Why the maker of Martin’s potato rolls is in political trouble – Quartz

If you’ve ever eaten a Shake Shack burger, you’ve eaten a Martin potato roll, which has been described as the “platonic ideal” of a hamburger bun.

Just Sweet Enough French Toast Rolls have become a cult favorite in Pennsylvania, where Martin’s Famous Bakery Shoppe was founded in 1955. They’ve been a barbecue and supermarket staple in the Northeast for decades, and have recently found fans in the worldwide under the name Shake. Shack, with its hundreds of locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, has adopted Martin’s as a supplier to its growing burger empire.

But recently, potato rolls have left some people with a bad taste in their mouths. Jim Martin, executive chairman of the bakery and former chairman of Martin’s, was recently identified as the main financial backer for far-right politician Doug Mastriano, Pennsylvania state senator and retired US Army colonel who last month became the Republican Party’s gubernatorial nominee for the 2022 midterms.

Now, some consumers are calling for a boycott of Martin’s buns. “It’s very disturbing,” a Philadelphia restaurant owner who serves Martin’s potato bread told Billy Penn, a news site for public radio station WHYY. “As things become more polarized and politicians become more extreme, do we have to draw a line somewhere?”

Potato roll connection to Mastriano turns stomachs

Mastriano’s successful bid to become the GOP nominee in Pennsylvania, aided by the endorsement of former President Donald Trump, rattled progressive voters and less extreme Republicans alike. The state senator supports a comprehensive ban on abortion and has been seen at events hosted by QAnon conspiracy theorists, The New York Times reports.

Mastriano has also been a zealous Trump loyalist, echoing false claims that Trump actually won the 2020 election and attempting to overturn the results in Pennsylvania. He organized buses for the January 6, 2021 rally that turned into a deadly insurgency and attended the event, where video footage showed him crossing police lines. (He said he was unaware of plans to overthrow the government that day and did not enter the Capitol building.)

A week after a horrific elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Mastriano shared a video clip from a 2018 election debate in which he compared gun control regulations in the United States to Germany. nazi.

“It’s appalling to me every time there’s a shooting, the left will jump on it as a way to advance an agenda to take away our right to bear arms. … What other right will they suspend? Mastriano told the time.

“We saw Lenin do the same in Russia. We saw Hitler do the same in Germany in the 1930s. Where does he stop? Where do tyrants stop violating our rights?

On Instagram, popular chef and writer J. Kenji López-Alt called attention to a Capital & Main report that quotes Mastriano bragging that he can decertify all of the state’s voting machines “in one go.” feather”.

“This is no joke. This is not small town local politics,” the leader wrote. “It affects PA gubernatorial elections, which play a pivotal role in presidential elections. Americans.”

Others are busy looking for a decent replacement for Martin. (Shake Shack did not immediately respond to questions.)

Martin donated $110,000 to Mastriano’s campaign last year, according to Billy Penn, who also reports that “No other donor wrote a six-figure check to Mastriano’s campaign this year or the last year”. Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe did not respond to Quartz’s request for comment.Martin’s Famous Pastry Shoppe did not respond to Quartz’s request for comment.

Virginia C. Taylor