Mark Humphrey / AP file
A Cracker Barrel restaurant is in Nashville, Tenn.
Country store and restaurant Cracker Barrel filled display stands once more with "Duck Dynasty" merchandise on Sunday, only two days after removing the products in the wake of a cast member's anti-gay comments and his subsequent suspension from the A&E show.
"Dear Cracker Barrel Customer: When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we've done," a letter from Cracker Barrel posted on its website said.
Cracker Barrel announced on Friday in a Facebook post that stores stopped selling "Duck Dynasty" paraphernalia "which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation."
Cracker Barrel never stopped selling Duck Commander merchandise, which is also affiliated with the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty. "We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores," the post specified.
Duck Dynasty merchandise is A&E branded, while Duck Commander products — including "Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen Cookbook" and a "Duck Commander Devotional Book" — aren't produced by the television network. Both franchises offer mugs, t-shirts and hats and the like.
Cracker Barrel spokesman Jeff Eller would not comment on why the company did not pull Duck Commander products when it removed Duck Dynasty products.
A&E suspended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch, Phil Robertson, from the show on Thursday after he offended much of the LGBT community and many others while explaining his beliefs during a GQ magazine interview.
Cracker Barrel said in Friday's Facebook post that their "mission is pleasing people," but many of Cracker Barrel's customers weren't pleased by the decision.
Friday's Facebook announcement garnered over 5,000 comments, many of which were from outraged customers threatening to boycott the eatery and store.
One woman said her church's luncheon would not take place at Cracker Barrel as originally planned. "Chick Filet (sic) here we come," wrote Sandy Herman.
"Whoever made this decision should be FIRED!!!!! think about your TARGET audience and consumers. You're in the Bible Belt. Way to cower to the GLADD community. The last few (hundred) times I ate at your restaurant, I saw traditional families and older couples. I'm officially done with your place," wrote Suzanne Sawyer Hines.
Cracker Barrel's letter released Sunday referenced customer complaints, saying, "You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong. We listened. Today, we are putting all our Duck Dynasty products back in our stores."
First published December 22 2013, 7:15 PM