The owner of Stoop Juice in Park Slope once accused President Trump of hacking the website of his Seventh Avenue organic juice bar — and now he claims he’s running for president himself.
Jose Franco told Patch that he’s “been discouraged about the direction the country has been going for the last several years,” but that the recent government shutdown convinced him that he needs to be in a leadership position. He posted a rant on Facebook after the shutdown was announced, which included some thoughts about how he would do the job — like listening to constituents and inviting “other civic minded self sustained citizens to serve as apprentices”: “They will witness me doing the work of the people through government by the people,” he wrote.
While the candidacy is just starting out, Franco tells Eater that he’s “seriously considering” the bid.
Franco claims that a customer created campaign posters for him after reading his rant and distributed hundreds of them across the neighborhood, much to the ire of Park Slope denizens who found the flyers on their cars. When the angry locals came to him, he had to close his juice shop so that he could walk the streets and remove the papers; he’s since issued an apology via press release for the flyers, which included a picture of Franco, one of John McCain, and a photo of Franco with a McCain impersonator who spends time outside his Park Slope shop:
A Park Slope juice bar owner who once accused Trump of hacking his website is running for president. This is his campaign flyer. https://t.co/zKcuJgtSkO pic.twitter.com/GqDvjMLFgH— Nicholas Rizzi (@nickr15) January 23, 2018
When asked why he was planning to run for office, Franco tells Eater, “This is not something that I thought I was going to be doing, but it’s unacceptable the things that are going on, and I’m not a person that complains — before I complain, I say, ‘what is it that I can do?’ Before I can complain about anything, I try to fix it.”
Ironically, Franco’s betting that his business acumen will help him in the office, a line that Trump also said. “I went to school for business,” Franco says, “And I think I have the strongest quality that a leader needs, and that is: if I don’t understand something, I can say I don’t understand it. Even more important than that, I listen.”
He’s planning to run as an independent, even though he knows it’s “three times the work.” And although Franco hasn’t started collecting the 15,000 signatures needed to run, he says he knows it’s something he’ll need to do soon.
“I’m a person who has an organic juice bar — I’m not going to get rich from it, but I provide a service to my community, and I’m happy,” he says. “If someone I know in this journey turns out to be a better candidate than me, and we can accomplish even greater things, I have no problem bowing down and helping them. It’s not about my ego; it’s not about me.”