A woman is trying to fend off a boycott of her Menlo Park business after a photo of her at President Donald Trump’s Washington, D.C. rally got shared across the internet.
“So this morning my friend sent me a screenshot of it and I was a little bit shocked,” said Emma Leschly of Palo Alto.
Leschly has been a customer of the popular candy shop, owned by Suzi Tinsley, since she was in middle school. She sad she was surprised to see someone she knows at the rally for Trump that then turned into a riot at the nation’s Capitol.
Henry Shane of Menlo Park has participated in several social justice events over the last year, and he’s now calling for a boycott of the candy shop.
“To participate in an anti-democracy protest that was instigated by the President of the United States, we say no more to that,” said Shane. “And we will not support your small business for that reason.”
Tinsley, owner of the Sugar Shack, would not go on camera with NBC Bay Area, but she did issue a statement.
She said she’s a big fan of Trump, and she flew to Washington, D.C. because this was going to be his last public appearance as president. She said she thought she was going to be attending a peaceful rally, but when things started getting unruly, she was actually pushed down and injured. So, she left to her hotel room.
Tinsley said she’s not on social media, so she’s not sure how this photo got shared.
According to her statement, “Just like every other American, I watched in horror as the chaos unfolded on television. I couldn’t believe my eyes and remain appalled at what I saw.”
She’s not the only Bay Area protester there for the rally that left shocked.
“There was no call for violence, and nobody expected to destroy anything,” said Maria Rutenberg of Redwood City. “I mean, we don’t do this. We’re not the party who destroys things. We’re a party who supported police all this year.”
Because of social media posts criticizing the Sugar Shack’s owner, people have already started posting negative reviews on Yelp.
Shane said he is not the organizer of the online boycott, but he is hoping to contact Tinsley to open a dialogue.
“I’m very open to speaking with her and having this conversation, because what we saw yesterday was disturbing, it was appalling,” Shane said.