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Former employee of Vancouver Candle Co. says co-owner threatened her

"You have no idea how much I want to slam your [expletive] face into the ground, do you?"
nick-stepped
Photo: vancouvercandleco / Instagram

A former employee is speaking out against one of the owners of Vancouver Candle Co. after the company came under fire for a series of racist, disturbing texts.

The Vancouver-based candle company has come under fire for a series of racist and threatening messages that a local sales agency says it received from the company's co-owner, Nick Rabuchin.

Over the weekend, the Warner McDaniel Agency shared a series of screenshots in an Instagram post that they say contain conversations with Rabuchin of Vancouver Candle Co. The messages contain disturbing and hateful racist language.

A number of companies that Vancouver Candle Co. has worked with have responded in anger, sadness, and shock. 

Now, Nicolette Zoric, Rabuchin's former assistant, is coming forward to call out her former employer. In an Instagram post, she writes that she has seen first hand how, "sick this individual is and how he spent no time bad mouthing anyone who came upon him."

Zoric also shares a series of texts that she says Rabuchin sent her. One of them reads, "You have no idea how much I want to slam your [expletive] face into the ground, do you?" and the next one tells her to watch out. 

In an email, Zoric tells Vancouver Is Awesome that she cannot fully speak to her past experience with Rabuchin due to a Non-Disclosure Agreement. However, she says that she did suffer mentally for a couple of months after she resigned from Vancouver Candle Co. 

"All I can say is that I suffered mentally for a couple months after resignation - was still being contacted with hateful messages by him personally and with a fake account and then sent that death threat in November. No apology," she writes. 

In her post, Zoric adds that, "Never would have thought that he was capable of so much hate until I got "anonymous"  threatening messages in November (having a gut feeling it may be him) I let those messages slide. Until yesterday - having discovered I was not the only victim to his November psychotic rampage."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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In light of recent events, I am coming forward to call out Nick of Vancouver Candle Co. Having been his assistant; I have seen first hand of how SICK this individual is and how he spent no time bad mouthing anyone who came upon him. I quit and was forced to go on mental medical leave for how he affected me. Never would have thought that he was capable of so much hate until I got "anonymous" threatening messages in November (having a gut feeling it may be him) I let those messages slide. Until yesterday - having discovered I was not the only victim to his November psychotic rampage. Uttering death threats and hiding behind a fake facade is one thing, but to call someone the most demoralizing word that everyone is fighting against; is criminal. Nick your apologies are tainted by the hate that drives you - a hate so strong that the world will throw it back at your face. You wanted everyone around you to burn, but it looks like we all get the front row seats. #blacklivesmatter #blackvancouver #womenslivesmatter #enoughisenough #Harassment #Racism #Bullying #WomanEntrepreneur #BlackWomenEntrepreneur #Vancouver #Newracialparadigm #revolutionNow

A post shared by Nicolette Zorić (@nicolette.zoric) on

On Monday, June 8, Vancouver Candle Co. apologized for, "any hurtful, inappropriate or racial comments," but adds that "there's many things that the original post by Warner McDaniel Agency does not disclose, most of which, due to ongoing litigation since 2019, we are not able to speak to."

Today, the company shared an image that reads, "I f**cked up." Co-owner Rabuchin also authored a caption that accompanies the image, which states, "I said things that are unacceptable, hurtful and contrary to the values of our company. Racism has never been and will never be tolerated at Vancouver Candle Co. My past words are not reflective of what we stand for as a company." 

In addition to stating that he is "ashamed and embarrassed, Rabuchin says that he is stepping down from the company: "My partner and I agree that it is best that I step away from Vancouver Candle Co, so the company can continue doing what it does best, without the distractions that I caused. I will take time to focus on becoming a better person, including taking sensitivity training, and I will continue to listen and learn. I promise to do better."

The company's other co-owner is Farouk Babel, Rabuchin's partner. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Nick, Co-Owner: I said things that are unacceptable, hurtful & contrary to the values of our company. Racism has never been & will never be tolerated at Vancouver Candle Co. My past words are not reflective of what we stand for as a company. My hypocrisy stops now. It is my time of reckoning. I own my part & apologize without reservation. I make a firm commitment to do better, be better & to help banish all forms of hate. While I did not send the offending text message that used the N-word, I did rationalize the use of that hateful slur as being an acceptable part of pop culture. I apologize sincerely & absolutely. I was totally out of line & wrong. Putting aside our litigation for a business matter, I owe the recipient an apology & have reached out to her. Also, 3 years ago, I sent a derogatory text about a fellow member of the Jewish community. My text was most offensive. I’m ashamed & embarrassed. I apologized to the recipient then & I apologize now. I will also reach out to Ms. Rothman. My life partner & I have always prided ourselves on being models of diversity & inclusivity in our personal lives & as co-owners of Vancouver Candle Co, especially since we are an interracial gay couple. Today I realize that I used my diverse identity as a licence to behave poorly, which is just wrong, and I am truly sorry. I let down my family, the community, our employees & vendors, our valued retailers, & myself. I realize now that my diversity puts a greater responsibility on me to set positive examples & combat all forms of hate. This life-changing moment forces me to reflect on my past to map a better future for myself & our company. My partner & I agree that it is best that I step away from Vancouver Candle Co, so the company can continue doing what it does best, without the distractions that I caused. I will take time to focus on becoming a better person, including taking sensitivity training, & I will continue to listen & learn. I promise to do better. I’m going to start by contacting Black Lives Matter Vancouver & the Jewish Foundation of Greater Vancouver with an apology. I just hope you can find it in your hearts to forgive me. Thank you.

A post shared by Vancouver Candle Co. (@vancouvercandleco) on

Retail giant Chapters Indigo states that it will pull all of Vancouver Candle Company's products from its online site and stores

Nordstrom Canada also carries the candle company, and it responded to a comment on an Instagram post last night calling for it to remove the product, writing:  Nordstrom does not tolerate discrimination of any kind and this extends to our partners. We take this seriously and are looking into these claims. - Lauren."

V.I.A. has reached out to Vancouver Candle Co. for comment and will update the story when information becomes available.