Shake Shack facing calls to boycott Martin’s rolls after owner pledged money to far right politician

Shake Shack facing calls to boycott Martin's rolls after owner pledged money to far right politician 2
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Shake Shack is facing calls to join boycotts of Martin’s Potato Rolls, after it was reported that the famous bread-making family made donations to the conspiracy theorist and republican nominee for Pennsylvania governor, Doug Mastriano.

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James Martin, the current executive chair and former president of Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe, donated $110,000 to Mastriano’s gubernatorial campaign, according to an April report in Spotlight PA. Since then it was revealed that Martin’s wife and daughter also contributed to the campaign. 

Mastriano is a Trump-backed senator who has been vocal about promoting the claims that Trump won the 2020 election, and who attended and helped organize the January 6th protest which then turned into the riot at the US Capitol. 

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News of Martin’s political allegiance to Mastriano has led to high profile chefs and local restaurants alike boycotting the Pennsylvania bread company which has long been a mainstay in the recipes of restaurants across the world.

Senator Doug Mastriano, currently a Pennsylvania state senator, is deeply ingrained in far-right politics and fringe theories

Senator Doug Mastriano, currently a Pennsylvania state senator, is deeply ingrained in far-right politics and fringe theories

Shake Shack is one of many high-profile companies that use Martin's Potato Runs. Shake Shack has continued to use the buns as boycotts of Martin's grow around the country

Shake Shack is one of many high-profile companies that use Martin’s Potato Runs. Shake Shack has continued to use the buns as boycotts of Martin’s grow around the country

Martin's potato rolls are used in the recipes of restaurants across the country. The boycott has left some restaurants scrambling to find replacements for the stalwart product

Martin’s potato rolls are used in the recipes of restaurants across the country. The boycott has left some restaurants scrambling to find replacements for the stalwart product

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‘I will not be buying any more Martin’s products, nor will I support any establishment that uses their buns until they change suppliers,’ wrote chef and bestselling author J. Kenji López-Alt on Instagram in June, ‘And I’d urge you to do the same if you don’t want your dollars supporting this stuff.’

Outlets across the country have reported that local restaurants have been joining in on the boycott and hastily looking for replacements for the stalwart potato buns, while major national chains like the Hard Rock Cafe and Shake Shack that are prominent users of Martin’s products continued using the buns.

‘Shake Shack has always championed equality, inclusion and belonging at our company — and we know these values are important to our guests and team members,’ a representative for Shake Shack told the Washington Post.

‘Shake Shack does not make political donations, nor does the company endorse the political donations of private individuals. In regards to the actions of individuals associated with the Martin’s company and their personal political donations – those are the choices of those individuals and do not express the values of Shake Shack. We continue to be in active conversations with Martin’s to express our concern.’

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Shake Shack facing calls to boycott Martin's rolls after owner pledged money to far right politician 3

Jim Martin (right), the executive chair and former president of Martin's. He donated $110,000 to Mastriano's gubernatorial campaign, according to an April report in Spotlight PA

Jim Martin (right), the executive chair and former president of Martin’s. He donated $110,000 to Mastriano’s gubernatorial campaign, according to an April report in Spotlight PA

Martin’s has not directly addressed the boycott, but on May 17 published a tweet supporting its employees’ rights to participate in politics as they like. 

‘Just like our country as a whole, Martin’s company is made up of a diverse group of employees and stockholders, all of whom are free to support and vote for whomever they choose. Martin’s as a company does not donate to any particular political candidate or party, but we encourage and celebrate the opportunity we all have to vote and share in the election process.’

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Mastriano, currently a Pennsylvania state senator, is deeply ingrained in far-right politics and fringe theories. 

Bestselling author and chef J. Kenji López-Alt (right) wrote that he would be joining the protest of Martin's in an Instagram post in June

Bestselling author and chef J. Kenji López-Alt (right) wrote that he would be joining the protest of Martin’s in an Instagram post in June

Doug Mastriano is the Trump-backed republican candidate for Pennsylvania's gubernatorial race

Doug Mastriano is the Trump-backed republican candidate for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race

He was elemental in an unauthorized audit of Pennsylvania voting machines after the 2020 election, according to the Washington Post, and allegedly attempted to convince lawmakers to ignore the state’s election results in favor of naming their own winner.

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Mastriano also paid for buses which shuttled protesters to the ‘Stop the Steal’ rally on January 6, 2021, and attended the rally himself. Mastriano claims that he left the rally before it turned violent.

Following the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Mastriano retweeted a video of himself comparing gun control laws to Nazi Germany. 

Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race, told the Washington Post that he does not support boycotts of Martin’s.

‘Personally, I think Martin’s makes a damn good potato roll and I’m not for boycotting a Pennsylvania business that supports hundreds of Pennsylvania jobs,’ Shapiro said, ‘The Martin family runs a private company and has the right to support and employ whomever they want, and I believe that every company should make whatever decisions they feel are best for them and their customers.’ 

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