TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Those living in the path of frequent hurricanes have a complicated relationship with natural disasters, one that mixes comedic coping with a justifiable fear of yet another storm on the horizon.
In recent years, one of the region’s most popular supermarket chains had even provided a few lighthearted laughs to ease its customers’ anxiety with silly hurricane-themed cakes — but that practice has come to an end.
Publix, the Florida-based grocery chain, has officially instructed its bakeries to stop producing the “hurricane cakes” (or “hurricakes,” as they’re sometimes called) so as not to downplay the seriousness of the weather events, the company said.
“Our associates make every effort to support our customers during weather events. Often times, this includes finding ways to delight them with their favorite Publix items as they prepare for uncertainty,” the supermarket chain wrote in the Q&A section of its website, sometime before Hurricane Ian devastated parts of Florida and the surrounding region in 2022. “For these requests in particular, it is our company policy to not produce bakery cakes that would make light of a natural disaster.
“We have sent communications to our stores reminding them of our policy. We regret if a store has not followed policy, and we are working to rectify the situation,” the passage continues.
The cakes, as seen in an X post from December 2022, would have messages like “Go Away” or “Leave Florida Alone,” to express Floridians’ disdain for the yearly weather events. But they’ve been making headlines since at least 2019, when a photo of a Publix cookie cake went viral on social media.
“Hurricanes can be horrific and tragic. My parents lost their home in Michael,” wrote one X user in response to the policy. “The least we can do is enjoy a hurricane cake from Publix! I get the decision, but I’m a little bummed.”
“Publix announcing they’re done doing hurricane cakes in Florida is truly an end of an era,” another commented.