DAVIS, Calif. — A sandwich shop in Davis abruptly closed after the owner criticized Black Lives Matter as an organization and likened it as a flip side to the Ku Klux Klan.
Mr. Pickle's Sandwich Shops made the announcement on their Instagram account. They flagged the Davis shop as having made "alarming and painful statements" to his staff.
Wendy Weitzel, columnist for the Davis Enterprise, reported the store was shutdown after owner Mickey Mann sent a berating email to his employees after an employee wore a Black Lives Matter pin to work.
A copy of the email was also posted to Twitter.
On Thursday, in an interview with ABC10, Mann said that he wishes that he did not send the letter but that he stands by his statements.
Mann's email said the store had a policy of leaving politics out of the workplace, which he said included far-right groups and groups like Black Lives Matter.
In the email, he berated employees and Black Lives Matter, likening BLM to the KKK.
“The BLM is the flip side of the KKK. Their tactics are out of the Mafia play book. They are no better that (sic) some of the worst oppressive regimes in the world,” Mann said in the email.
While Mann wrote in the email that he was not scared of repercussions or of his employees quitting. Mr. Pickle's corporate management ended up closing the shop after learning of the statements. The location has also been removed from the company's website.
"Corporate has been notified of the alarming and painful statements made by the owner of the Davis shop to his staff. We made the decision to terminate his franchise and is now permanently closed for business. If that location ever re-opens, it will be under new ownership that upholds our corporate standards," Mr. Pickle's said on their Instagram page.
Mann claimed BLM's agenda was one of "oppression, turmoil, and chaos" and that he and his shop were victims of it.
“The BLM has become your Puppet Masters. You have swallowed their Kool-Aid. They have unleashed you on us. They have directed you to forcefully bend me to their will,” Mann wrote in the email.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect that ABC10 spoke with Mickey Mann the day after this story was published. For more on that interview, CLICK HERE.