The family that runs an Ocala ice cream shop said it never meant to offend anyone.
The Ice Cream Family Corner and Sandwiches restaurant opened just three months ago at the busy intersection of South Pine Avenue and Southwest 17th Street.
A worker came across an old ice cream costume in a back closet of the building, and decided to have one of the employees wear the costume and stand on the street corner to advertise the business.
Server Jasmine Gonzalez said they noticed business had dropped off severely two weeks later.
Gonzalez said they soon learned rumors were flying around town, specifically on Facebook, that the ice cream cone costume resembled that of a Klu Klux Klan member.
The family that runs the ice cream shop is from Puerto Rico, and said it didn't even know what the Klu Klux Klan was until the controversy erupted.
The workers are no longer using the costume, and they said they want the community to know it was never intended to represent anything but an ice cream cone.
The controversy attracted plenty of media attention. During the lunch hour Tuesday, there were more reporters and cameras in the shop than there were customers.
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