A Washington mom says she was publicly ridiculed and permanently banned from a coffee shop, all because her kids left behind a few crumbs. Kellea Poore says it happened at the Rainy Day Cafe in Lake Stevens.
It all started Friday morning, when Kellea and a friend took their kids to the Lake Stevens library.
Afterwards, they decided to walk across the street for coffee and a snack at the Rainy Day Cafe.
"We went inside, we ordered, everything was fine, and we sat down," she said. "I had my one-year-old in my lap and my three-year-old sitting in the chair next to me."
She says they'd only been there for a few minutes when the owner walked up to the table and pointed at a pile of crumbs that had fallen to the floor while her kids ate the scones she had purchased.
"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."
Kellea says she was dumbfounded by the comment, and left quickly with her children.
A few hours later, she discovered a picture on the coffee shop's facebook page. It was a picture of the crumbs beneath their table, with a comment from the shop's owner that said "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."
Kellea, who happens to be a military mom and wife whose husband is currently deployed, then shared that post on her Facebook wall.
In a few hours, the Rainy Day Cafe received dozens of comments on its facebook wall, criticizing the owner for her decision.
Eventually, she removed the post and apologized for posting the picture.
KING 5 spoke to Lorraine MacDuff about why she told Kellea not to return with her children.
"It's not that I don't like kids, it's just that we have to make a conscious business decision about the level of maturity of children that come in here," she said.
MacDuff said she sponsors several local youth sports teams and welcomes them in her shop.
While she does feel bad that Kellea was offended by her post on Facebook, MacDuff said that is the only thing she can apologize for.
"I know a lot of people think I should be like 'I'm so sorry' but that's probably not going to happen," she 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."
Had she known they had ties to the military, MacDuff says she probably would have said hello. She is married to a Gulf War veteran.
Still, Kellea says that doesn't make it right.
"It's a half apology," said Kellea. "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."