Stu Feldschuh’s initial reaction was to ignore the Facebook post. Mr. Feldschuh, who has owned Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe in Riverhead since 1988, said he knew it wasn’t true after an employee showed him the message.
“My first reaction was they’re talking about me and it’s absolutely never happened and never would happen,” said Mr. Feldschuh, who added that he rarely uses social media.
The post, a fourth-hand account alleging that someone was denied service at the ice cream shop over political beliefs, quickly gained steam on the social media platform Thursday.
As the day went on he began fielding calls from people, including the parent of an employee and the wife of a friend who heard about the Facebook post at work.
Finally, Mr. Feldschuh decided to go home — the only place he can access Facebook — and post a response on the business’s own page to refute the post alleging that someone had been denied service. It all added up to a hectic afternoon.
“We’re not like that,” he said. “I thought maybe it’s best to ignore. People started writing on our Facebook page and sending us messages saying ‘I know you guys would never do that. I know that’s not like you.’ So I’m trying not to make a big deal out of it.”
Mr. Feldschuh said he hasn’t seen any noticeable backlash caused by the Facebook post.
It wasn’t immediately clear where the story originated. The Facebook post began with the following:
“I was told this by one of my friends yesterday. I was talking with my sister-in-law today. She & my brother live in Riverhead. Their neighbor’s son went to Snowflake. The owner and another man were discussing the immigrant situation and put down Trump. The owner then asked the neighbors son what he thought. He said I voted for Trump.” He then told him he was refusing to serve him. I love Snowflake Ice Cream but never again for me.”
Mr. Feldschuh posted the following message on the Snowflake Facebook page Thursday afternoon:
Mr. Feldschuh said he would never deny someone service.
He said he thought it was wrong when a baker in Colorado refused to make a cake for a gay couple and it was equally as wrong when a Virginia restaurant refused to serve press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders recently.
“Whether I agree with any of it, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I think in this country you should have that right. We would never do it. It’s totally illogical. Riverhead voted for Trump, why would I want to throw away half my customers?”
Mr. Feldschuh stressed that he feels it’s important for people to be involved in elections. He said he places voter registration forms in the ice cream shop about six to seven months before each presidential election.
Photo caption: Snowflake Ice Cream Shoppe pictured in 2017. (Credit: Sascha Rosin, file)