About three dozen protesters marched outside a Big Bear supermarket on Adams Avenue on Saturday, demanding that the San Diego-based chain stop selling Folgers brand coffee.
Folgers is a major purchaser of beans from El Salvador, and activists opposed to U.S. policy in the Central American nation have called for a nationwide boycott of the brand.
Critics say Salvadoran coffee growers have been linked to death-squad murders and other abuses during the 11-year civil war.
The coffee-growers, whose industry is El Salvador's largest, deny any connection to death squads.
Dana Hohn, a spokesman for the San Diego protesters, said the boycott had prompted major chains in several cities--including New York, Boston and Chicago--to stop carrying Folgers.
Big Bear, the largest San Diego-based chain, had initially agreed to cease ordering Folgers but company officials later changed their minds, according to Hohn.
Joseph Lucia, a Big Bear vice president who was present at the Adams Avenue market during the protest, declined to comment.
Saturday's protest may eventually become a generalized boycott of Big Bear stores, Hohn said.