At least three central Pennsylvania grocery chains have stopped selling Gumbas sauces and salsas.
Karns Foods, Giant and Stauffers of Kissel Hill pulled the products made by Michael Mangano, a family spokesman for the Taste of Sicily restaurant in Palmyra, according to LebTown, a media organization.
Mangano has been an outspoken critic of Gov. Tom Wolf’s coronavirus restrictions on restaurants and businesses and has personally attacked Health Secretary Rachael Levine, who is a transgender woman.
Mangano, who writes on the Gumbas Facebook page that he is not against the LGBTQ community, refers to Levine as “Richard.”
“These stores are not worthy to carry my high quality product owned by a person with conviction to take a stand against a tyrannical Governor who does things that are UNCONSTITUTIONAL and then you have his very ‘confused’ sidekick who was born a man and made a man by God himself (that would be Richard) and this guy is making decisions about the health of PA residents lol, who’s the one that’s actually “out there”???!!,” Mangano writes.
In a statement to LebTown, Giant spokeswoman Ashley Flower said, “we are committed to being an inclusive place to work and shop, reflective of the diverse communities we are honored to serve. We are dedicated to providing a culture of inclusion and belonging for all team members, supplier partners, customers and neighbors where everyone is respected, valued, heard and welcomed just the way they are. We firmly believe that diverse people, ideas and experiences make us a better place to work and better able to serve our customers in every community.
“Accordingly, we have decided to part ways with this vendor and are in the process of removing the company’s products from stores.”
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Earlier this month, LebTown reported Karns was the first to pull Gumbas sauces from store shelves.
“We cannot and will not support intolerance toward any person regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation,” said Andrea K. Karns, vice president of sales and marketing.
Taste of Sicily made headlines when it reopened its dining room in mid-May, back when many counties were still in the “yellow” phase. In July, the establishment’s license was temporarily suspended and the owners racked up fines topping more than $10,000 after serving diners before the state’s transition to the “green phase.”
Mangano posted on social media he has plans to sell the sauces at other stores. The all-natural, gluten-free sauces is advertised as an everyday sauce sold in original and Romano cheese along with mild and hot BBQ salsas.
“I thank you for sending a very clear message to these companies who are hypocrites in what they say that they believe in, in that they are inclusive and diverse and that they respect other people’s beliefs and or opinions “unless it’s different than theirs,” he wrote.
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