Woman talking(l+r), Publix(c)

JHVEPhoto/Shutterstock @thatdamnpamela/Tiktok (Licensed)

‘They had scraped off the icing’: Shopper catches Publix putting a cake she returned back in the freezer

'That's really sketch.'


Brooke Sjoberg


Posted on Feb 27, 2024   Updated on Feb 27, 2024, 1:44 pm CST

A Publix shopper is claiming that the grocery chain put a cake that she returned to the store back out on the store floor for another customer to purchase—after scraping off lettering that she did not like.

In a pair of videos posted to TikTok, Pamela (@thatdamnpamela) says she headed to Publix for a birthday cake and hoped to have a cake decorator at the grocery store add a name to it.

“I came to Publix, got a cake from the freezer, asked the lady behind the desk at the cake counter to write a name on the cake for me,” she says in the video. “I told her I just want the name, not Happy Birthday or anything, I wanted it medium size. She wrote it for me, she covered the cake back up, and handed it to me. Y’all.”

Pamela then shows the pink and white frosted cake, with yellow lettering spelling out “Olivia” in a shaky hand, which the viewer is led to believe is why she is unhappy with the cake.

She says that once she received the cake with the lettering, she decided to return it, as she was unsatisfied with the decoration and felt she could achieve a better result at home.

“I paid for the cake prior to the whole debacle because I was in there buying groceries and stuff for a party,” she says. “When I got to the car I realized that I wanted the cake decorated so I just hauled the cake back inside and went to the bakery and asked if someone can write something on it for me. When I realized that she played on the cake, at first I was like, ‘You know what, I could just go home, use some piping tips that I have and my piping bags, maybe dye the icing, and just kind of figure it out myself.'”

However, Pamela decided against that. “But I was like, ‘Nah, I already paid for the cake, why am I going to pay for something and then give myself extra work?'” she wonders. “So I just got my receipt and went to customer service and returned the cake.”

@thatdamnpamela Now @Publix, is this who we are😒😭 #fyp #publix #publixcake ♬ original sound – thatdamnpamela

When she returned the next day to purchase another cake for a second attempt at the lettering, she says she saw the cake she had given back to the store in the freezer box, with the lettering she had asked for scraped off.

“I did come back to the store the next day to get another cake from the freezer, and I kid you not, I saw the cake that I returned in the freezer,” she says. “They had scraped off the icing, kind of just smoothed it back down. I know it was my cake because of how the little price sticker was peeled off and put back on. I guess that’s good because don’t waste, but me personally, I don’t know how I would feel knowing that I bought a cake that somebody returned.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to Pamela via TikTok direct message, as well as to Publix via email regarding the video.

@thatdamnpamela Replying to @Teejay ♬ original sound – thatdamnpamela

Some viewers commented on the video that there was a solid chance the cake decorators employed by Publix were not on the clock and that the lettering was simply the handiwork of an employee who tried their best.

“Current bakery clerk here,” one commenter wrote. “They literally just tell us to try our best if the decorators aren’t there. I always tell people I am not the best at writing on cakes so they are aware.”

“The cake decorators aren’t there all day, unfortunately,” another said. “After a certain time it’s just a clerk packing stuff up for you.”

“If you come in too late, it will just be a bakery clerk or a utility clerk,” a further user commented. “If they don’t practice icing writing, this will be the result.”

In another follow-up video, however, Pamela says she went at a normal time of day and the bakery appeared to be fully staffed as usual.

Others were critical of the cake being put back on the shelf for an unwitting customer to purchase.

“They can not put back food that has been returned huge policy violation,” one commented.

“That’s really sketch on the store if they’re reselling cakes that have returned,” another wrote.

“I work for publix,” a third said. “Frozen cake is perishable and if it leaves the store it’s supposed to be considered damaged.”

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*First Published: Feb 27, 2024, 9:00 pm CST