Wondering why we chose the name Gypsy Spoonful ? Or concerned about the use of the word “gypsy” by us?
Here’s our official response to your concerns:
In past times, it’s true, the word “gypsy” has been used in a negative way, and some may even consider it a slur when used like that, especially overseas… BUT..We don’t! We actually embrace and love this word, let us tell you why:
In modern times, and in the US in particular~ the word “gypsy” has been associated with a boho, free-spirited individual~ who may love music, nature, art, and a carefree way of life. It’s been used to represent beautiful, caring people, with love in their hearts for their fellow man~they’re creative, and free-thinkers and..
THIS is the way in which we are using the word. Many words can be used in multiple ways and we choose the latter interpretation.
We’ve heard the stories of social justice warriors suggesting people should not use this word, however…
we DO have skin in the game, and believe this entitles us to our OWN positive interpretation and connotation of the word “gypsy”
The owner/founder of Gypsy Spoonful (Heather) is of Ulster-Scots descent. She proudly identifies as having Irish Travellers in her family line, aka “Gypsies”. Her Great, Great, Great-Grandmother Sarah Davidson was of Irish Traveller/Gypsy blood and lived in Northern Ireland (Ulster). They migrated to Ulster during the “great plantation”, the bulk of which happened around the 1770s.
Her Great Great Grandfather Jacob Smith was born in Canada, (his father’s roots shown here) and emigrated to Boston temporarily-reportedly via hitchhiking down the east coast of the US, then he permanently settled in Chicago. He was a gregarious entrepreneur and owned a Milk Truck Route in Chicago and another less well-known side gig of making “bathtub gin” during prohibition (Shhh!) lol . As you can see Heather comes from a long line of hustlers and hard workers, who know what they want and go after it. She is a scrapper who never quits, and she truly believes this is a genetic trait as well as environmental. She’s watched her family members carve lives out for themselves despite overwhelming odds. The fact that someone of Irish descent has become a success in America at all; a place where they were originally shunned, used for slave labor, and serftitude/endentured servanthood is amazing. We embrace this “never, never, never give up” (Winston Churchill) attitude and the shop owners here on Gypsy Spoonful are hard-workers, always hustling and dedicated to growing themselves through their small businesses.
These Irish Gypsies are not of the Romani people’s descent nor heritage. They are a separate race of people recognized by the Irish government. There are large present day populations of Irish Travellers/Gypsies in Ireland, the Uk, Australia and the United States. It is estimated there are 10-40,000 Irish gypsies that have assimilated to life in the United States alone.
The owner of Gypsy Spoonful proudly identifies herself as Gypsy and Irish Traveller, on her maternal family’s side and does not consider the term gypsy negatively in any way.
She embraces the word that recognizes the free spirited, creative, and ambitious nature of her people. The word gypsy in the Gypsy Spoonful name is used in the most positive way and not as a negative or derogatory term. It’s up to the individual as to how they choose to use words with multiple meanings, and we choose the JOYFUL interpretation.
Side Note: Heather (the founder/owner of Gypsy Spoonful) financially supports an Irish social outreach group located in Ireland to help her people, the Irish Travellers/Gypsies, this program also benefits Roma “gypsies” (not just Irish Travellers) to overcome and combat drug and alcohol addiction. You can visit their site and learn more about their social programs by visiting: PaveePoint. If you’re interested in donating to any of these causes and programs they head up, please visit this page by clicking HERE. Please consider donating to their center if you’re still concerned about Irish Travellers/Gypsies causes. Please take a moment to look at these fact sheets and educate yourself about current social issues in modern-times that are still faced by Travellers/Gypsies in Ireland and the UK-like discrimination, education and healthcare because of their nomadic and isolated lifestyle.
You can see about their work at the following links