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SND-Paula-Deen-Store

In the wake of the controversy surrounding a media smear campaign about Paula Deen’s use of the N-word, fans of the host of three popular Food Network television shows have taken to social media, and U.S. mail in support of the Queen of Southern Cuisine. Pre-orders of Deen’s latest cookbook, “Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up” skyrocketed over the last few days along with sales of Deen’s popular cookbook collection, kitchen and housewares, and home furnishings.

Butter for Paula Deen - Following Today Show Interview Fans Launch National Campaign

Stitches ‘n Dishes has been covering the ongoing developments in Deen’s battle to clear her name through a persistent media blitz, and launched the Stitches ‘n Dishes Paula Deen Store on its website as fans rush to the nearest retailer to purchase Paula Deen products in support.

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The Stitches ‘n Dishes Paula Deen Store has been dedicated in honor of The Bag Lady Foundation, founded by Deen in May. The Stitches ‘n Dishes Paula Deen Store, powered by Amazon features 340 home and kitchen products, 36 books and DVD’s, and 85 grocery items from the Paula Deen product lines. Commission proceeds from the sale of products in the store will be donated to The Bag Lady Foundation, appropriately named after Deen’s first catering business in addition to a “matching contribution” of $500.00 by Stitches ‘n Dishes.

The Bag Lady Foundation, still in its infancy stages, plans to help people, communities and like-minded organizations to empower those facing a range of challenges resulting from poverty. The foundation plans to raise money from a variety of financial resources, including a percentage of the net proceeds from Paula Deen Foods. It also will accept public and private donations. To date, the foundation has received financial commitments from Meyer Inc. and the FOX Network show “Master Chef.”

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The Deen fan favorite Facebook page, We Support Paula Deen launched a Butter Wrappers for Paula campaign which begins today. The fan page has amassed more than 500,000 fans in the past week.

“It was a spur of the moment thing,” the founder of the fan page, John Schmitt told Stitches ‘n Dishes. “I was listening to what’s going on and thought, ‘this is ridiculous.’” Schmitt, 49, the lead night auditor for a major hotel chain in Indianapolis, Indiana recalled when fans sent over nine tons of peanuts to CBS when it announced the cancellation of “Jericho” in 2007.

“I thought everyone should send an empty butter wrapper to Food Network and Scripps,” he said. “And now I guess I’m doing some planning.”

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With an increasingly large base of Deen supporters rallying together on the world’s largest social media platform comes an extraordinary force capable of delivering a very strong message to sponsors and partners who have parted ways with the Deen camp.

Butter for Paula Deen - Following Today Show Interview Fans Launch National Campaign

The powerful base of loyal Deen fans quickly organized to flood the social media pages and call centers for Food Network, sponsors and partners who have abandoned ship, sending a message not only to those cutting ties, but telling those who haven’t that they’ve won their support. The list of those supporting Paula Deen and Paula Deen Enterprises far surpasses the list of those who do not. Partners and sponsors who remain in the Deen camp or have made public statements of support include:

Alice Travel/Royal Caribbean Cruises
Landies Candies
Hoffman Media
Random House
Metropolitan Cooking Demo
Springer Mountain Farms
Epicurean Butter
Knoxville Wholesale Furniture
Club Marketing Services, Arkansas
Sandridge Foods
Universal Furniture
Metro Cooking Show Dallas
New York City Wine & Food Festival
TastyBlend Foods

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Schmitt encourages Deen supporters to reach out to sponsors and partners on both sides of the fence to urge them to continue their relationships with Deen, and they’re willing to make swift adjustments to their shopping habits to prove their point. The voice of the customer is extremely powerful, but when combined with volume and dollars, their message can be devastating for any business.

UPDATED: Food Network, Sears/K-Mart, JC Penney, QVC, Target, Walmart, Walgreens, Smithfield Farms, Home Depot, Caesars Entertainment, Ballantine Books and Novo Nordisk have publicly denounced Paula Deen, severed ties and swiftly distanced themselves from America’s Southern culinary sweetheart.

However, a growing list of celebrities, activists, service providers and journalists have made public statements in support of Deen, including:

President Jimmy Carter
Martha Stewart
Anne Rice
Donald Trump
Rev Jesse Jackson
Rev Al Sharpton
Bill Maher
Glenn Beck
NFL Pro Bowler, Kris Jenkins
Stacey Dash, Clueless
Amber D / Classicly Amber
The Sweet and Savory Sisters
ABC’s, The Chew (Mario Batali, Carla Hall, Clinton Kelly, Daphne Oz, Michael Symon)
WhereverTV
FoodChannel.com
Stitches ‘n Dishes

Pastor Gregory A. Tyson Sr., First Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church in Savannah, Georgia spoke out in support of Deen.

blf-logo2The Bag Lady Foundation is a personal passion for Deen; it’s named it after one of the first businesses she started, during an extremely difficult period in her life. In 1989, after her marriage of 25 years ended in divorce, she was left with only $200 and money was tight raising both her kids and her younger brother, Bubba. She worked, hanging wallpaper, as a bank teller, and selling real estate and insurance. She then started a catering service, making sandwiches and meals, which her sons Jamie and Bobby delivered, and named it “The Bag Lady.”

