(April 29) -- The controversy surrounding Arizona's new immigration law was anything but sweet for the makers of AriZona Iced Tea.
As opponents of the immigration legislation call for a boycott of Arizona-based businesses, the AriZona Beverage Co. -- known for producing tall-boy cans of tea, lemonade and Arnold Palmer -- is trying to remind customers that despite its Sun Belt name, it is really an East Coast drink.
"AriZona Beverages proudly traces its origins back to New York," AriZona founder Don Vultaggio said in a statement.
The producers of AriZona Iced Tea want to make it perfectly clear that they are not based in Arizona.
"In 1992, two hard-working guys from Brooklyn with a dream created AriZona Iced Tea. Since then, and despite the wonderful success AriZona has enjoyed throughout the United States and internationally, we have remained loyal to our family-run business based in New York," added Vultaggio, whose drinks are now brewed in Long Island, N.Y. "We are very proud to be an American company with roots in New York."
Even though Vultaggio reportedly chose the name AriZona after his Uncle Vito moved there, hoping the famously dry weather would help with asthma.
Nevertheless, the company's name came up alongside actual Arizona-based businesses like Cold Stone Creamery, U-Haul and P.F. Chang's over talk of a statewide boycott.
According to WalletPop, buzz about an AriZona Beverage boycott started after comedian George Lopez joked that when he tried to buy a can of iced tea, he was asked for identification.
Others quickly turned to Twitter, including writer Travis Nichols, who jested that AriZona Iced Tea is the "drink of fascists." The New York Daily News apparently didn't get the joke, and included that Tweet in a story about the planned iced tea boycott.
Although Twitter might have fanned the flames of the possible AriZona Beverage Company boycott, the company took to the microblogging platform to inform Lopez that "AriZona is and always has been a NY company" -- a company that "would <3 to send you some tea!"
I think this is pretty funny. I can't stand tea, but I feel kinda bad for them losing business over the association. The Cold Stone thing is kinda :\ though because I was intending to try it when I got off work this afternoon buuuuuuut boycotting can be a good way to get corporations to influence policy.