Florida Grocery Store Under Fire for Selling Hurricane Dorian Cakes

Publix was criticized on Twitter after a photo of a chocolate chip cookie cake with Hurricane Dorian inspired decoration went viral this week. The Lakeland, Florida-based grocery store chain apologized for offending anyone. Hurricane Dorian is expected to make landfall on Florida's east coast by early next week.

On Wednesday, journalist Feliz Karen tweeted a picture of the cake, which shows a map of Florida made of frosting with a hurricane approaching it. The decoration is so detailed that it even includes a cone around the hurricane, illustrating its forecast path.

After noticing the photo, hundreds of Publix customers started tweeting about it, in disbelief that the chain would decorate a cake like this.

"I love Publix but y'all ain't s– for this," one person wrote.

"What is up with Publix always selling this crap during hurricane season?" another asked.

"Do you know what makes living through all of these hurricanes in Florida easier to stomach? A nice 'Dorian' - themed cookie cake and a glass of milk! Be prepared and stay safe everyone," Jim Williams, the chief of media relations at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base, tweeted.

A handful of Publix fans though the design was funny, with one person writing, "This is prepping for Dorian like a native."

Publix responded to the tweets with an apology.

"Hi, thank you for your feedback on the cakes. 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," the chain responded to several tweets.

As the Tampa Bay Times notes, Publix is not the only store preparing for Dorian with special barked goods. Cinotti's Bakery in Jacksonville has a Hurricane Dorian doughnut now available.

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Back in 2017, Publix bakeries across Florida made Hurricane Irma inspired cakes. While some turned the cakes into a meme, others thought those were in poor taste, just as they did for the Dorian cakes.

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Hurricane Dorian is no laughing matter. According to the most recent advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Dorian is now a Category 3 hurricane, with sustained winds reaching 115 mph. It is about 595 miles east of West Palm Beach as of Friday afternoon. The Weather Channel reports that it is expected to intensify to a Category 4 and will slow down as it approaches Florida. Dorian is forecast to move slowly up the East Coast.

Photo credit: Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images