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Cafe owner posts kids’ mess to Facebook, causes social media storm

rainy days caffeeLAKE STEVENS — We’ve all been there — you’re out to eat and someone’s kid goes bonkers — they’re loud, messy and more than a little distracting.

But one local coffee shop owner had enough and didn’t just ask for the kids to settle down — she asked the family to leave.

Rainy Days Caffé in Lake Stevens snapped a photo of the mess the children left behind and posted it online. The incident has exploded on social media.

The children’s mother said she was shocked to see that photo on Facebook. She posted a review online saying she was outraged anyone would be so mean because her kids dropped a few crumbs.

But the café’s owner, Rainy MacDuff, said she’s running a business — not a daycare center.

“I’d like to take this time to thank our customers with small children who don’t make messes,” MacDuff said. “It was supposed to be something snarky and funny and it didn’t turn out that way at all.”

The photo went viral on Facebook and now MacDuff and her shop are under attack.

“Somebody threatened to drag me behind their truck,” she said. “I’ve had people threaten to picket my business.”

A lot of mothers agree that restaurants need to be more tolerant when it comes to kids.

“That’s definitely uncalled for,” Brooke Hurtado said. “I think she should not sell the ice cream cones if she doesn’t want kids to make a mess.”

But other moms said parents are to blame and they should take responsibility for bad behavior in public.

“I’ve seen screaming kids — you know, them throwing stuff on the floor and the parents not really doing much about it,” Jamie Smith said.

In spite of the controversy, MacDuff said regulars are showing their support for the café and the Lake Stevens community.

“The real news is that we raised money for kids today,” MacDuff said. “The real news is this coffee shop supports Lake Stevens and everybody knows it.”

The mother at the center of the controversy did not want to be interviewed but she just wants an apology.

MacDuff said she’s not about to say she’s sorry and said the mother is still welcome at the restaurant — just not with her kids.

67 comments

  • Scotty Irwin

    Clean up after your kids or better still teach them to clean up after themselves! Kids are messy life happens but there is no excuse for not parenting your kids. This is a local business that supports MANY local charities and events. Get over it and move on we all did with a great cup of coffee from Rainys – where business is booming thanks to all the FREE publicity !

  • Kt

    Total turn off. This lady just lost my business.
    Yes parents need to pick up after their kids or help them pick up but he photo does not show a big mess.
    I think this was rude and uncalled for.

  • Bob

    Businesses forget who the boss is. Yeah, be respectful, clean up after your kid or give a bigger tip but the owner of this establishment is getting too big for her britches. I will never go to this establishment.

  • what ever

    take your loud mouth kids home teach them some manners then take them out to dinner, every kid can make a mess but no one wants to clean it up,SMH!

  • Chris hale

    Shame on Q 13 for airing this story. Just giving some “snarky” idiot a way to try to justify her “snarky”, I mean, Whiney behavior. After all, if you SELL scones, how dare anyone expect you to pick up a couple crumbs.

  • Niki

    Im mot far from lake stevens.
    I know where I am going this weekend!
    As a past waitress I have seen the messes kids leave behind that parents consider a few crumbs. Heck I’ve seen adults leave bigger messes.
    I hate going to eat with a crapload of kids around screaming, out of control, and the clueless parents could care less what their kids are doing.

    You guys just earned my business!

  • Tired of stupid!

    funny how in my 51 years how it has gone from parents taking care of their kids and actually being embarrassed by those kids and disciplining their kids to blaming others for their kids horrible behavior not correcting those kids and in general letting them parade around as total idiots I'm sure the owner has a sign stating that they have the right to refuse service, well this owner has my business and will continue to have it and with luck all those that disagree with the way she handled her business I hope she points to the same sign and sends you packing too….nice to find a adult with a set of brass balls that won't put up with the foolishness of parents refusing to tame those kids..

