- Rouses Markets is facing calls for boycotts after co-owner and former CEO Donald Rouse Sr. was identified in a picture on social media with the mob supporting President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C., last week.
- In a statement reported by several Louisiana media outlets, Rouse Sr. said he had been there to support President Trump and left before the mob turned violent and invaded the U.S. Capitol. Rouse Sr. condemned the insurrection in the statement, writing he was “horrified" and that he condemned "the actions of those who unlawfully entered and damaged our hallowed institutions and threatened our public servants."
- Another grocer in Louisiana, Breaux Mart Supermarkets, is also trying to manage backlash after its owner, Barry Breaux, reportedly shared on his private Facebook page false claims that Antifa activists were in the mob in D.C.
Both supermarkets are looking to calm sharp criticism about their owners following the violent protest that delayed Congress from certifying the presidential election results.
The publisher of a local investigative news outlet shared the photo of Rouse Sr. alongside former human resources director Steve Galtier among a sea of Trump supporters. According to local news outlets, the photo was posted to Galtier's Facebook account, which has since been deleted.
Having opened its first store in 1960, Rouses is now one of the largest independent grocers in the U.S., with more than 7,000 employees and 64 stores across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Donald's son, Donny Rouse, is currently CEO of the company.
“Though I am no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Rouses, that’s my family’s name on the building and my actions reflect on my family, Rouses and this community I love so dearly … Our country desperately needs to come together to heal,” Rouse Sr. said in the statement.
By the end of the week, Rouses’ social media accounts had thousands of comments, many with messages like, “Will never shop here again."
The Louisiana chapter of the NAACP is ending its relationship with Rouses, while The Krewe of Red Beans, an organization that helps with an event during Mardi Gras, said it would return a $20,000 donation from the grocer, according to NOLA.com.
Meanwhile, Breaux Mart, which was founded in 1969 and is run by the founder’s son, issued a statement seeming to distance itself from Breaux’s alleged Facebook post.
“Breaux Mart is NOT what you’ve seen in a Facebook post from one person,” the grocer posted on Facebook. “One person’s opinions do not collectively reflect the views of Breaux Mart employees/management.”