You don’t say

“That’s for sure a venial sin, and it might possibly elevate to a mortal sin depending on how many figs he tossed.”

Koch Industries spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia on someone who threw away figs from a shoot of her family’s prized fig tree, which was recently profiled in The Eagle

Koch Industries makes its own Tea Party joke through a Gridiron ad

WICHITA — Koch Industries isn’t particularly known for its sense of humor or ability to get along with journalists, but the company had the last laugh with its ad in this year’s Gridiron program.

Gridiron is an annual show spoofing current events that the Society of Professional Journalists puts on to raise scholarship money. In fact, Koch occasionally is the subject of said spoofing.

The theme of last weekend’s show was “Fifty Shades of Gridiron.”

The Koch ad, which was on the back page of the program, was headlined “Fifty Shades of Earl Grey” and showed a large teacup with a teabag in it, making light of Koch’s alleged Tea Party ties.

“Wait…so this isn’t a Tea Party meeting?” the copy says.

In smaller print, it says, “Koch Industries allegedly supports Gridiron with secretive dark money.”

Koch spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia says response has been great – particularly from journalists.

“People have seen, look, we do kind of laugh,” she says.

“We have a sense of humor.”


Koch Industries remodels its Koch Cafe

WICHITA — One of the biggest food venues in town is getting a makeover, but it’s not a restaurant.

It’s the 30,000-square-foot Koch Cafe, which as the name implies is the cafeteria at Koch Industries near 37th Street North and Oliver.

“It is a busy place,” says spokeswoman Melissa Cohlmia.

The cafeteria serves 2,600 employees including Charles Koch, who is a regular diner there.

Eurest Dining Services runs the cafeteria which has been closed since May 11. It won’t reopen until late September.

“So you can imagine with it being closed, people are trying to figure out how to eat,” says Craig Highfill, Koch’s vice president of facilities solutions.

Koch is trying to help.

“If we had all of our employees going out at one time, it would hit the market pretty hard,” Highfill says.

The Flying Stove food truck is now stationed at Koch on Thursdays.

Eurest also is using a remote kitchen to make some items to sell in a temporary cafe.

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You don’t say

“Koch, which has always been a very quiet company in Wichita, is getting a lot of unwelcome attention nationally, and that was the reason we scheduled the session, and it’s now also the reason they . . . decided to cancel.”

WSU’s Lou Heldman on how Koch Industries communications director Melissa Cohlmia, citing security concerns, canceled an on-campus appearance to discuss crisis communications Thursday (Heldman will still lead the talk at 9:30 a.m. at the CAC Theater)