LAKE STEVENS, Wash. — Washington mom Kellea Poore took her 3- and 1-year-old sons to the Rainy Day Caffe in Lake Stevens last week.
As a military mom whose husband is currently deployed, she's used to taking her kids out alone, but she wasn't expecting to be publicly humiliated when store owner Lorraine "Rainy" MacDuff asked them to leave.
"The woman came up and she basically told us there was going to be a worker coming over and she was going to vacuum up the mess and that they had just spent $50 cleaning the carpets and she didn't appreciate us making such a mess, and that next time if we decided to come in, not to bring our kids," Poore told King 5 News.
Poore and her children quickly left, still in shock over what took place. But MacDuff, who admits to being snarky and sarcastic, went a step further and decided to take a picture of Poore's mess and post it to Facebook.
The caption read:
"Like to take a moment to thank our customers with small children whose kids don't make a mess. A couple of ladies came in today and this is the mess their children made."
Much to her surprise, the comment and photo caused quite the stir among other young mothers and military moms online. MacDuff removed the photo and issued an apology.
"I want to apologize for posting that picture. It was not right to do that and I am deeply sorry for any embarrassment it might have caused anyone," the post read.
But Poore has expressed that the apology simply wasn't enough, as it was more the embarrassment in the café that she was upset about.
"It's a half apology because it's not apologizing for her behavior in the store, and that was the most humiliating part — to be berated by someone who owns the shop, and you just paid money to buy their product," Poore said.
Others online agree with Poore and have continued to comment on the company's Facebook page.
"That's good you posted this, but with no disrespect you need to apologize to the mom publicly, directly because its hard all around to be a woman, and mother, making a living and raising kids," Margarita Aragon wrote.
Diana Egan pointed out the cruelty that can be found on social media and shared her advice with the restaurant.
"It's so easy, isn't it, on Facebook to be ruder than we might be face to face. To the owners of this cafe — time to stop the negativity for your souls' sake and back away from this chapter in your business life and get on with being a good cafe. I'm sorry you and that family walked into this trap. Hope good will come out of it for both of you."
MacDuff spoke with King 5 News regarding the response online.
"I know a lot of people think I should be like, 'I'm so sorry,' but that's probably not going to happen," MacDuff said.
"We love kids and it's not a matter of not liking kids, again, it's about executing my right to refuse service to anybody. It's not targeting — I didn't know they were military wives."
Others supported MacDuff online in her decision to ask the mother and kids to leave, especially regarding the mess and noise that they had caused.
"Alright, I'll say it. You people with kids decided to complicate your lives freely, stop complicating other peoples lives just because you now realize you've made a huge mistake!! If you have kids, stay at HOME! Nobody want your germy little mess makers running around a public place disturbing the peace! You made the choice, now live with it like an adult," Timothy Clemmer wrote.
When asked about the photo she posted online, MacDuff explained her thought process.
"It was supposed to be snarky. If I wanted to humiliate them I would have taken their picture," MacDuff said in an interview. Others online agreed that the photograph was not offensive.
"People are overly sensitive. She posted a picture of the FLOOR. There are a lot of places and stores where you will be asked to leave for making a mess. The only reason anyone knows who this woman even is is because she ran her mouth to the news because she was mad that someone pointed out that she was a slob," Tara Bowman wrote.
"I work in retail and watch parents let their kids behave like monsters and destroy and make messes of everything and I don't think its right for any of us to be given all the extra work of other people's unruly children."
While the company’s Facebook page was receiving media attention, MacDuff decided to donate the cost of one scone for each comment made during a one-hour period. MacDuff raised $104 for kids' back-to-school supplies.
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