  • BH/Mom of three

    The picture just doesn't look that awful! Someone(s) must be having a bad day. It's a relatively small mess, and kind of looks within normal limits when you have one mom caring for multiple children in a restaurant. Did the cafe owner expect the mom to get a broom and/or a mop to clean up the floor? A quick whisk (by the cafe staff) with a little sweeper gadget…and it's ready for the next customer!

    • Not entitled here!

      I have multiple small kids, and I took them out to eat a multitude of times while their dad was overseas. One of my kids is disabled and tends to be messy. If she made a mess, yes, I asked for a broom to clean it up. 99% of the time staff didn't let me clean up myself, but the courtesy is appreciated. You say for staff to clean up after the kids … What if everyone thought like that? You go into a cafe and every table is in squalor waiting for staff to take orders, serve orders and pick up after lazy, sloppy people? Now you can complain about slow service, too!

    • Guest

      I have two toddlers and if they make a mess (especially at a teriyaki or chinese restaurant with rice) I absolutely clean up after them. Yes, it is a restaurant and there are people who are paid to clean it, but you are still a guest in someone else's establishment and just as it would be rude to go to a family friend's home for dinner and not clean up after you kid, it is rude not to a restaurant as well. Likewise, I have seen several times children being wildly out of control, screaming, running, jumping, throwing things over the booth seats, and the parents completely ignoring it. It is extremely rude and disrespectful to other patrons. Every child has a bad day, and every kiddo has a time when they melt down. So you take them to the car, the restroom, outside for a break from sitting too long, SOMETHING to distract them, help them feel better, and out of respect to the restaurant and other patrons. There is nothing wrong with teaching your children respect for other people and their property.

  • amanda

    Yes I think that people should pick up after there children. I have 2 boys preschool and older and a husband in the military that is gone alot. I usually opt to stay home to avoid the craziness my kids can sometimes create. However when I go out to eat for a little treat with my kids I always pick up after them. I have even gotten down on my hands and knees to pick up crumbs so that there is less to clean up for the employees. However. It is there job. Isnt it? I used to be a barista for 4 years and always picked up after other peoples children and sometimes really messy adults.

  • tena

    wtg ..I side with the business ! Tired of lazy parenting being other people problem . I always…..always cleaned up after my kids . That is what a parent does . I paid for a meal once [ that I had not yet gotten ] and left the restaurant because my kids were being stinkers .

  • Monique

    Respectful parents help their children pick up after themselves, its the right thing to do. It teaches children to be respectful and responsible for their actions, etc. Allowing children to leave behind a mess is disrespectful.

  • esco

    The parents were probably infatuated be their cell phones while their kids went nuts. Seems to be the way it is nowadays. Parents, please put your little hypnotic TV screen down, AND WATCH YOUR KIDS!!! Pretty simple..

  • Out a control

    I have had what started out to be a nice dinner and had it ruined by parents that refuse to control their kids….but I blame the government …. Parents can't punish their kids anymore, all the kid has to do is say mommy or daddy did X and all hell breaks out and the parents become the evil bad guys.

  • Anti-PC

    As a new parent I realize my child may not be as cute to others as she is to me when dining out. We will not patronize any business that does not specifically cater to children, out of respect for other patrons, until she has demonstrated that she is able to show proper manners. Our child is a reflection of us, and we are not intrusive people. I wish more people could realize they are not the center of the universe. Rainy Days Caffe is doing it right.

  • guest

    The law makes you pick up after your dog, why shouldn't you be responsible for your children? Oh wait, this woman wouldn't have picked up after her dog either. Another example of what's wrong with society today, lack of responsibility for ourselves.

    • Guest

      I wish my neighbor would teach her kids to be responsible and pick up their trash around our shared yard. When I walk my dog through the neighborhood I notice that all the other shared yards are cleaned up…and then you get to the middle of the street and see ours; then again this same woman allows her pitbull to run around the neighborhood with a leash but no person attached to it. But officer, there is a leash on the dog!

