A bakery in central Pennsylvania wants to send a clear message: It has never refused Joe Biden service, and please stop suggesting so on Facebook.
Lainie Byers of East Berlin, who just opened her business, Crumb & Get It, in April, was confused when she received messages Wednesday about the former vice president, the Red Hen restaurant in Virginia, and her store.
"All of a sudden I got slammed with all these crazy messages about not serving Joe Biden, and too bad for you, and I was like, what is going on?" she said.
Byers' shop shares a name with a bakery in Virginia whose owner, Chris McMurray, was widely praised by conservatives after refusing service to Biden in 2012. Paul Ryan, running alongside then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney, even brought McMurray on stage during a rally in Roanoke.
The bakery owner said he turned down a request from Biden's team to stop by as the vice president wrapped up a tour of Southern Virginia.
"This is an opportunity of a lifetime, but essentially I said, 'No offense to you or the campaign, but I just decline you guys coming in here,' " McMurray told WDBJ-TV in Roanoke at the time.
The story of the refusal recently reentered the national conversation after White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was kicked out of a Virginia restaurant called the Red Hen on Friday because of her work for President Trump. Conservatives, including Trump, have been critical of that business owner. On Twitter, the president called the restaurant "dirty."
Over the last day or so, Byers has received about 14 messages and reviews, mostly on Facebook, bashing the business. A volunteer social media staffer has been quick to delete and report the irrelevant comments, which have ranged from "ugh" to "you're getting what you deserve."
"Does God judge those who eat cookies ..methinks not !!!" read one comment, captured in a screenshot.
"You just wanted to make a political statement and when another business did the same you proved that you're nothing but petty and selfish by not speaking out," read another.
Byers, concerned about how the negative comments and reviews would affect her brand-new business, posted on Facebook Wednesday to clarify the misunderstanding.
"I'm in the square of Hanover," she said in a phone interview. "And I'm certain Joe Biden hasn't been here."
Crumb & Get It isn't the only business to be unfairly caught in the political crossfire. Over the last week, restaurants that share the name Red Hen across the country, including one in Swedesboro, have been hit with negative comments from people who didn't bother to do basic research.
The last thing Byers wants to do is to stir up controversy.
"I think politics are pretty private, so as a business owner, I keep my political view private," she said.
For her, it boils down to an unfortunate coincidence — one that might have been avoided if she had heard about the 2012 incident.