June 29, 2022

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Houston food community reacts to Uvalde shooting

4 min read

On the morning of May 24, Chasitie Lindsay, owner of multiple vegan businesses in Houston including Mo’ Better Brews, had attended her son’s 1st grade graduation at the Imani School. Hours later, she posted a couple videos on her Instagram stories, weighing in on the latest school shooting to happen in the United States.

A gunman entered Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday, killing 21 people, among them 19 children. It’s among the deadliest school shootings in history.

On Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, while many Houston restaurants’ social media accounts were posting regularly scheduled content—highlighting items on their menus or promoting specials—a handful of notable people in the food industry paused to acknowledge the tragedy.

Lindsay filmed herself saying it seems like one shooting empowers the next person, and expressed her dismay that kids were the victims this time around. “Nobody is safe,” she said.


An hour later, she posted a video from her car: “And the sad part is we just have to turn around and go about the rest of our day like it ain’t nothing, like it’s just another day, just another shooting.” Lindsay was heading to a DJ gig (which she does on the side) and wondered aloud how she was meant to act happy after hearing such terrible news.

Lisa Seger, the owner of Blue Heron Farm in Waller County, is well-known in Houston—where she sells her goat cheese—for being outspoken in person and on social media about politics. In 2018, she even ran for the Texas state house as a Democrat, but lost. She often engages with Republican politicians on Twitter, disagreeing with them on everything from reproductive rights to gun laws, typically with colorful language.

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“The first thing we should do is immediately halt production of all assault rifles,” Seger tweeted on Tuesday. “We can talk about what to do with the 20 million that are already out there later.”

Seger began brainstorming protest signs to bring to the National Rifle Association convention, which is happening this weekend in Houston, and also made rainbow graphics that read “F-ck your thoughts and prayers” that she sent as replies to tweets from lawmakers such as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

On Instagram, Jonny Rhodes—chef-owner of the critically acclaimed but now closed Indigo—was among the first to break the food-filled feed on Tuesday. He made his stance known on the right to bear arms, as an advocate of the 2nd Amendment, while expressing concern for the Uvalde tragedy: “I seriously cannot deny the problem here. I’m not sure what the compromise is, but I saw my kids, I saw my godson, the nieces, nephews and my mother who is a teacher. Thoughts and prayers, I have none. Only grief…”

Nicole Buergers of Bee2Bee tweeted: “I sold honey from Uvalde to raise money for the El Paso shooting fund. That shouldn’t even be a sentence.” Buergers makes and sells neighborhood-specific honey in Houston and other parts of Texas. Her message is a stark reminder of the increasingly high number of harrowing gun incidents happening across the nation. The 2019 El Paso shooting claimed 23 lives by a shooter who opened fire on Wal-Mart shoppers.

Husband and wife barbecue duo Patrick and Erin Feges of Feges BBQ took to social media to voice their anguish and frustration. Erin posted a message via Instagram stories where she shared: “I’m at a loss for words. And a loss for hope.” On Twitter, Patrick shared raw feelings about the tragedy, including saying that every week something signals to them that they shouldn’t have a second child. “Sh-t is f–ked and the people in charge don’t seem to care,” he concluded.

In a Twitter thread, Scott Tranweaver of Jenni’s Noodles shared his stance on gun legislation, as a gun owner and Texan, saying “there is middle ground on the 2nd amendment.” Tranweaver’s lengthy tweet listed a string of possible fixes to the country’s mass shooting problem, concluding with a plea for “more regulation not less.”

Like so many have, school teacher and founder of the Cultivated Classroom Kellie Karavias shared the emotional video of Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr, where he voiced his desperation during an NBA press conference. “As an educator I’m so tired and stressed out. Where are we going people? I’m feeling Coach Kerr,” Karavias said.

Truth BBQ co-owner Abbie Byrom posted a simple but gut-wrenching message to her Instagram stories: “Coffins should never be that small,” followed by a separate slide with a quote about grief by American poet William C. Bryant.

Julep bar owner Alba Huerta shared a string of slides to her Instagram stories, beginning with the harrowing fact that parents were waiting at a civic center to learn if their children were murdered while at school, adding that it cannot continue to happen. She went on to share a number of tweets and videos from news reporters and government officials matching her disappointment.

Some other businesses and personalities posted graphics on their social media feeds expressing condolences to Uvalde. “Top Chef” contestant Evelyn Garcia shared a news post from KPRC 2 Houston with the word “enough” and a broken heart emoji.



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