  • smw

    The crumbs appear to be consistent with any food service establishment. However, loud children allowed to carry on incesssntly can dissuade customers from coming. Business owners have the right to refuse service.

  • KL Fisher

    I hope the coffee shop owner stands her ground and keeps the photo, but I'm sure by now, she has had to take it down because of the threats. I have walked out of coffee shops and restaurants because someone's kid is having a melt down or is just being a brat. And where are the parents, sitting at the table trying to ignore the kid's tantrums, food throwing and screaming (I really enjoy the screaming, makes my day). I also appreciate the extra food thrown on my table from your little darling. If parents allow their kids to behave like this in public, can you imagine how it is at home. In short, teach your kids table manners and how to behave in public. Your kids are an extension of yourself — think about it.

  • lea

    First off as a parent of 6 I feel that the parents today don't do enough to watch their kids, two I feel that people who are business owners need to have a push vacuum so they can aloe the parents to clean up after their messy kids, to post a picture is not right there was a better way for this owner to handle this, and the parent that was involved could have handle her or his part better and maybe they would look better in the community because they both should be offended by this they both where wrong. oh and yes I clean up behind my kids!! plus I do not take them in to a place that don't cater to small kids!!

  • Sickarain

    I have to agree with the owner … my best guess is it's not about how big or small the mess was but by how the children behaved that made the mess. And by all means stop playing the 'my husband is in the military' card. Military Mom, suck it up and discipline your children instead of blaming someone else. You can do it … it won't be easy but you can do it. Parenting has certainly changed in the past 30 years from when I raised my children … it is now left up to everyone and anyone to rise someones elses children. Teachers and support staff are there to give your children the educational tools they need to be productive members of society … so much time is wasted teaching them basic life skills that the parents don't and won't teach them. What has happened? This is no good … children need boundaries and discipline. You don't have to beat them … but they do need to be held accountable for their bad behavior and the choices that they make.

  • Ginny

    Hooray! There are still individuals who feel that parents have a responsibility to teach children proper behavior and manners!!!! I'm am really fed up with people who excuse this behavior on the part of lazy parents and unruly children. If parents won't control their kids, keep them home so others can enjoy their dining. There's always chucky cheese.

  • Kyle

    This business owner is a child. How can you start a business that offers food, child friendly food at that, and then complain about a tiny mess of crumbs on the floor. Then, after kicking the lady out, she felt compelled by this massive injustice of a few crumbs on her floor, to post it online?! She sounds like a first-rate, over-dramatic b*tch. To all you folks saying that the woman should have controlled her children, or taught her kids some manners, etc.; this small mess does not look like the result of "out of control" children. Based on the headline I was expecting a horrible scene! I've seen childless adults leave more of a mess than this! If this business owner doesn't like to clean up or deal with the mess left by her customers, then she needs to change her line of work. Who knows, maybe the lady planned to clean it up. We'll never know because the whiny owner asked her to leave before she was finished!

    I live in the area and I will for sure NOT be giving this coffee shop, or this lady, my business.

  • Mannerly

    I think the owner should have the right to serve or not to serve, if the guest is disruptive. I don't appreciate going to the effort and cost of obtaining a sitter for the evening then witnessing disruptive children at establishments, particularly nicer restaurants. I've witnessed everything from screaming children, teenagers swearing at their parents, toddlers running in the aisles and the servers dodging them with hot plates. I've even seen toddlers walk to another table and remove food from another customer's plate. No parents, it is not 'cute.' Yes, children are messy. My guess is that it was the entitlement attitude of the mother that turned the Cafe owner off. I will attend that cafe anyday.

  • Amanda

    It does not matter how big or small a mess was made. The entitlement attitude of the mother that someone else should clean up after her children is. The attitude that she should discipline her children when they are screaming and disturbing others is also the issue.

