Chesapeake doughnut shop Amazing Glaze was flooded with negative reviews and threatening phone calls after owner Mary Jane Hamblin’s husband attended the January 6 Trump rally in D.C. Although her husband was not involved in the subsequent riot at the Capitol, internet reviewers attacked her business. But after media picked up the story, Amazing Glaze was flooded with customers and supporters.
“We were probably down about 50 percent when the story first got out and people were thinking we were a part of what happened at the capitol,” Hamblin told The Virginia Star. A few days later, that trend had reversed. Hamblin said that all week they had about 300 percent of their normal business, with a few days reaching as high as 500 percent of normal.
Hamblin said her husband and some friends went to the rally to see Trump’s historic speech. Her husband left afterward, and while he was on the way home, one of Hamblin’s employees called and told her about an angry phone call the store received. A fellow business owner called Hamblin and told her to look at her Facebook page.
“I look on Facebook and found out a local teacher here had found a picture I had taken of my husband and his friends getting into the car, and that I had posted on my personal Facebook page,” Hamblin said. “She had somehow gotten ahold of [the photo] off my personal page, and she put it side by side next to my business page, with the headings, ‘Don’t support this business, they support what happened at the capitol,’ that kind of thing.”
“Then I saw all these people saying, ‘Don’t go to that shop, they’re domestic terrorists,'” Hamblin said.
“I walked into my store on [January 7] and the phone was ringing off the hook. ‘You guys are a bunch of terrorists, you’re racist, we hope your building burns.’ One woman threatened my grandchildren.”
Hamblin contacted law enforcement, and they said to let the calls go to voicemail to try to get recordings of the threats. Hamblin’s family spent most of the next few days reporting false reviews on Yelp! and Google.
“My daughters, each of them spent about 15 hours trying to do that. We just couldn’t keep up,” she said.
On January 8, the first news reports went out about the attacks on Amazing Glaze. “Saturday morning [January 9], we came in and there were cars just pulling in from everywhere. And people coming in saying we have your back, this is wrong, what is happening to you is wrong. We support you,” Hamblin said. “It was just amazing, all day long.”
The threatening phone calls continued, but supporters started calling in as well. Some callers were out of state, but still wanted to support the business so they ordered doughnuts and asked Hamblin to share them with local first responders.
Hamblin said, “We have been delivering doughnuts to nurses and fire departments and police stations.”
Since then, Amazing Glaze continues to receive huge amounts of business, alongside both supporting and threatening phone calls. A week later, on Friday, one caller threatened that he was coming to the shop, and Hamblin’s son made her go home early.
But Hamblin said good has come out of evil. One customer standing in her crowded shop said, “They tried to throw evil at you but God grabbed ahold of it and look what happened.”
“We have two really busy days in the doughnut shop — National Doughnut Day of course, and Valentine’s Day,” Hamblin said. “We have had days [this past week] where we have doubled what we do on those days.”
Hamblin draws two conclusions from the experience.
“People should really think twice before they take to the internet and jump to conclusions,” she said. “They need to realize that there’s consequences and people can be hurt.”
But she added, “I, as a conservative that loves my country, I don’t have to be afraid, I don’t have to be stifled to admit how I feel and what my beliefs are because there’s other folks out there that have my back.”
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