Letter from Brian Huebner to herbalist/ New stores to call this week!

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**Shire City continues to contact herbalists on Etsy and ask them to remove the name Fire Cider!

**Shire City continues to contact herbalists on Etsy and ask them to remove the name Fire Cider!**Below is a letter from Brian Huebner to an Etsy herbalist:

Apr 9, 2014

Hi Special,
My name is Brian from Shire City Herbals in MA. I wish we could meet under nicer circumstances. I am writing because we hold a trademark for the phrase “Fire Cider” and there are some conflicts with a few of your listings. I am writing to you directly in the hopes that we can settle this personally, rather than through Etsy Legal.

– Your Dragon Cider listing has “Fire Cider” in the title. Please remove those words.
– Your Dragon Cider and Hawthorn Oxymel both have “Fire Cider” in the tag cloud. Please remove those tags.

This is Etsy’s policy for trademark protection as I understand it. If you have any questions I will do my best to answer them. I will check back in one week.
Brian Huebner


The herbalist responded with this:


We were all supposed to be on the same team. You are working against your own industry. This doesn’t make sense.
It’s not about you.
It’s about the plants.

This type of ‘seeking out’ of small batch cottage industry herbalists doing their good work crosses the line between capitalism and plant work. It seems you are one who doesn’t really care about the medicine getting to the people, unless it’s your medicine. How is it that you are seeking us out as a source of competition when we mostly are all using recipes from Rosemary Gladstar’s origination of so called ‘your’ Fire Cider. You see us as a threat? You have nothing better to do? Nobody would give two shits about your trademark if you weren’t coming after your own kin.

Thank you,

Special Blackburn


Please support the Tradition/Not Trademark Boycott of Shire City Herbal’s Fire Cider.  One of the most powerful tools available in a grassroots movements ~ and that has proven effective in the past ~ is boycotting a product or company that is using questionable or unethical practices.
* Please note: we are aware of concerns regarding the potential ‘to hurt a small herbal business’ by this boycott.  Shire City Herbals are not herbalists, they have stated this themselves on a public radio show (Roots and Rhizomes: https://www.wgxc.org/schedule/12).
They are not a ‘small local business’ but  a national company whose goal is to monopolize an industry with a product.  Hundreds if not thousands of people have contacted the Shire City Herbals expressing their concerns over the trademarking of an herbal product long used and sold in the herbal community and they will not do this.  Our intention is get ‘Fire Cider back for the herbal community’ not to hurt anyone’s business

Our new campaign:  Flood the phone lines. We will systematically ask supporters to call stores that carry fire cider each week.
PLEASE Be polite and informed! The businesses we are calling are small business owners and farmers. These folks are our community and deserve respect.

Please note; there are excellent ‘Boycott Letters” and Speaker Points available on:  https://freefirecider.com/take-action/support-the-boycott/ (so that you can be informed and ready to answer questions that might come up.)

Ø Ask to speak to the manager/ owner.
Ø Refer to the Traditions Not Trademarks “Unifying Points” https://freefirecider.com/about/

This week we are asking folks to call these stores:

Pittsfield Health Food Centre: (413) 442-5662
Provisions: (413)-727-3497
River Valley Market: (413) 584-2665
Starving Artist Creperie: (413)-394-5046
The Becket General Store:  (413) 623-5700
The Berkshire Co-Op Market  (413) 528-9697
Outlook Farm: 413-529-9388



One thought on “Letter from Brian Huebner to herbalist/ New stores to call this week!

  1. Stephanie Poetter

    I am now on the list of people Brian is harassing. I received an Etsy message from him yesterday. I am a small business owner, with a 15 month old son, working a 2nd job to make ends meet while we are building our business/farm. Brian’s sister Amy claims in a blog post that the only reason they got the trademark was to protect themselves from big companies trying to steal “their” ideas. This is bullshit. They search out small herbalists such as myself, and bully them. It’s rediculous, appauling, and they should be ashamed of themselves!


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