TAMPA, Fla. - As Hurricane Dorian loomed closer to Florida's east coast, some Publix cake decorators decided to lighten the mood with hurricane-themed cakes — and the responses are mixed.
A Dorian-themed cookie cake first went viral on Wednesday, showing an outline of Florida with the hurricane's cone approaching the state.
Jessica Gouin, a Publix cake decorator, said she was with a co-worker when she made the decision to create a different hurricane cake design with the words "Go Away" scrawled on the side.
"I just started doing them just for fun, and they took off!" Gouin told FOX 13.
She said she wanted to bring a smile to customers' faces during what is otherwise a stressful time as people scramble to buy supplies for an impending storm.
However, not everyone was happy with the themed cakes.
"Bad look, guys," one person tweeted to Publix. "We need to move away from hurricane parties, toward go-bag-water-flashlights-and-shutters checklists."
Publix apologized to the user in a tweeted response: "We let you down. Individual locations did make some of the hurricane cakes you've seen and I will personally share your feedback with our bakery leadership team."
Another person wrote, "When standing in a long line of elderly couples - obviously out in a panic getting hurricane supplies... is it really in good humor selling $9.00 cookies depicting the devastation that may really lie ahead???"
The supermarket chain responded, "It is never our goal to offend anyone with the products we offer and I apologize that we let you down."
However, not everyone agreed with the complaints.
"We all need to lighten the mood with all the stressing out that we are going through and what better than a sweet cookie cake," one person said.
"Chill - a little humor helps in times of crisis," another user said. "Not everything is a trigger."
"Please stop. I am born and raised right here in Florida, still am actually, and I did not find this offensive what so ever," yet another person replied.