Gibson’s Donuts faces backlash after Blackburn stop

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — One of Memphis' beloved spots is facing backlash after Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn's election day breakfast. The appearance of the republican candidate at Gibson's Donuts in east Memphis is sparking a social media firestorm.

"We are a serve all business. There's no politics inside the walls of Gibson's Donuts," owner Don DeWeese said.

But that's the opposite of what some saw election day when now Senator-elect Marsha Blackburn had a campaign breakfast at the location.

The breakfast was initially slated for another spot. Her staff alerted social media, including WREG the day before election day, that the location had been changed to Gibson's Donuts.

Once pictures and video of Blackburn at Gibson's hit Twitter and Facebook, so did the comments. Scores of people said they plan to take their business elsewhere. Some of the comments have gained hundreds of likes.

Some people cited their disgust on Blackburn's stance on a variety of issues, including immigration.

"We don't talk politics in here. I will talk about serving our donuts to customers," DeWeese said.

DeWeese sticks to that message and says in the past he's had candidates from both parties stop by and welcomed them. He maintains when Blackburn's team called the day before the breakfast, he told them they would not have a reserved table and it would be a first come first serve basis.

The owner says he would have done the same thing for Bredesen's team if they would have showed up.

"The Marsha Blackburn organization said they needed a place to sit down and have donuts and coffee to start their day. They said they would only be here about 15 to 20 minutes. They had probably 30, but they said 12 to 20 people. They said they were bringing a cameraman and I assumed it would be a camera. I didn't know four stations were going to show up," DeWeese said.

While we were waiting in Gibson's on Wednesday some people were waiting for a sweet treat, including friends who came from Germantown to support the business.

"There's no real need for that. But that's why we have a free country," they said.

"We're very said that so many people reacted to us serving a human being donuts and that we would serve their candidate if they came in," DeWeese said.

The owner says he's had plenty of people come and show their support amidst the backlash.


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