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Costco nixes sales of Palmetto Cheese 3 weeks after owner calls BLM 'terror' group

Costco nixes sales of Palmetto Cheese 3 weeks after owner calls BLM 'terror' group

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Costco Wholesale soon might no longer stock Palmetto Cheese, weeks after the pimento cheese brand's owner, Brian Henry, called Black Lives Matter a "terror organization" on Facebook.

The move by Costco, confirmed by Henry's spokeswoman, Tiffany Andrews, is the latest blow to the well-known brand's reputation since Henry's Facebook post in August. However, Henry said in a statement that Costco often rotates its variety of products and is hopeful Palmetto Cheese will return to its stores.

Henry also is the mayor of Pawleys Island, a small South Carolina coastal town of around 100 residents.

"2 innocent people murdered," Henry wrote in the Facebook post, referring to the killings of two people following a car accident in Georgetown last month. "Not 2 thugs or people wanted on multiple warrants. 2 white people defenselessly gunned down by a black man. Tell me, where is the outrage?"

Since the post, Henry has also faced calls to resign from his mayoral office. The Georgetown County NAACP held a protest on Monday demanding his resignation.

Henry responded Friday to Costco's decision to at least temporarily stop selling Palmetto Cheese.

"Costco rotates items in and out during the course of the year," Henry said in a statement. "They will occasionally add and drop products as a matter of normal business. Costco has been a valued partner for nearly a decade, and we remain optimistic that Palmetto Cheese will be back on their shelves in the not too distant future. Our goal is to make our product available to all of our loyal customers, and we thank them for their continued support."

The remaining containers of Palmetto Cheese will remain in Costco's stores until it is sold out, Andrews said. The product cannot be found on Costco's website.

Earlier this week, Andrews said in an email that Henry would be providing "items needed by the minority community" in the area, such as laptops. Seven local churches are to be among the recipients, the spokesperson said.

Henry also plans to create a $2,500 scholarship each semester with the Horry-Georgetown Technical College.

After Henry's Facebook post became public, his use of a Black woman on the cover of the Palmetto Cheese packaging began to draw ire.

The woman pictured on the packaging is Vertrella Brown, a former cook at the Henry family's Sea View Inn on Pawleys Island. Andrews said Henry's company had already begun redesigning the packaging and the new label would be on store shelves by the end of October.

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