Frozen-yogurt chain says language police cracked down on plastic spoons
French-language office denies it asked for removal of English spoons
The popular frozen-yogurt store, Menchie's, located on Montreal's West Island, claims it is the latest target of the province’s language police.
The store's plastic, colourful spoons currently have the phrase "This is my mix" moulded into their handles.
But, after a visit from a Quebec language inspector, Menchie's says it has pulled the spoons from its shelves.
Franchise owner David Lipper says he was careful to translate all of the American company's products into French, but he admits he forgot about the spoons.
"I was paranoid about everything I heard about the language police to make sure everything was in French in this store," he said.
Lipper says it's not clear whether the spoons were breaking Quebec laws, but he has removed them from the store and is searching for a new supplier.
"We are working as fast as we can to get new spoons made just for our Quebec stores, at a large expense to us," says a statement on the Facebook page for Menchie's Dollard-des-Ormeaux store.
OQLF says store was not asked to remove spoons
But the Office québécois de la langue française (OQLF) says the rumours spread through social media are unfounded.
The French-language office claims that while an inspector did visit the frozen yogurt store to follow up on a complaint, the store was never asked to remove its spoons.
"Media reported that the OQLF was asking for the removal of plastic spoons, on which an inscription in a language other than French was written. These claims are without merit," said a statement from Martin Bergeron, spokesman for the OQLF.
"For the time being, the analysis of the inspection report … has not yet been completed. As a result, no correction request has been sent to the company."
Currently, the plastic spoons come from the company's headquarters, but the West Island shop says it is looking for a new manufacturer to serve the company’s three Montreal-area outlets.