Some people are threatening a boycott of a Menlo Park business after it came to light that its owner attended a pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6 after which a mob violently invaded the U.S. Capitol.
The Almanac received several news tips showing a photo of Suzi Tinsley, owner of downtown Menlo Park business Sugar Shack, in a crowd of people near the Capitol building with what looks like a Trump flag tied around her shoulders and a red "Keep America Great" hat on her head, with two thumbs up. She is also shown not wearing a mask in the photo.
Tinsley has not responded to requests for comment.
According to NBC Bay Area, she issued a statement saying that she supports Trump and made the trip to D.C. to see his last appearance as president, but thought that the rally would be peaceful. When things got unruly, she was injured and left the scene to return to her hotel, the news station reported.
"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," Tinsley said in a statement to NBC Bay Area.
As a Trump supporter, Tinsley is in a political minority in San Mateo County, where about 78% of voters supported Joe Biden in the 2020 General Election. According to campaign finance record website Open Secrets, Tinsley donated $5,182 to Donald Trump's campaign between February and August 2020.
Tinsley ran Sugar Shack for seven years at 816 Santa Cruz Ave., between 2007 and 2014, when she closed it, before relaunching the business at 883 Santa Cruz Ave. in October 2019. The store is known for offering custom candy for private events as well as its popularity with pre-teens.
Initial community responses to the revelation of Tinsley's presence in D.C. Wednesday have been negative, with Tinsley's pro-Trump photo in circulation on social media bearing a message urging viewers to "Show that Menlo Park/the Bay Area doesn't tolerate this domestic act of terrorism and blatant display of white supremacy. Don't shop at sugar shack."
In addition, Yelp, the business review website, has temporarily disabled posting about the Sugar Shack in response to "unusual activity" from people commenting about recent events.
On Friday, the shop was closed and a TV network filmed a story. In the background, against the shop window, someone had placed yellow posters with messages of support, saying "God Bless Sugar Shack!" and "Keep Menlo Park a Loving Place."
Elena Kadvany and Charles Russo contributed to this report.