linguistic ju-jitsu under cover of a pseudonym to further distract from the Whiting™’s continuing self-destructive PR blunders?

    Jump on this bandwagon, b’yatch 🙂

  10. Howard Epstein says:

    Oh Michael M. Hughes: see how easily you got sucked in by my — as you term it — “linguistic ju jitsu.” That would be spelled JIU JITSU (or JEW JITSU, since I’m from NY) and, for the record, it’s Verbal Kung Fu. And, you must admit, you got Jackie Chan’d, didn’t you you? Come on: you can admit it. Maybe just a little?

    As a quick aside, Ronald Reagan was the greatest President in the history of the known (and unknown) universe. Bush (either/or) was a gun toting ‘tard and Obama is desperately hell-bent on being a second-rate, less quotable, version of Hugo Chavez. Damn you and your politics, Michael M. Hughes! Why do you suck me in????

    Anyway, I’ve read your post and my team of crack linguistics experts has assessed that you’re just playin’ defense. Which means, intellectually speaking, that you know you’re — how does one say it? — full of malarky. Or horseshit.

    You probably posted your comments thinking that a) nobody would read them and/or b) that it was all in the spirit of a little bandwagon jumping fun. Then you saw my post and got all pissed off, didn’t wanna say anything, but then got even madder, and then DID say something. I know, I know…I do the same thing when my shoe reviews on ZAPPOS get challenged by some cretin from Omaha. I fucking hate THAT shit.

    As yet another aside, I like how you utilized “Yo” and “B’yatch” in your retort, believing that this added an emphatic closure of our debate. The use of hip-hop terminology, however, is condescending and manipulative when “stolen” — as you’ve done — from the black man by the white upper class.

    Which I’m assuming you are because you put about as much thought into the shit that comes out of your computer (I-mac, I assume? Or Macbook pro…), with absolutely no regard for other people’s feelings, as you do in (I’m guessing here) wrecking the environment with that luxury german automobile parked out in front of your house. Tough to be anti-war driving a Nazi-sled. I’m just sayin.

    Michael M. Hughes, I expect MORE from you…especially since you claim to be the Shining White Night of Anti-War Protest since at least 1980!!!! As a true “Writer, Photographer, Performer, Psychonaut, Muckraker” — emphasis mostly on the muckraker part — you need to delve deeper into your psyche and explore that which drives you as a intellectual, as a philosopher, as a warrior, and as a poet.

    Pictures of mushrooms that look like genitalia is cute and pretending to be pissed off at the government is easy and protesting the use of “hon” when the world is on the brink of collapse is easy: any numb-nuts community college philosophy major can do that shit. But finding enlightment ain’t about blogs and banging the war drum for “flavor of the week” causes like this Cafe Hon (wait for it) bandwagon you’ve jumped on.

    Michael M. Hughes, you have something to SAY…go ahead and SAY IT! I keep waiting for you to get the heart of the matter. The world is expectantly waiting.

    Yours Truly.
    Howard Epstein, esq, III
    Professional Bullshit Artist

  11. Hon Worker says:

    I would just like to say, I actually work at Cafe Hon, and I really think all of this is mostly a big misunderstanding. For some reason people are getting all defensive about someone trademarking their logo, I guess? I would say to these people that businesses do this all the time. The logo trademark enforcement started when Denise caught someone at the airport peddling HON marked wares, white oval and all, including shot glasses, t-shirts, bumper stickers and the like. Clearly, any business with an associated logo intends to protect its rights by trademarking what is a representation of all the hard work they have put into developing a business from the ground up. I’m certainly not saying that I’m drinking the HON kool-aid, but I think its a little silly that people are under the assumption that she’s trying to say people can’t SAY or USE the word HON. The trademark applies to the word, in the oval, which is the logo of the Cafe Hon. For instance, Nike has a trademark on the word “air” in the context of the “Nike Air” logo. She is just saying you can’t sell stuff with her logo on it, damn it! And why should anyone be able to?? Furthermore, why should anyone be able to capitalize off of her logo by claiming some sort of false association with all of her hard work? Does this not make rational sense to people?? Use the word, but don’t put it in the stupid oval? How does that not make sense? In addition, I don’t really think she’s trying to sue everyone that comes along and makes up their own bumper sticker or screenprints a t-shirt in their basement. The trademark is to protect her from vendor type people who want to make boxes of HON t-shirts and sell them, instead of people coming to our restaurant and buying them.

    Now, having rambled on about that in a semi-logical fashion for a moment, I would also like to say, this whole thing is ridiculous, and there are really REAL people who’s lives are changed by all this. I work full time and go to school full time, and I support myself on the money that I make at Cafe Hon. When people don’t come in over something that is so beyond absurd (a person trademarking their logo… really??) it directly affects me, and all the other people who work there. We feel that crunch, not the higher ups. I really think that many of the people who are super-upset about it are people who were looking for an excuse to protest her, and didn’t come in to eat there anyway. However, to the customers who are misinformed about the over-reachings of the trademark and its purpose, come back to see us! The food is still good, and the waitresses are still nice. 🙂 In case anyone is reading this who frequents, thanks for your continued support!

    HON waitress.

  12. FUCK HON says:

    Who fuckin cares? it’s not even a word!!!!

  13. to the FUCK HON troll says:

    You’re most likely NOT from Bmore

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