Today, Deen is well known for her Southern Cooking passion, having sold more than 8,000,000 of her 14 cookbooks and received an Emmy Award nomination for her work as host of “Paula’s Best Dishes.” Deen’s landmark restaurant, The Lady & Sons, based in Savannah, Georgia, has been the launch pad for an expanding restaurant empire. In addition to her food products, Deen has a highly successful line of Paula Deen Cookware, as well as Paula Deen Home, which features furniture and other products.

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About the Author

Chris Ford is the founder of Stitches 'n Dishes and editor in chief with a passion for food, photography and travel. Chris is a Media Correspondent for the Food Network TV show, Eat St, a syndicated blogger, seasoned event organizer and promoter, a food critic, a marketing consultant and Social Media Marketing expert. Chris is also a fashion and entertainment photographer. When he's not dining on the sidewalk, he's snapping photos on the catwalk.

  • JC McNamara

    Good Work John Schmitt, Chris Ford and everyone else who’s showing their support for Paula Deen!

  • Katherine Martinez Reig

    you forgot to mention Ceasar’s.

  • Judy Abrams

    I think if I were Paula Deen and they “offered” to “let me come back to Food Network I would use another word that no “fine Southern lady” should use…HELL-
    O NO!

    • Phyllis Jean Haws-Garard

      Would definitly tell them where to stick it

  • megan graham

    great post! my mom and i were just talking about what we thought she “came from” after her divorce last night. thank you for enlightening me even more on this wonderful, wonderful woman. she inspired me about 5 years ago to start cooking again, and made me fall in love with it! i’ve always baked, but was always afraid to cook, I mean really cook. my mom got me her Lady & Sons cook books, and i went to town! they are easy, and so far my husband and kids have only 1 favorite out of all of them…her fried chicken! i’ve never been able to fry good chicken, now i know the secret! here’s to hoping that she has a lighter version in her new cook book! thanks again for the post! you are doing a great job!!!

  • John Schmitt

    Since you published this. Sears/Kmart have announced they are phasing out her products.

  • Pinky5712

    The media was way too quick to jump into this without researching the story first. Paula Deen and her family have done so many good things for other’s as they know what it is to have nothing,but the media choose’s to only report negative thing’s. I hope it comes back 1000 fold on them. I hope whatever money Jackson got from the enquirer is going to last a long time because when she lose’s this made up lawsuit she is not going to be able to get a job anywhere.Maybe her and Casey Anthony can hide together.

  • Marcia Jones

    I am so sad about what is happening to Paula Deen and her family. She is a true Southern Lady who cares about everybody. If the tables where turned on another Food Network Star Paula would be the first one to support them. I believe in her, love her kindness and will stick by her 100%. I see a rainbow at the end of this terrible journey. Paula you are loved by all your fans, we are not going any where!!!!!

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  • Dianne Shelley

    I just think this is wrong on so many levels, not the least one being my concern over the female population and how many women have dammed her. I realize that a large part of her supporters are men and are standing behind her as well. You, Mr. Ford, are both a scholar and a gentleman. The very same applies to Mr. John Schmitt. But let’s face it. We still live in a “Good ‘ol Boys society. This is absolutely not a judgement but merely an observation. Women of all colors, religions, sexual preference, etc. should absolutely stand together instead of tearing each other apart! It both saddens and sickens me to see this.

  • Nancy Oldroyd Spain

    Lisa Jackson’s lawyer is just as bad and should be disbarred for sending a letter that amounts to legal blackmail or extortion.

  • Joan Commings

    I think the lawyer for the girl going after Ms. Paula needs to be put out in the spot light!!! The way I read it, it sounded almost like blackmail!!! (If you don’t do this, I’m going to spread it all over the newspaper, TV, all the magazines. etc.) That really sounds like blackmail to me!! They wanted Paula to “pay up” and all the lawsuit would go away!!! They are a bunch of sorry people.

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  • http://www.stitchesndishes.com/ StitchesnDishes

    Do you mean in our previous article? We updated the list once, but didn’t go back to update again. Random House may still be shown as a supporter, but you’re right – Random House = Ballantine