    I have seen good parents take their kids outside when the kids have a melt down. I have seen them show they are trying to deal with the situation. Dealing with your kids is their parent's responsibility it is their job and not the owner, waitstaff or other patrons of the Cafe.

    Those who are angry with the owner of this establishment are simply admitting what bad parents they are. It's as simple as that. They gave birth and are now done with it. Let the rest of the "village" take care of their kids. As we can see by the attitude of the mother of the kids in the Cafe, those who threatened the Cafe owner and the replies on this message board that those who expect others to take care of their kids, tolerate bad behavior and clean up their messes are lazy and neglectful parents.

  • Matt

    As a parent of a toddler I have seen my kid make some dang big messes. Yes it embarrasses me when he tosses food on the ground or spills water, but I do try to clean it up, distract him when I can, and yes, i do leave a larger tip because I do know that I didn’t get all of it cleaned up that well. It’s just common courtesy to police the area after your kid makes a mess.
    Granted taking the pic and posting it to the Facebook wasa bit out of line. But it’s not my cafe and therefore no ones business but the owners.
    Would I go there? You bet! It’s her business and when you go there you follow her rules.

  • pamitoo

    I didn't see the woman, her children, or any names used in the post (unless I didn't see the entire thing). I think the mom is embarrassed that her kiddies are such piggies and she knows she should do better. I've been in restaurants where the staff have to clean up the floor after it's had half a meal dropped on it by a bunch of kids. The parents just push in the chairs and leave. Do they accept that type of acting at home? No? Then don't expect it from an establishment. This is a small local business that doesn't have time to clean up after everyone else's kids.

  • grown up

    I agree with the business owner. There are so many lazy parents out there now. Kids are going to make a mess, that's a fact, but there's no reason that parents can't clean up most of the mess and teach their kids that it's not okay to make a huge mess. My wife and I always cleaned up after our kids and ourselves, as much as we could. It's not that difficult people, stop being so lazy!

  • Todd

    I have to agree with the cafe owner- I was a waiter years ago & parents would let their kids make the biggest mess knowing they didnt have to clean it up- once I had customers who thought it was cute that their precious one finger painted with some milkshake the parents put on the table- the place was a disaster when they left & they left with a "thanks"……..

  • Spectre

    "The mother at the center of the controversy did not want to be interviewed but she just wants an apology."

    That tells you right there that she is ashamed of what her kids did; if she really thought she was righteous she would be all over the news giving her "side" of the story, but she isn't so we all know who the shitty parent is. TO ALL PARENTS OF SMALL CHILDREN, KEEP THE LITTLE BASTARDS AT HOME UNTIL THEY LEARN HOW TO BEHAVE IN PUBLIC. TRAINING THEM IS YOUR JOB, PUTTING UP WITH THEM IS NOT THE REST OF SOCIETY'S RESPONSIBILITY.

  • Tammy

    To the shop owner: DON'T say you are sorry! You worked hard to have nice shop. Let the kids make a mess at home because its obvious they don't have the proper upbringing to go out in public. The mom is angry because she doesn't want everyone to know she lets her kids run amuck!!

  • Jackie

    What the actual heck? This isn't about badly behaved screaming crazy children, there were a few crumbs on the floor, big whoop. That was hardly a mess and I'm sure the Mom WOULD have cleaned it up, or had her kids help had she not been asked to leave in the middle of their time there. The cafe owner seems like a royal B****, I'm glad this went viral so I know never to take my family there who, although well behaved, are quite young and do still drop a few crumbs as they eat *gasp shock and horror!*

    • Jackie

      Oh I see, I thought the reporter said they were asked to leave, but maybe it was just they were asked not to come back. Still ridiculous. The owner does not deserve the publicity she is getting for this. And btw, no where anywhere does it say the kids were disruptive or acting badly, just that this (um, very small) mess was left. I've seen far bigger messes left by adults at restaurants. Owner, get over yourself and your snooty shop. and buy a little push vacuum like everyone else.

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