Publix Grocery Store Receives Backlash Over Hurricane Dorian-Themed Cakes - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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Publix Grocery Store Receives Backlash Over Hurricane Dorian-Themed Cakes

Is it ever OK to make something sweet out of a potentially scary situation?

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    Publix Grocery Store Receives Backlash Over Hurricane Dorian-Themed Cakes
    Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
    The entrance to Publix grocery store in Ocala, Florida.

    Flashlights, lots of bottled waters and canned goods are all important things to stockpile before a big storm. But what about a brightly colored, hurricane-themed cake to liven things up? 

    Many people throughout the South are preparing for Hurricane Dorian to make landfall as it barrels towards Puerto Rico, Florida and Georgia. And while some headed out to the grocery store to buy the necessary provisions, a few shoppers visiting one Publix store were greeted with a surprising display of cakes echoing the theme of a mighty storm.

    On Wednesday, a tweeter posted a photo of the Florida-based grocery chain's bakery case stocked with cakes decorated for Dorian.

    The ones pictured were topped with the swirling eye of the storm in rainbow icing. Big letters on the sides of the cake read, "Go away." Other tweeters saw similar baked goods at the same store with different designs. One was a giant chocolate chip cookie decorated with an image of the storm over the state of Florida. 

    As photos of the cakes started circulating around social media, several people said they didn't find them very funny.

    Other just aren't sure what to think, while others found the designs very insensitive.

    A handler for the Publix customer service account, PublixHelps, apologized to tweeters who weren't pleased with the creations.

    "It is never our goal to offend anyone with the products we offer and I apologize that we let you down. Individual locations did make some of the hurricane cakes you’ve seen and I will personally share your feedback on this cake design," they wrote. 

    Many people supported Publix, however, and defended the grocery store staff for having a sense of humor under difficult circumstances.

    This isn't the first time the chain has received backlash (and praise) for making hurricane-themed treats. In 2017, customers shopping at one Publix location snapped pics of cakes decorated for Hurricane Irma.

    Though cakes are meant to be sweet confections, this isn't the first time bakers from major chains have left a sour taste in customers' mouths. 

    Last fall, one mom picked up a cake for her 2-year-old's birthday party from Walmart only to find they had written "loser" on it with icing. And another Walmart shopper was reduced to tears when she realized her daughter's special graduation cake was actually made out of styrofoam.

    This story first appeared on TODAY.com. More from TODAY: