Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Refuses Bathroom Access to 5-Year-Old, Who Then Has Diarrhea In Front Of Them

A reader writes: “Last night we were out with friends and went to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory at Bella Terra/Huntington Beach. We were eating outside as my 5 year old daughter got an uncontrollable urge to use the bathroom and began crying and screaming ‘diarrhea, diarrhea.’ I ran into the store with her in my arms, begging to use the bathroom and they refused multiple times.”

I explained she had diarrhea and couldn’t hold it and told them she was about to go on the floor. They refused again and never offered me any alternatives. I begged them to have a heart and that she was 5 but by that time she had lost it all over herself and me. I ran with her in my arms to the movie theater that let me use their bathroom. I cleaned her up, threw out some of her clothes and went back to the Chocolate Factory – asking for names and number of management. I again pleaded with them to use their heart in situations like this.

I called the manager today and she finally called me back. She supports the employees and tells me that it is an insurance decision. She told me to sue if it makes me feel happy. She laughed at me when I told her I would be using my extensive contacts to begin a viral campaign to boycott her store and the entire chain and told me that she was “sure that would make my daughter very proud.” My daughter was humiliated, forced to defecate on herself due to the lack of compassion exhibited by the store – which the owner continued to support on the phone with me. I don’t want anything, I just want them to have a bit of compassion in the future.

Longtime Consumerist readers know this isn’t the first time we’ve written about a company refusing a customer with a bathroom emergency and ending up with disastrous results. Last summer, a similar story involving Jo-Ann fabrics prompted enough complaints to the CEO that he issued an apology and “immediately changed [company] policy to allow any customer to use [store] restrooms upon request.” Our reader pointed us to a situation a few years ago when Old Navy denied bathroom access to a customer with Crohn’s disease that ended up with the customer’s state legislator introducing a bill requiring businesses to open up their bathrooms for emergencies. We don’t think a law is necessary, just basic human decency: if someone has an emergency, let her use your bathroom.

UPDATE: After reading some of the comments, I searched around some more to find out whether a place that serves food has to provide a bathroom to customers. As it turns out, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory may have violated existing California Code provisions. An organization called the American Restroom Association has a Uniform Plumbing Code that requires a “toilet facility for customers, patrons, and visitors of all mercantile and business establishments.” The Uniform Plumbing Code has been adopted by California, so it seems that there IS a requirement for businesses to provide restroom facilities for customers.

(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Ben Popken says:


  2. davebg5 says:

    I would have let my kid crap all over their floor and then stood outside and laughed as the employees who refused access to the bathroom had to clean it up.

    • Anonymous says:


      It’s a little late to be commenting here, but this is the first I read about this story. It reminds me of the time I worked at McDonalds. Some lady came in who was really sick but didn’t quite make it to the bathroom… Needless to say, I was that employee cleaning up that diarrhea… yuck

  3. Underpants Gnome says:

    that picture is both right and so very wrong on so many levels for this story

  4. donkeyjote says:

    What a shitty situation…

  5. stevegoz says:

    There’s nothing worse than being out and about and feeling a sudden rumbling down in the old Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory….

  6. Hanke says:

    I’ve been fortunate to never have been refused when my child has done the pee-pee dance. However, if this was the attitude of a food-selling establishment to this situation, I will let him pee on their floor, in front of customers.

  7. boss_lady says:

    New rule: If someone looks like they need to take a shit, just let them use your bathroom. You won’t like the consequences.

  8. bravo369 says:

    The only thing i have to say about this though is that if a store does not have a customer bathroom, don’t complain if they let you use an employee only bathroom. I worked at a place in high school and we had signs that said bathroom is for employees only. Of course we were nice and let people use the bathroom if they requested but they had to walk through the stockroom and to a bathroom that was not always ‘clean’. Some people complained about cleanliness and/or location of it etc. our response was always that this is why it was regarded as employees only

  9. yukonrye says:

    Here is the store info for those that would like to email the company and express their disgust.


  10. EdnaLegume says:

    As a mom, I know that when one of my kids needs a bathroom, there is little time to debate the issue. Diarrhea is a whole other ballgame.

    That place sucks, and the manager sucks twice as much for being a dick about it.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well, chocolate milk USED to be one of my favorite beverages.

    So, why is there no public restroom at this store?

  12. jamesdenver says:

    Handing out re-prints of this article in front of the store would be a great viral marketing start. Unless its on private property – but who cares – hand them out til you’re asked to leave.

  13. nfs says:

    That picture with the cup only makes you want to go.

  14. mantari says:

    If this story was put to video, I would only ask that “Chocolate Rain” would be used as the soundtrack.

  15. bovinekid says:

    Well, campaign is working so far. I’d never heard of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory before, and now I will forever associate it with diarrhea.

  16. Beelzebub says:

    @Underpants Gnome: Little girl and a cup! Sorry, that was terrible.

    Seriously, I love that the mother has started this viral campaign. Normally I think about these things before deciding to get involved, but given the manager’s snark — I’m in! This WILL make your daughter proud!

  17. jimmypopjr says:

    That is pretty messed up. The worst part is that any one of those employees could have lost their job by letting her daughter use the bathroom.

    Pretty lame that North America doesn’t have a unified ‘people have the right to use a bathroom in an emergency’ law yet.

    • Brad says:

      Then we’d have people gaming the system. What’s an emergency? When it’s too far for the parent’s fat ass to waddle down the hall to the public restroom? Just like when I see people jogging into the gym after putting up their Handicapped placard in their window….

  18. SuffolkHouse says:

    I love the image accompanying the story. I’ll never thing of chocolate the same way.

    I have eaten at the Chocolate Factory in the past, and I’ll assure you that I won’t go there again UNTIL this “manager/owner” does a public about-face.

  19. samurailynn says:

    I’ve been in the situation of needing to go and being in a store that didn’t have a public bathroom. It sucks, but you find someplace else to go. The mom could have ran across the street to the movie theater in the first place and maybe they would have made it in time.

  20. Hawkins says:

    We don’t often see issues of basic human decency on this fine blog. Usually it’s money, or jerkiness, or stupidity.

    But rarely is it this level of just plain nastiness.

    “Human decency” is right.

  21. luz says:

    This is why I don’t give my toddler a bunch of PBRs before shopping.

  22. boss_lady says:

    @yukonrye: Thanks! Just fired off a very articulate message regarding my overall disgust; even though they’ll likely delete it, I’m happy just knowing that I caused a little extra inconvenience.

  23. samurailynn says:

    By the way… I thought Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory was a candy store. We have one in a mall here and that’s all it is. There isn’t even room for a public bathroom because the place is so small.

  24. StoutHearted says:

    The employees didn’t have to be cruel about it, but sadly, “insurance reasons” for keeping customers out of employees-only areas is very real. An employee could be fired for letting a customer back in those areas. The fear is that if a customer gets hurt back there, he or she could sue the store, which took the cheaper route by insuring that specific area solely for employees, and the store would be out of luck. If it weren’t for sue-happy people, stores wouldn’t be afraid to let customers use their bathrooms in an emergency. It sucks, but perhaps complaints to a district manager can get a change in policy.

  25. statnut says:

    @samurailynn: If I was place that served food or drink, I would have assumed they would let a child use the bathroom. But way to blame the victim, there’s always one.

  26. geeky_reader says:

    Of course, it wouldn’t be fair to put the little girl through this, but wouldn’t it be awesome if the mother had let her go while standing up in front of the counter, letting some of the problem go on the floor, then order something, and let the daughter scoot right into a booth?

    It’s wrong and not justified but it’s tempting to think of things like this.

    It hasn’t happened to me often, but when I’ve asked to use an employee restroom I haven’t been refused yet. I’d be so ticked if I was the mother in this situation, especially my child was involved.

    Also boo-hiss to the smartass response by the store manager.

  27. statnut says:

    @StoutHearted: I worked at a comic book store that had an employees only bathroom. While we wouldnt let adults use, we never refused a child.

  28. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    Pabst Blue Ribbons? I’m assuming that’s not what you’re going for, but that’s the only PBR I know :)

  29. samurailynn says:

    @statnut: I’m not saying places shouldn’t have bathrooms open to the public, I’m just saying that if they say no, standing around arguing probably isn’t going to help anything. Do you think the minimum wage drones behind the counter care?

  30. DarrenO says:

    People are freaking high, that’s all I have to say. It’s a small candy store with no public bathroom and this idiot mother would rather stand there arguing with them rather than go to find the nearest public bathroom for her kid. Then she wants to make a federal case over it.

    It would have been nice if they offered to let the girl use the bathroom if there even was one in the store, but by no means should they have to do so.

  31. AdmiralApathy says:

    I have experienced issues of emergency restroom use and if they denied me I would have gone to the back of the store and let it go on the doorknob to the employee entrance.

  32. dragonfire1481 says:

    It probably was a situation of the bathroom being employee only and the employees not wanting to give in. I faced a similar situation like this at a store once where the kid really really had to go, I looked at my manager (because our bathroom was not public) and she said “no way she has to go somewhere else”.

    Some stores keep stock, dangerous chemicals and other supplies in their bathrooms, it CAN be an insurance danger to let a customer in there.

    This was an unfortunate situation, but the employees were probably directed to NEVER let anyone use the employee bathroom, so I won’t fault them for doing what they felt they needed to to protect their jobs.

    And for those who say the manager would have understood if they had let the kid in, don’t be so sure. Managers aren’t always sensible people.

  33. EdnaLegume says:

    @samurailynn: Either you don’t have kids or never had a kid with diarrhea. When they holler, “diarrhea, diarrhea” you do NOT have time to “run across the street”. You have approximately 60 seconds until detonate.

  34. TheUncleBob says:

    @davebg5: Try that on my property and I’ll be laughing as I call the cops and press charges against you for vandalism of private property.

    Seriously, individuals should *not* have the right to go onto private property and *demand* to use the restroom, no matter the situation. If I walked up to your front door and threw a fit to use your restroom, are you just going to let me in to use it?

    • Anonymous says:

      @TheUncleBob: You go right ahead and press charges, Uncle Bob. If you think you can find a judge in the US that will equate an urgent bodily function with “vandalism,” then you are sorely and sadly mistaken. I suffer from Ulcerative Colitis, and when I’ve got to go, I’ve got no more than 2-3 minutes — *tops* — before I defecate, whether I’m ready to or not. There are a few hundred thousand people like me in the US, so you might run into one of us from time to time.

      Also, please identify your business for us so that people who suffer from Irritable Bowel Disorder, Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease know to stay away and not patronize it. I wouldn’t want you to be inconvenienced by the disabilities of others, pal.

  35. saltytoast says:

    I think the employees knew that they would have to clean up the ensuing crapstorm in the bathroom, and I don’t blame them a bit for refusing the kid access. Contacting human feces of unknown origin is a good way to get yourself hepatitis.

  36. ianmac47 says:

    @jamesdenver: Some states protect the right to exercise first amendment rights on private property, though this varies by state. In New Jersey for instance, the state supreme court rule that since malls have replaced the public square, its reasonable to exercise free speech rights. But its a state issue, so it varies.

  37. semanticantics says:

    Hand out flyers and stand out front with a picket sign.

  38. DarrenO says:

    @TheUncleBob: Amen Uncle Bob, perfect example!

  39. geeky_reader says:

    @StoutHearted: Good point. Looks like it’s in a mall, if Google Maps serves me correctly. I wonder if there was a closer store with a public restroom? I guess not, if the mother’s 2nd effort was in a movie theater.

  40. Letsgohokies says:

    You can tell who has kids in this thread.

  41. Franklin Comes Alive! says:


    I’m sure the cops are going to arrest a 5 year old with explosive diarrhea.

  42. Nick1693 says:

    This deserves the “Heartless” tag, too.

  43. APFPilot says:

    Here in Florida it is a state law that all stores have public restrooms.

  44. DashTheHand says:

    How about an active protest whereby you get people willing to get diarrhea all visit the store, only shortly before consuming 3-4 doses of Milk of Magnesia. I’m pretty sure the smell will kill off business for a good while and force them to reconsider having a no bathroom policy, and even might make them think a public restroom would be a good idea.

  45. Jbball says:

    I would think that any business that has customers in their store should be required by law to have a restroom available at all times. Let them have an employees only if they want, but it should be a requirement.

  46. TheUncleBob says:

    @Franklin Comes Alive!: Could you please tell me where my post says anything about arresting anyone, let alone a 5-year-old?

    Calling the cops and filing a report is the first step toward pressing vandalism charges.

  47. samurailynn says:

    From looking at the webpage linked above, it sounds like this is just a small candy shop, not a restaurant. If it is anything like the Rocky Mountain candy shop I’ve been to before, you would have to go behind the counter where the employees are to get to any backroom or restroom, and it’s very confined space back there. I can imagine other customers being a little grossed out by a child behind the counter yelling diarrhea.

  48. boss_lady says:

    @DarrenO: Um, when the situation is that urgent, there’s usually little to no time to try somewhere else. Doesn’t sound to me like the parent spent forever arguing either, they just pleaded because they knew there probably wouldn’t be time to make it elsewhere.

  49. TheUncleBob says:

    @Jbball: I would think that private businesses should be allowed to determine what’s best for their business, unless the government (and therefore, tax dollars) are going to be spent to install and maintain the public restrooms.

  50. greghayden70 says:

    @DarrenO:so everyone on this thread is wrong and you’re right, that makes sense. So if forty people say you are an idiot and you say you are not who do you think we’re going to believe.

  51. lalaland13 says:

    @TheUncleBob: No. But I don’t live in the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. Or any other chocolate factory.

    Look, it’s private property, but it’s also a business that people frequent. I understand having a general “no public bathrooms” policy, but if a kid is about to make a huge mess, why not let them do it in the bathroom rather than all over the store? Have a little compassion.

    And the manager was unbelievable. Laughing? Telling her go ahead and sue? Jesus Christ.

  52. samurailynn says:

    @EdnaLegume: It’s just that I associate with people who don’t expect the world to bow down to them because they have children. Pretty much every parent I know carries extra clothes and clean up supplies because kids have accidents.

  53. othium says:


    I’m in agreement with you on that point.

    At my workplace we get many requests to use the bathroom from drivers and delivery people. We used to let them use the bathrooms but in the vast majority of instances they were leaving a mess behind them, so the policy was changed.

    I have to clean the bathrooms so I am happy about the new rule.

  54. dieman says:

    My wife has Crohn’s Disease — its not a joke. Honestly if someone thinks they can restrict bathroom access to chronically ill people and get away with it, they are crazy. Luckily a few states in the midwest have implemented laws requiring access in most cases.

  55. donkeyjote says:

    @TheUncleBob: Next you’re going to say that stores shouldn’t have to cater to disabled people….

  56. lalaland13 says:

    @Letsgohokies: I don’t have kids, don’t want kids, don’t like kids. But if there’s any bathroom at all, a little compassion wouldn’t hurt in a case like this.

    And the link says this place is at an outdoor mall, so I’m guessing the official public bathrooms could have been pretty far away.

  57. Concerned_Citizen says:

    Meh, if they let you in, most likely you would have caused a huge mess. If I work for a store I know I do not want to clean up after your sick child. Next time don’t take a sick child in public and pass your problems off on others. And considering who knows what you will sue them for, the best policy is telling people no. Even if they agreed with you, if their standing policy was no customers in the restroom, what right do you have to tell someone to risk their job for you? If you really care about this issue, you will lobby your local government to pass an ordinance requiring public restrooms. Rather than complain online.

  58. snoop-blog says:

    So she had the Hershey squirts at a chocolate factory? CLASSIC!

  59. Hawkins says:

    Uncle Bob:

    This isn’t an issue of law. Their store is indeed private property, and legally, they can be as odious as they want to be. It’s an issue of basic friggin’ human decency.

    There’s a difference. Failure to make that distinction gets your business’ name strongly associated with the Hershey Squirts.

  60. pgh9fan says:

    You can’t necessarily tell who has kids in this thread. I completely understand the employees’ reactions and I also think the manager, although a bit rude, was correct. I have a six-year-old son. Some places–even bathrooms–aren’t appropriate for the general public.

  61. WhirlyBird says:

    @yukonrye: And here’s the feedback form for the main corporate office: []

  62. laila says:

    If the insurance policy is so prohibitive, would it have been too much to ask the employees in questions to do their best to get the girl to the closest public restroom? Also, I wonder how the insurance company looks upon employees cleaning human waste? I doubt they have the proper biohazard disposal materials or training. In light of the options, allowing the girl to use the employee bathroom hardly seems worse than having your employees exposed to potentially infectious human waste.

  63. TheUncleBob says:

    @donkeyjote: If the store is private property, then, no, they should not have to cater to anyone they don’t want to any more than you should have to pay to install a ramp to your front door, an elevator to the second story of your home and hand-rails in your restroom.

    @Hawkins: Agreed, I’m just replying to those who think there should be a law requiring that private property owners allow the general public full access to their private property.

  64. fostina1 says:

    i think someone shitting on the floor would be a much worse problem in a place that sold food than the worry of insurance.

  65. consumersaur says:

    You can follow the letter of the law and internal company rules all day and still fail to “do the right thing.”

  66. SwatLax says:

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in Huntington Beach

    Bella Terra 7777 Edinger Avenue, Suite C-178 CA 92648

  67. plural_of_moose says:

    @theunclebob Well, fine, maybe they shouldn’t *have* to provide bathroom access to the public, but come on, do you think making a kid poop themself in defense of private property rights is the right way to run a business?

    I’m not saying that businesses should let everyone use their bathrooms unconditionally, but acting like they did seems like it’d be bad for business

  68. sir_pantsalot says:

    This seems like a small place and may not have a bathroom. Some parents are very irrational and the story is comming from the parent. If they did have a small bathroom in their little store I can’t see them allowing people into the back. They prepare food back there and you can’t just let people into food prep areas. People can be disgusting and it would be like making candy in a public restroom. At the same time if a kid has a problem like that then at least be a human and have mercy on the kid.

  69. That company and their employees are clearly awful people void of compassion, but, saying you will “be using [your] extensive contacts to begin a viral campaign to boycott her store and the entire chain”, makes you sound like a crazy person.

    My guess would be that the manager was not quite the jerk you make them out to be and you were (understandably) less civil than you make yourself out to be.

    They should have a public restroom, they should not have denied a paying customer access to their employee restroom given the situation. Explaining to management, in a reasonable way, that their policy is utterly unreasonable and you will no longer be a customer until it is changed and advise others to do the same should be sufficient.

  70. rellog says:

    I say, people in the area, go in, order their largest icecream, let it melt in the bowl and dump it on the counters and floor… Let them clean up a nasty mess…

  71. snoop-blog says:

    I hope they are taking this shit seriously…

    No seriously though, I worked for a place that had the same no bathroom for customers thing, and granted I was never faced with the threat of someone shitting themselves right in front of me, we never allowed them to use the restroom. But that was more because it was in a bad neighborhood, and if this would have happened to me, I would have just let them use the bathroom, as opposed to have to clean shit off my floor.

  72. Christo67 says:

    Pass your feedback directly to the company


    see if they bend a little?

  73. Stoogie says:

    “She laughed at me when I told her I would be using my extensive contacts to begin a viral campaign to boycott her store and the entire chain and told me that she was “sure that would make my daughter very proud.””

    I have a 5 year old and her daughter probably WOULD be proud of her mother. 5 year olds that have been wronged can be very vengeful.

    It’s one thing for the minimum wage kid behind the counter to enforce the no bathroom policy to the letter. It’s another thing for the manager to act the way she did. I’ve never heard of the company, but they must make some damn good chocolate and sell a lot of it for the manager to act the way she did and lose customers.

  74. rellog says:

    @sir_pantsalot: So I guess the toilet is in the middle of the food prep area? Give me a break!

  75. TheUncleBob says:

    @laila: Wouldn’t it make more sense for the employees in question to take care of the business and the mother of the child in question to do her “best to get the girl to the closest public restroom”. Your comment confuses me, do you expect the store employees to tuck the young girl under their arm and run to the nearest public restroom like an American-football player?

    Yes, it is too much to ask complete and total strangers to get a young girl to a public restroom when the mother is just as capable as anyone else.

  76. Snaptastic says:

    I love the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory because their customer service has always been top-notch. However, all of their locations have been in malls, and to be honest, it would be the last place I would think of when needing a restroom. Even if the place did have facilities, I doubt they would be suitable for a screaming sick kid and her irate mother (hence the insurance).

    I feel bad for the lady, but I think if you are in a dire situation and there is a movie theater nearby, wouldn’t that be the more reasonable place to go rather than go to a place that may not have a toilet and spending time arguing there?

    As for that threat about the viral campaign, that just makes me think she is just a immature snot who probably wrote the story to play herself up as the victim. Companies aren’t required to have compassion, but she should be required to have common sense.

  77. MisterE says:

    I think a conversation with the local media might liven things up a bit. One of those “investigative” type reporters would LOVE this.

  78. davebg5 says:

    @TheUncleBob: Yeah, I’m sure that would be good for your business…filing an official police report over the fact that you denied bathroom access to a five year old and laughed about it…only to get mad when said five year old made a mess in her pants and on your floor.

    I’m sure customers with children will be lined up around the block to get into your candy store.


  79. hellinmyeyes says:

    Listen, seriously, if you have ever worked in a mall, it’s best not to let customers use the bathroom, even in dire emergencies. Next thing you know, they’ve knocked over something huge in your stock room and severed a limb and then complained about the bathroom… Most stores don’t have public restrooms for a reason – space. The back restroom is hardly even a privy in some of the stores I’ve worked in. People need to understand these things when they take their stupid crotchfruit out in public. I also agree with sir_pantsalot on the food prep issue – definitely a major problem.

  80. Squeegoth says:

    I worked in a mall for quite a while. They have public restrooms so the burden isn’t on the stores to have them. I wouldn’t risk my livelihood at the time to allow someone to use our restrooms if it were prohibited. If the manager treats a CUSTOMER like that, imagine how she treats the employees.

    I think the employees, unfortunately, made the right decision, and I really feel sorry for the mother. The person who is out of line in this story is the management. You never laugh at a customer’s pain unless they’re laughing too. There is a diplomatic way to handle this without selling out your employees OR making the customer feel bad. A good manager would’ve been able to tread that line. Apparently that’s not what we have here.

  81. Snaptastic says:

    I’ll third that as well. Small kids don’t really have the best of aim–if you get my drift. The last thing I’m sure anyone wants is some small child sputtering crap all over a bathroom, especially given how too many people nowadays wouldn’t bat an eye at just cleaning their kid up and leaving the mess under the impression that the bathroom belongs to someone else, so they don’t have to clean it.

  82. SkokieGuy says:

    There are health codes that have requirements about handwashing and bathroom facilities.

    If the food establishment provides a place to eat (not strictly carry-out), I’m sure there is a requirement about public access bathrooms.

    If it’s located in a mall, then there are bathrooms nearby (hence why most malls create food courts).

    You should be able to find this info out online, or simply call your local cities health department.

  83. crescentia says:

    When I worked retail I would never let customers use our employee bathrooms. It’s sad that the girl went poo, but the store doesn’t have to let her use their toliet.

  84. Speak says:

    I don’t have kids, and I think this place (and the manager) acted pretty heartlessly. They don’t have to make their bathroom available to the public, but they should have recognized that in an emergency, an exception can be made. I’m sure most people have experienced getting sick very suddenly in a public place. Even if insurance is a valid reason for denying public use of their bathroom, the manager’s response to this woman was still callous and pathetic. The OP may not have had a right to use their bathroom but then she certainly has a right to publicize the shabby treatment she and her daughter received.

    @bovinekid: Your suggestion of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory = diarrhea is a great start.

  85. TheUncleBob says:

    @davebg5: I don’t care what your reasoning is, if you take a crap in my floor and laugh about it, you better believe I’m pressing charges against you.

    Come on over to my house and try it.

  86. justrick says:

    Policy, shmolicy. Insurance, inshmurance. If a kid needs to use the bathroom, you let him/her use the bathroom — end of story. Fellow parents, can I get an “amen!”

  87. james says:

    I always hate getting turned away from using a toilet, or told it is out of service, what BS. The toilet at the local Rite Aid has been out of service for 8 years, except occasionally you see an employee use it.

    That being said, let me tell you a story of why they do this. I managed a sandwich shop that was about a block away from a methadone clinic.
    We used to allow customers to use the toilet until one particular day. A customer told me that they had been waiting on the toilet for a long time and asked if I could check on it. I knocked on the door and no one answered, so I got the key and opened the door. There was a woman sleeping on the toilet and the entire bathroom was “re-wallpapered” in tiny ripped of bits of toilet paper she had covered in feces and water and stuck on the walls and ceiling. I called the cops to remove her, but the bathroom had to be cleaned by us after closing time and took hours nearly making me throw up on many occasions and causing one employee to quit.
    I am sure you weren’t planning on doing this, but the amount of money made by restaurant employees is not enough to clean bathrooms.

  88. Agent007 says:

    What “insurance decision” would prevent people from using the bathroom?

  89. picardia says:

    No, the last thing you want is a kid sputtering crap all over your store — which is what happened. Emergencies are emergencies. Kids don’t always tell you when they aren’t feeling well until it’s too late. I can understand the general policy of not letting people back there, but respond to an emergency request.

    ITA that the person most out of line is the manager. If she’s as bitchy as that, probably the employees were too terrified of her to bend the rules for the sake of human decency.

  90. yetiwisdom says:

    @stevegoz: Awesome. I think that should be the crux of her campaign – sort of like Dan Savage’s campaign to associate Rick Santorum’s name with the byproduct of an-l s….

    Heretofore, in my world, my “Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory” is where my poo-poos come from.

    “Gotta accept a delivery from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – you have a magazine?”

    “Dude, you shoulda seen what came out of my Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory – at first it was milk chocolate, then it was dark semisweet!”

    “When I was in Romania I got some bad sausage that sent my Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory into massive shutdown. I had Rocky Mountain Chocolate every hour on the hour – thank god I found some commodium!”

  91. evslin says:

    I was climbing up a ladder and I heard something splatter
    diarrhea, diarrhea

    I was walking down the hall and I heard something fall
    diarrhea, diarrhea

    Ahhh, to be in second grade again!

  92. ThinkerTDM says:

    Let’s say the employees let her in back to use the restroom. The insurance policy only covers “authorized” personal- people trained to handle the equipment in back.
    Now, let’s say that this little princess slips on the floor. Or gets her ponytail stuck in a mixer.
    Even if the woman agrees not to sue- the insurance company will still have to pay the $15,000 to get this little girls scalp sewn on.
    Ha, ha, won’t happen. It’s a million in one shot. It’s only a few feet.
    Believe me, things like this happen. So the manager was in the right be refusing the queen and her princess- hey, I feel bad too. But I would rather have a poopie covered little girl than be fired, and possible in court explaining why I decided to let these people use the restroom.

  93. gqcarrick says:

    Everyone should go to their website and go to contact information and provide feedback and voice your opinion on how Shitty their service and hearts are.


  94. Alex Chasick says:

    @commenters conflating a business with a private home:

    Stop. Your house is not subject to health inspectors, a mall lease, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Interstate Commerce Clause, or (in some cases) the Fourteenth Amendment. If you want to do business in America, you agree to abide by certain regulations, one of them apparently being (in California, at least) that you provide bathroom access to your customers.

  95. RockStarr says:

    PS. Where was the OP when the Time Warner Cable next door started playing hardcore porn on it’s TV’s with the door locked? I need to find the pics I took of that.

  96. dwneylonsr says:
  97. I'm a tweeple too! says:

    The Orange County Register is the local newspaper,

    Ken Brusic, Editor (714) 796-2226

    It’s not the private property issue, the liking or disliking children or even the cleaning up the mess issue. To me it’s the issue that the store manager laughed and said “sue us.”

    On the other hand, I’d love to know which theatre to write and support their basic decency to a person in need.

  98. GrandmaSophie says:

    I think a point a lot of people must not know is that it is against health code for employees to pass through food preparation areas in many locations. Under any circumstances. Technically, health codes can vary from locality to locality, but they’re really pretty similar from one place to another. They could have been shut down by the Board of Health for letting that girl in to the employee bathroom. They certainly would have been shut down (and fined heavily by the mall for closing their doors, even if it had only been for a few hours and by board of health regulation) if she’d let loose behind the counter.

    Don’t think I’m unsympathetic – I have two young daughters myself. I’ve had one pee in a store because the employee would not let us use the employee bathroom (and that was a retail store without the BoH issues). I’m horrified for that poor little girl. I live in fear of dealing with a situation like that myself. But I can’t help but be a little sympathetic toward these folks and their fear of losing their livelihood.

  99. RockStarr says:

    Hmm looks like my comment got ated. But in a jist: The bathroom at this location is in the back behind the counter so it’s good they didn’t let her use it. And I am also glad I am no longer employed by the movie theater she ended up going into.

  100. Jetgirly says:

    When I was fifteen and sixteen I worked in a chocolate shop in a mall. The most compelling reason for us not to let our customers in the bathroom was the fact that it was the only space we had to hang our coats and purses. As long as we knew there were no customers in the back, we knew our personal property was safe from non-employee theft. Our stock room was tiny and we never could have installed lockers or anything- there was barely room for a tiny safe for the cash. Anyone who has worked in a mall knows that in a small store, employees possessions are often not locked up (due to the loack of space). Thieves trying to get in the back using the bathroom excuse is a well-known problem. Another reason is simply the amount of stock back there. Chocolates were shipped to our store “bulk”, sorted by type. We packaged them in the front of the store- some boxes were pre-packed, others were packaged according to customer’s wishes. The chocolates that we sold were preservative-free and had short shelf-lives, so they weren’t packed for long-term storage. The stockroom was filled with rows and rows and rows of chocolates in wax boxes separated by layers of wax paper. Knocking one of those boxes over would result in five pounds of loose chocolates spilled all over the floor, and about $85 in lost product. Bump into a shelf and take the whole thing out while you’re running to get to the bathroom, and you’ve got a couple thousand dollars worth of chocolate all over the floor. And if you don’t knock it over, who’s to say you’re not going to steal it? Third, customers making a mess. Let’s say the kid didn’t make it all the way into the bathroom and had diarrhea in our storage area (even worse in an elevated position in the mother’s arms). We wouldn’t/couldn’t sell that chocolate. Would you seriously buy chocolate knowing that a kid’s diarrhea had recently dripped down the box it was packaged in?

  101. davebg5 says:

    @TheUncleBob: Yeah, I bet once your business went in the toilet due to the fact that your shitty customer service was made even more public by your police report you’d sue and try to blame me for your failed business, right?

  102. RockStarr says:

    One more and I’ll stop.
    There are also public use restrooms at Bella Terra.

  103. samurailynn says:

    @everyone who is saying businesses need to provide restrooms

    This place is in a mall. Malls have public restrooms. Most shops in malls are tiny, and it would be a lot of wasted space for each store in the mall to have their own public restrooms. And if you’re saying that she needed to use Rocky Mountain’s restroom because the public restrooms were too far away… what would she have done if this were a grocery store? Would she have demanded that the produce section and the customer service stand have their own bathrooms because the ones in the back near the pharmacy are too far away?

  104. ThinkerTDM says:

    Oh, jeez. All the parents saying “Amen!”. So its the companies job to provide you with a bathroom? Will you be nice and not sue if an accident happens? Not poopoo in the pants, but a slip on the floor? A hand in the mixer? Stock falling on their head?
    Its better to have the underwear full of crap than a 10 year old on a ventilator, isn’t it?
    Besides, if your kid can’t hold it, maybe some more time toilet training might be nice.

  105. erratapage says:

    I don’t see that an insurance company would rather defend a suit for denying bathroom usage over a suit for whatever might happen during an unauthorized bathroom usage.

    It’s a stupid excuse. I hope the employees got sick from cleaning up the mess.

    And I don’t see why everyone thinks that a complaint is just an offer to sue. I complain about a lot of things I have no intention over suing over. I just want my problem resolved. If it can’t be, most of the time, I’m just going to go viral with my complaint.

  106. officeboy says:

    I hate doing this, but… From link to store:

    “We are located in the new Bella Terra Mall, a premier outdoor shopping center in Huntington Beach. We are located on the north side of the food court area…”

    Don’t food courts always have bathrooms in the immediate area? As a parent of a 1.5 and 3.5 year old I can understand that you might not make it. I have made the kid over shoulder sprint to the bathrooms many times. But asking to use bathrooms that may or may not exist is just causing trouble for yourself. I would duck in and find out where the nearest bathroom is and take off running.

    Nonetheless. If they had a bathroom and declined to let you use it then shame on them.

  107. FuryVids says:

    its crazy that all of you human decency people out there can say that.. if it was your job and not theres on the line. can half of you sit there make the same claim? its easy to say what you would have done when you were in there shoes, but guess what you weren’t and wont be.
    Human deceny is all fine and dandy, but if it is gonna cause a mess among the Store and its staff. then i agree with the store.
    I for one will not lose my job over some women who wants to whine about her kid not being able to use the bathroom. growing up, parents always had us use the bathroom before we went out. guess why? to prevent this from happening. and at 5 years old. u certainly know how to use the bathroom.
    ive had customer want certain things that would be very simple, and wouldnt hurt anyone. but for the sake that i was told i could not do it..guess what my job is more important then you or the 5 year old. good day.

  108. Sanveann says:

    I’m a mom (though my kid isn’t potty-trained yet, so my biggest public-restroom concern is whether or not there’s a diaper-changing station). I thought this was appalling.

    It’s been a long time since I worked in a place that was open to the general public, but when I did (at a bookstore), we had an employees-only bathroom. We’d tell adults, “Sorry, we don’t have a public restroom,” but we always made exceptions for kids. As many others have pointed out, when a small child announces he/she has to go to the bathroom, you don’t have very long! (And especially with diarrhea … heck, that’s true for anyone.)

    As others have pointed out, I think the store should have been a lot more concerned with the potential (and later actual) feces on their floor than a possible liability issue. And now, instead of a mom saying, “Wow, the folks there were SO nice the other day when little Joey suddenly got sick,” RMCF has their name all over the Web looking like a bunch of pricks, and their name is irrevocably associated with diarrhea. Bad, bad move.

    Btw, I do agree with those who’ve expressed concer that the mom would have left the bathroom a mess. (I was a waitress once, and will never forget the family whose child vomited on a table … and left it there for me to clean up!) If I’d been the manager, I’d have allowed her to use the restroom, stipulated, “Please clean up after yourself, if necessary,” and then checked to make sure she did.

  109. samurailynn says:

    @Sanveann: Just for clarification… what would you have done if the mother left without cleaning up?

  110. plasticredtophat says:

    Poor kid.. I can’t believe that the employees just stood there, and said no! Its a freaking little kid, who doesn’t have the best bathroom skill yet..

  111. DarrenO says:

    @greghayden70: I say maybe you’d want to read all the replies, not everyone disagrees with what I said. Quite a few agree. It was an unfortunate situation, but I still side with the store on this one. Do you know how much this would have cost the store if the little girl had made it back to the food prep area and THEN soiled herself and the general are

  112. Squeegoth says:

    @Update from the lawyer-editor:

    So, is the mall considered one giant establishment for said purposes of providing restrooms, or does each individual 1000 square foot hole need to have bathrooms for patrons?

    413.5.2 Fixtures for customer use shall be permitted to be met by providing a centrally located facility accessible to several stores. The maximum distance from entry to any store to this facility shall not exceed five hundred (500) feet (152.4 m).

    Your link, your code. You’re wrong. Mall’s responsibility.

  113. I'm a tweeple too! says:

    I got a response from the Orange County register, they are sending it to their Huntington Beach editor and to the letters editor.

    A link to here was included in my correspondence.

  114. Juggernaut says:

    Why is mom feeding this kid chocolate? And the kid is in gastric distress? C’mon, it’s mom’s fault!

  115. I'm a tweeple too! says:

    Also, I think something not caught (or at least mentioned) is that the store didn’t offer alternatives.

    Assuming this customer doesn’t know the area/mall, the clerk could have said “down the hall to your left are public facilities” or “there’s a public toliet in the food court – giving instructions.”

    It seems the clerk just said “no.”

  116. Public access restrooms are required by most municipal codes.

    Next time call the city code enforcement officer. The code enforcement officer has law enforcement capabilities (badge, gun, ability to write criminal complaints and close a business for failure to abide by city codes) and will straighten out a business in no time.

  117. jblaze1 says:

    Worked for me. I’ll never eat there.

  118. Sanveann says:

    @samurailynn: I’d have said, “Excuse me, ma’am, could you please clean up the bathroom, since we were kind enough to let you use it?” You know, the sort of thing one decent person says to another.

  119. Smoking Pope says:

    Anyone called yet? What do they have to say?

  120. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Waterfall Surprise.

  121. ohiomensch says:


    Apparently its a small candy store that serves drinks and slushies. Seems to me if you serve drinks, you enter into the realm of being a foodservice.

  122. TheUncleBob says:

    @Squeegoth: Perhaps the restrooms located in the Cinema are within 500 feet of the RMCF entrance? It doesn’t look like it’d be that far.


  123. Alex Chasick says:

    @Squeegoth: First, I’m not a lawyer. Second, don’t be so glib. I’ve never been to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory in the Huntington Beach Mall, so I have no idea if it is more than 500 feet from a public bathroom, and unless you’ve been there with a tape measure, neither do you. That’s why I said they may have violated regulations.

  124. Mary says:

    The problem for me here is two small but important parts:
    -They offered no alternatives (even when I wasn’t allowed to let customers into our restroom at a store where I worked, I could easily let them know there was a restroom around the corner). If you don’t have a public restroom in a place like that you quickly learn where they are.

    -Places that serve food or where you’re expected to be for extended periods of time should have restrooms. A little store in the mall? Not so much, since the mall usually has public restrooms. A big box store or restaurant? Yes, absolutely. So their lack of public restroom is a big problem.

    Their attitude is also an issue. Never laugh at a customer until they’re out of earshot, it’s a basic rule.

  125. MMD says:

    @ThinkerTDM: Your argument is bogus. Public access or not, there’s no excuse for any business to have its bathroom be the deathtrap that you describe. If it’s safe enough for an employee to use, it’s safe enough for someone to use in an emergency.

  126. MMD says:

    @Juggernaut: Right, because all moms have ESP and know exactly when their kid is going to get sick. I bet you know exactly when the next time you get the flu is going to be and have already cleared your sick days from work.

    The human body, she is unpredictable.

  127. BurntToast says:

    You folks also have to realize that not all stores in SoCal malls have restrooms, even for their employees. When I worked at GameStop, GameStop required their stores to have a restroom in the back, but it was more because they could also use that as a storage area as well. A lot of GameStops store their extra consoles and stuff in their restrooms, that’s why stores like that cannot let customers into their restrooms… because I’m sure they wouldn’t be cool with having an employee watch them as they did their business.

    However, there were a lot of stores that weren’t as lucky to have their own restroom/makeshift storage area. Wouldn’t surprise me if that Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory didn’t even have a restroom in the backroom but only a sink for food prep/cleanup.

    Heck, in the SoCal malls that I’ve worked at… I could name numerous stores that didn’t have their own bathrooms and their employees had to use the public Guest restrooms.

  128. MMD says:

    @Jetgirly: So you’re saying the stock is kept in the bathroom? Then you have bigger problems than whether or not a non-employee is using it.

  129. juri squared says:

    I can understand that a mall food store can’t let people in back due to the health/safety issues other commenters have mentioned. What I want to know is – did the employees help the poor woman find the mall bathroom? I’m sure they’d know where it is. When I’ve worked at stores with similar policies, we knew exactly where to point people that needed the restroom. (“Target is two doors down and the bathrooms are right in front” usually calmed people down.)

    On the other hand, when I worked at a retail place with a stockroom bathroom, we just had one person babysit the back room til the customer was done. The bathroom was, of course, nasty – is there an employee restroom that isn’t? – but we never got complaints. I think people were too grateful.

  130. cashmerewhore says:

    Having worked at a mall store-front (that didn’t serve any foodsorts) I can tell you that our restroom was both disgusting and within a maze of a poorly planned stock room.

    And I worked with 99% women for a company owned by Lex Wexner. I remember ONE customer being given the go ahead to use the staff restroom.

    RMCF is a tiny store, like Godiva. No restrooms, no customer seating, nothing. Walk in, get delicious apple, walk out. Chances are there was either an anchor store around with public restrooms or food court.

    I agree that it was shitty on the part of the employees, but if they had previously been disciplined for it then they were told not to make exceptions.

  131. monkeyboy42 says:

    I would urge anyone who feels that this is shameful behavior to contact their *local* franchise of the Chocolate Factory, and let them know that you will be boycotting the Chocolate Factory as the result the actions of one of their fellow franchisees. Let them know that the actions and policies of Todd and Bonnie Overturf (owners of the store in question) are going to cost them business.

    You can look up the location/contact information of your local franchise here: []

    And here is the contact information of the human-decency-lacking store:

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
    Bella Terra
    7777 Edinger Avenue, Suite C-178
    Huntington Beach, CA 92648

    Contact Information:
    714-901-3207 – fax


  132. ablestmage says:

    I don’t really feel for ya here, the situation was no more their fault than it was yours — but you decided to take it out on them for some bizarre reason. Employees are _not at all_ obligated to open the door for you once they’ve closed up. It’s like you’re trying to establish some exlusive rights system by which you come out on top. You have no case, just let it go. I just got a good chuckle out of the fact that the poo-spew incident happened in close conjunction with anything having to do with “rocky mountain chocolate” =P

  133. aront says:

    I hope to God she sues their asses off – that is the most soulless, heart-wrenching story I have ever heard! You can bet I will never bring my family or wallet to any of their establishments!

  134. ssaoi says:

    you know, google has review sections for damn near every business in the country. just throwing that out there.

  135. cashmerewhore says:


    What about Auntie Anne’s? They serve slushes, drinks and pretzels and there is no way in hell you’d be able to get around their counter to use a restroom.

  136. I'm a tweeple too! says:


    So does yahoo and citysearch

  137. morganlh85 says:

    Was the store in a shopping mall? The only RMCF I know of was in a mall, in which case the store does NOT necessarily have to provide restroom facilities.

  138. SacraBos says:

    I’ve had a bathroom emergency, and Hollywood Video let me use their facilities. With kids, bathroom emergencies will eventually come up, and when they have, I’ve never been refused.

    Maybe the kid ought to have a bathroom emergency during a Health Inspection. I think letting a customer blow e’coli all over floor of the store might be a code violation.

    I agree with the previous poster – If you use the employee restroom, don’t complain about its condition. The alternative is worse.

  139. Already hit corporate with round one of my emails.

  140. MMD says:

    @cashmerewhore: “I agree that it was shitty on the part of the employees, but if they had previously been disciplined for it then they were told not to make exceptions.”

    And this is precisely what’s wrong with customer service and the root of 99% of the complaints on this website – “policy” concerns overrule common sense judgment and take away an employee’s ability to solve basic problems. If the precious policy had been violated and the kid had used the bathroom, we’d never be having this discussion and this company would not be having what is shaping up to be a public relations nightmare.

  141. Squeegoth says:

    @Alex Chasick: The phrasing of the update implies that the individual business is required to provide the restrooms when that may not be the case.

    Looking at the map provided by the outdoor-community-mall-thingum it looks like they provide two restrooms themselves, but what seems to be a restaraunt court is disturbingly devoid of public restrooms. At this point, disregarding the manager’s abhorrent behavior, it appears that the party responsible for providing restrooms depends on the contract between the store itself and the mall, which is something we won’t be privy to. Given that there’s a doubt, I’m going to assume no-fault on the part of the business itself. This, however, doesn’t excuse the unnecessarily smug behavior on the part of the manager. Speaking as an expert on smug behavior, I should know! When you’re trying to make a profit off of the business of strangers, you need to treat them all like your best customer. Smug behavior is fine for omginternetarguments, but it has no place at work. Unless your line of work is omginternetarguments.

  142. morganlh85 says:

    Oh and the picture accompanying this post grossed me out a lot, btw.

  143. Xerloq says:

    I haven’t read the article yet, but I have to ask if the title is serious.

  144. snoop-blog says:

    The Headline should have totally read:

    “Kid has Hershey squirts in chocolate factory”

  145. TheUncleBob says:

    @MMD: An employee restroom doesn’t have to be a “death trap” to be considered un-safe for a 5-year-old child. The storage shed in the back of my house is pretty safe, but I wouldn’t let a child in there (paint cans, lawnmower, gas, etc…).

  146. revmatty says:

    I managed several Wherehouse stores in CA during the 90’s. We were told by corporate that for insurance reasons customers were never allowed into the back room (which is where the bathroom was). I always made exceptions for kids or even adults who looked to be in urgent need.

  147. hellinmyeyes says:

    Waaahhh!! Let’s boycott an entire company because of one franchise’s decision in an already questionable case. Waahhh!!! Geez, guys. I could guess there’s nothing more pressing in the world to do.

  148. bobbleheadr says:

    As someone with a bowel condition I know the “sudden need to go”. Thats why I look to see where restrooms are when I enter a business (or mall). While the post-accident reaction was horrible, and deserved punishment, I disagree with those of you who are demanding private restrooms be open to the public.

    Small businesses are different then big ones, if they choose not to provide a public restroom for health/sanitation/insurance reasons then arguing that you should be allowed isnt your best option.

    And those disgusting folks that have encouraged having a bowel movement on counters/handles/food just need to grow up. I would call the cops on you in a moment.

  149. samurailynn says:

    @SacraBos: Do you think the health inspectors would rather have the diarrhea on the floor in front of the counter, or behind the counter, on the merchandise, on the counter and on the employees?

  150. MMD says:

    @TheUncleBob: Which is moot, because there’d never be an emergency that would require a child to have access to your shed.

  151. Devidence says:

    I’m on the side of the business here. I used to work in a small record shop in a strip mall with an even smaller private bathroom. Our backroom and restroom was covered in sometimes inappropriate posters, gigantic stacks of boxes/stock, and was in no way a safe place. We were nextdoor to a restaurant where we referred customers requesting a restroom.

    One time a Mom came in with a little boy asking to use it, I explained our policy and referred her nextdoor. She spent the next 5 minutes arguing with me. I kept referring her nextdoor, and told her she would be able to discuss it with management if she wanted.

    Overall she could’ve gone next door and come back in the time she spent complaining about it. And I bet if I had let her in the back she would’ve had more to complain about.

    Small businesses sometimes do not have public restrooms, if there’s someplace close nearby then just go there. Argue later.

  152. Jetgirly says:

    @MMD: No, I am saying the stock is kept in the stock room, which is essentially a narrow hallway (maybe six or seven feet wide in total, of which most is shelf space) and a bathroom at the end. You would have to squeeze past all of the product to reach the bathroom. And having re-read my original post, I think I made it quite clear that the two areas were seperate.

  153. MMD says:

    @Devidence: Public access or not, how can it be ok for a business to keep stock for sale in a bathroom?

  154. ThinkerTDM says:

    @MMD: The bathroom isn’t a deathtrap. It’s the way to the bathroom.
    When I worked in a bakery, the bathroom was in back.
    The way there, you had to pass 2 giant mixers (not the tabletop variety), a number of tables with knives, a shelf full of cutting instruments, and people moving around, often carrying items from the oven. What if I was taking some bread out of the oven?
    An accident can certainly happen, especially if they are unsure of the layout, and are rushing to get to the bathroom.
    Also, the insurance company dictates the terms, not common sense. If anyone here thinks that the insurance company would waive potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in a lawsuit, because a little girl was scalded from boiling water- just because of a bowel emergency…well, they need to wake up.

  155. npage149 says:

    I work in retail and we do not have a public restroom. Why? Becasue we did and people are pigs and kept destorying it, crapping all over the place, shooting up and make it nasty. Thats why. Also, its always an emergency in the eye’s of the person wanting to use it so thats a crappy excuse for them letting you use it. If people were not slobs then it would be different. I doubt she would clean up her kids mess if they went on teh floor.

  156. MMD says:

    @Jetgirly: If it had been clear, I wouldn’t have had to ask.

    And if you have to squeeze by stock, then the area is not safe for anyone, including employees, and needs to be reevaluated for everyone’s safety.

  157. MMD says:

    @ThinkerTDM: Have an employee escort the person to the bathroom, clearing away potential hazards. Problem solved, common sense prevails.

  158. cashmerewhore says:

    Do children suffer from explosive diarrhea or is it possible that she was not feeling good all day/previously?

    Sorry for blaming the victim, but I just gotta know….

  159. ThinkerTDM says:

    @MMD: I worked in plenty of places where I had to squeeze. And plenty of loading docks where things where moving very fast. They were safe for trained personnel, not for 5 year olds and their mommies to rush around.
    Granted, the rudeness of the employees is abhorable. Just for that alone, a boycott should be in order.
    But to state that the company was in the wrong by not allowing this little child to be hurt or maimed- I’m not going to go for that.

  160. TheUncleBob says:

    @MMD: The point is not at all moot. The point is that an area can be safe for mature employees while not being safe for a young child.

  161. KatieKate93 says:

    When I was assistant manager at a kitchen supply chain in a mall, we were forbidden to let customers use our employee bathrooms. There were reasons for this beyond insurance purposes. In addition to potential for injury or store stock theft, we had to worry about our own stuff as we did not have lockers but stored our personal belongings on a shelf in the stockroom. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want some stranger rifling through my purse. Public bathrooms are within a short walk from any mall store. We were more than willing to direct a customer to the nearest or most accessible one.

    My manager told us a story one time about a theft attempt she witnessed when she first started with the company. It was a weeknight and only two employees were on duty, which was common in our not-so-busy store. A customer asked to use the bathroom and my manager followed them into the stockroom to “babysit”, leaving a lone cashier in the front of the store. Nobody was out on the floor for customer service. When my manager returned from the stockroom, she caught someone stuffing merchandise into a shopping bag. It was the person the bathroom user had come in with.

    None of us wanted to jeopardize our livelihood by letting customers into the part of the store designated “employees only”, no matter the situation. And as for there being a marked designation on this thread between breeders and the childless, it’s not so clear to me. Would you risk your job, and the food on your own child’s plate, to let somebody else’s kid break a clear company rule? None of the mothers I worked with would have.

  162. malvones says:

    The manager’s attitude is what really warrants a complaint, and I’m sure once their corporate comm. dept gets wind of the story (as it is now inevitably making its rounds via digg) she will likely not have to worry herself with such matters any longer.

  163. Anonymous says:

    I support the store on this one. Its not your right to use their bathroom and kids do have accidents all the time.

  164. JeffDrummer says:

    Hmmm I work at for HSBC and there are no public bathrooms, would that mean that we would have to let customers into the back to use our bathroom – that would make me uncomfortable. However – this is a restaurant, not a bank, shame on them!

  165. DF says:

    “It’s just that I associate with people who don’t expect the world to bow down to them because they have children.”

    Time until “parent entitlement” canard was trotted out: 28 minutes.

  166. ZoeSchizzel says:

    The mom probably ran to the closest bathroom (which she knew was the the store where they happened to be), and never thought that given the emergency they would be denied access. Business owners — at least successful ones — a) don’t normally treat customers so shabbily when they plead for help, and b) don’t normally want their store covered in feces, the smell of which lingers. No, business owners shouldn’t as a matter of course open their designated employee restrooms for customers who don’t want to walk across the mall, but in an emergency you have to make exceptions. This wasn’t even, “We waited too long and now my child has to pee pee.” This was diarrhea. What if the child was vomitting? Or, it was coming out both ends? I’d rather get fired from a crappy minimum wage job than be responsible for cleaning up a mess like that. And, if I were a business owner that had bullied my employees into blindly ignoring common sense, or worse, had trained them to behave so stupidly, I’d deserve every bit of bad publicity I got.

    I also have a dead friend with Crohn’s disease. She has absolutely NO warning before she has to go. Never has she been refused a restroom by any business. For her, the condition is very embarrassing (though it shouldn’t be…it’s a disease) and she would never leave a bathroom in a filthy condition. One time, she did happen to mess up the floor of a public bathroom, and went up front to ask the employee for cleaning supplies to clean it up. The employee told her to sit down and that she would clean it up. Guess which business we — all of her friends and family — patronize and recommend?

  167. Mdmrptr says:

    @RockStarr: Not trying to be rude here, but your comments suggest to me you’ve clearly never been responsible for (nor experienced yourself) a child who is experiencing the very sudden urge to have to use the restroom. Your first thought as a parent (or responsible person) is to get to the NEAREST facility NOW.

    Also, for anyone else in considering emailing or calling the store, it may be prudent to bypass the so-called “manager” at this store (which is a franchise, btw – you may consider emailing the link to this page to those who are interested in selling more of their lovely little franchises) and going straight to the “hosts” – Todd and Bonnie Overturf, pictured on main page of this specific franchisee’s web site.

    I wonder, Todd and Bonnie, do you really want to employ someone who is willing to laugh and mock if not your possibly customer, at the very least, a human being who experienced a stressful situation in caring for their child? Nice. Who does your hiring again? Remind me not to patron your establishment while I’m in the area. And, yes, I do live locally and am often in the Bella Terra shopping area.

  168. Jetgirly says:

    @MMD: It was a chocolate shop! Of course the health inspector came annually to evaluate whether or not it was safe! It’s a narrow space surrounded by chocolate in wax-coated boxes, not a bottomless pit of quicksand. It’s not dangerous to anyone’s physical safety, but it is dangerous to the financial safety of the company to have people who are unfamiliar with the space rushing through it. For a small chocolate shop, losing even a couple of hundred dollars (which would be about one day’s sales in the off-season) in stock could be devastating. That could EASILY have happened if the mother had been carrying the child in her arms and the child’s leg hit one of the shelving supports. The only other danger posed by having customers back there would be the danger posed to my personal safety, as the customer would have unsupervised access to the room where I kept my wallet, my money, my textbooks, my car keys, etc. In the time it takes for a identity-stealing mom to fake her kid’s diarrhea (or, for that matter, for her kid to actually have diarrhea) she can take my credit and debit cards, my cash and my driver’s license and learn where I leave, my date of birth, my phone number and where I go to school.

  169. Mdmrptr says:

    RMCF Franchise Development

    I’d suggest emailing them a link to this page. Just a thought.

  170. formatdelete says:

    i just wanted to say i love the consumerists’ use of photo stock…

  171. I’m surprised no one has fingered the real culprit here: the legion of tort lawyers who through a string of ridiculous lawsuits have created an environment in which a shopkeeper refuses to let a child use a bathroom for fear of legal complications. I’m sure the Rocky Mountain folks aren’t evil, they just don’t want to take a chance that the kid is going to fall over a mop bucket in their bathroom and mom is going to sue them for medical bills and punitive damages. The outcome sucks, but the blame rests with the lawyers.

    @aront: “I hope to God she sues their asses off” <- a perfect example of what I’m talking about. You want this woman to sue the business? On what grounds? We should have lawyers arguing over a little girl who shit her pants in public? Ridiculous.

  172. Sanveann says:

    Found some interesting info online about which states have “Restroom Access Acts”: []

    It looks like Minnesota, Illinois and Texas have passed legislation and the bill is pending in nine other states.

    The bill says:

    A retail establishment that has a toilet facility for its employees shall allow a customer to use that facility during normal business hours if the toilet facility is reasonably safe and all of the following conditions are met:

    1. The customer requesting the use of the employee toilet facility suffers from an eligible medical condition or utilizes an ostomy device.
    2. Three or more employees of the retail establishment are working at the time the customer requests use of the employee toilet facility.
    3. The retail establishment does not normally make a restroom available to the public.
    4. The employee toilet facility is not located in an area where providing access would create an obvious health or safety risk to the customer or an obvious security risk to the retail establishment.
    5. A public restroom is not immediately accessible to the customer.

    Apparently, the Illinois law also include “other medical conditions such as pregnancy and incontinence.”

  173. abundesen says:

    I suffered discrimination like this due to my crohn’s disease and it is terrible to treat ANYONE this way let alone a little kid, I have distributed the link to my list of people which will let people know what a crappy insensitive place RMCF is.

  174. samurailynn says:

    @Sanveann: Even if California had that law, see #5 – there were public restrooms accessible to the customer within the mall.

  175. jpx72x says:

    “UPDATE: After reading some of the comments, I searched around some more to find out whether a place that serves food has to provide a bathroom to customers. As it turns out, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory may have violated existing California Code provisions. An organization called the American Restroom Association has a Uniform Plumbing Code that requires a “toilet facility for customers, patrons, and visitors of all mercantile and business establishments.” The Uniform Public Code has been adopted by California, so it seems that there IS a requirement for businesses to provide restroom facilities for customers.”

    I’m not following you. What does the Uniform Plumbing Code of to do with the Uniform Public Code?

  176. AustinTXProgrammer says:

    @TheUncleBob: You must be the most heartless blood sucking “business owner” out there.

    There are a lot of disabled people out there, and in many cases they are not a large enough percentage of the population to make accommodations profitable.

    Do you REALLY want anyone with the misfortune of becoming disabled to be stuck in their house for the rest of their life? Without some requirement of ramps, door widths, etc. these people would be forced to be shut ins. It doesn’t add that much of a burden. If you have business worth running you can afford a ramp.

    As for calling the cops to file a vandalism complaint… I would hope that made the front page of your local newspaper. Parent arrested after child had accident on floor. The laughing part or not….

    Why don’t you tell us about your business and see if your customers like your attitude?

  177. celticgina says:

    I just left an email for the company too.

    Yeah, I’ve worked retail and can understand those concerns, but when you have a 5 year old crying diarhea and a mom frantic, ya could escort them back and be a person.

    honestly….what’s wrong with us that the worry over stock is more important than human decency.

    And as for the manager laughing…..hope that B*tch has 8 kids just like her

    and yeah, i have kids

  178. EdnaLegume says:

    @justrick: AMen. Unfortunately, I’ve crapped my pants more than my kids have. :(

  179. @jpx72x:

    Just check the municipal codes. Public Restrooms are usually required for all new construction and new occupancy permits.

  180. laila says:


    I certainly didn’t mean that the girl should be picked up like a football, only that if there is no flexibility in the employees only restroom policy, that guiding the parent and child to the closest restroom would have been an appropriate response. If there was more than one employee in the place, walking/running with mom and kid to the nearest restroom could have helped. Malls can be like mazes and even the most capable mother may not know the best and fastest way to get to the closest restroom.

    The way I see it, this is about making a compassionate decision. If someone is in serious distress, it shouldn’t be that hard to find a way to help. When a business chooses not to help a customer in distress, they will lose that customer. And if it ends up all over Consumerist, they stand to lose a lot.

  181. Sanveann says:

    @samurailynn: Well, it’s hard to know what the definition of “immediate” is, since I haven’t been to that particular mall. But mostly, I was just posting the link as an item of interest … I don’t know that it even applies in this case, as we don’t know if this child had a medical condition.

  182. glass says:

    if she had used the bathroom, and slipped in there, then what? the company’s insurance wont cover that, because customers aren’t supposed to be in there. i support the company on this one.

    i worked at a mall retail store, and i constantly got people asking if they could use the restroom or if their grubby kid could shit all over the walls. thanks but no thanks. would you risk getting fired for some parent who thinks she rules dont apply to her because she was able to reproduce? i hate parents that think the world owes them something.

  183. Gopher bond says:

    A five year old pooped her pants and this is the most heartless devastating story some of you have ever heard?

    Jeez, suck it up, not literally though, that’d be gross.

  184. dugn says:

    Agree that a viral campaign and passing out fliers in front of the store are great ideas. Too bad the mom couldn’t have let her poor daughter lose it in the middle of the floor and stand there telling people arriving not to eat the chocolate ;)

    Of course, the poor girl didn’t need any more embarrassment. It’s the store that deserves it.

  185. EdnaLegume says:

    There’s getting on the bandwagon heading to congress to get some bills rolling for public restrooms. Then there’s simply using your brain when a mom comes in carrying a 5 year old who’s yelling “diarrhea”.

    If I were working in a retail establishment (and I have), and a similar situation occurred (not exactly, but relatively similar did), I’d show them to the loo.

    And those instances were prior to my own children. Don’t they call that empathy?

    I’d much rather be in the camp that helps people, then the camp that worries more about possible legal ramifications while a kid shits on the floor. Doesn’t that violate a health code?

    The icing on the cake was the manager’s reaction. This story might not have even hit Consumerist, had she simply offered an apology.

    If it had been an adult, I’d likely act differently. Being an adult and having kids, I realize kids relate to their bowels differently. Adults pretty much start their search for facilities sooner. Unfortunately, some seek out facilities in Home Depot. I digress….

    If it had been me, I’d toss caution to the wind and show them the bathroom. I’d go WITH THEM, to make sure nothing was stolen, and to help divert them should they begin aiming for something sharp, and/or slippery.

    Only one working and the bathroom is in Guam? damn, sucks to be you.

  186. AgentTuttle says:

    Given the choice: Let her use the employee bathroom OR have to clean up a biohazard in your food establishment,…

    Is that Rocky Mountain Chocolate on the floor, or are you guys just ass-clowns?

  187. BeeBoo says:

    Thank goodness the employees didn’t let the kid have explosive diarrhea in a food preparation area or in the bathroom where they wash their hands. Who knows what kind of of unusual infectious bacteria was causing the diarrhea that could have been spread to thousands, causing a public health crisis? Regular E. coli is bad enough.

    Gotta back the store on this one. There are public bathrooms in the mall. Accidents happen. Poor kid, poor mom, but to try to take revenge is stupid. Shame on Consumerist for even posting this one.

  188. HOP says:

    the stores around here (md) must have public restrooms if they serve eat in food…i never heard of that store, but if one shows up around here, i sure won’t patronize it….

  189. HOP says:


  190. EdnaLegume says:

    @HOP: there is(was?) a Rocky Mountain in Queenstown outlets. I think there is one in Perryville too.

  191. richcreamerybutter says:

    [x] sent:

    to :
    subject: When you’re sliding into third…

    I just read about this incident on Consumerist, and am completely appalled.


    Needless to say, this was blatantly callous behavior on the part of your manager, “liability” notwithstanding. It would behoove you to apologize to this poor mother, since the power of a viral campaign can be as urgent as the force of diarrhea on a young colon.

    The manager ought to be thankful she wasn’t dealing with MY mother.

  192. quirkyrachel says:

    I going to say, California is king when it comes to making laws on anything and everything. You’d think they’d have a law on this.

  193. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    A layout of the mall is here. RMCF is #57 at the top bordering on the theatre.


  194. thelushie says:

    The mother caused her daughter’s humiliation by standing there arguing with the employee about the use of the bathroom. She could have used that time in getting her daughter to another bathroom. I have a feeling this is a stay at home privileged soccer mom using a $800 stroller (sorry, couldn’t resist!) with nothing better to do with her time. I plan on shooting out an email to the company saying they did the right thing.

    @glass: I hate that, too. Apparently, being able to spawn gives them extra privileges such as using a private bathroom, going to the front of the line, etc. I had that problem the other day. Woman with stroller trying to edge her way in front of me. I had been waiting awhile and pointed out where the line began. “But I really need to do this. My baby is hungry.” “Well I have a lit review due and I also need to get through this line” Guess who came out to be the bad one? (Yes, I am anti-child.)

  195. TheUncleBob says:

    @laila: I can’t speak for these employees, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t tell the mother where the nearest public restroom was. However, I can’t imangine asking an employee to run through the mall with you to run interference/escort you and your child to another store to use their restroom.
    @AustinTXProgrammer: blah, blah, blah. I’m not talking about the morality of providing accommodation for disable customers. I’m talking about the idea that there should be legal requirements. Two completely different ball fields.

  196. jsboehm79 says:

    Here’s a map of the “Mall”

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is #57.

    There are NO public restrooms anywhere nearby, so running across to another store was not an option. The closest is the restroom at Kohls which is clear across the ampitheater (and the multiplex) from Rocky Mountain.

  197. richcreamerybutter says:



    I loathe the parents in my NYC railroad building who see fit to keep their goddamn stroller in the ground floor hallway (without checking with the residents), and they way they have the audacity to complain about their upstairs neighbor when she comes home at 4am, and their downstairs neighbor if he chooses to smoke weed once in a while. Sorry, but deciding to bring a kid into the world that screams at all hours doesn’t mean the rest of us are going to adjust our lifestyles.

    Just the other day I witnessed an argument between a mom and her ne’er-do’well beer-bellied, hat-on-backwards, walleyed father of the baby who was declaring that he can come and go as he pleases even if he has a kid! On the next block, I was subjected to a completely different revolting parent, the shaggy-haired proprietor of some Scandinavian-named store with three $500 items in the window who is always holding his kid and looking around as if to say, “look at my baybeee!”

    What’s my point? There are a lot of horrible parents (and also a few awesome ones). Regardless of your opinion on these parents, don’t blame the kid.

  198. wgrune says:



  199. @IfThenElvis:

    Nice set of public restrooms ….. well placed for an adult. Meets the needs of “public restrooms” for the public.

    Still, the store was being a jerk for not allowing a child access to the store restroom.

    Sorry, as big of a corporate supporter as I am may be, there are still standards of behavior that any human should be expected to maintain. The store manager should be demoted to sub-human.

  200. Catebb says:

    I sympathize with the mom and little girl to a point. 1)This location is in a mall, which has the required restrooms throughout the building. It wasn’t as if the family was had to get in their car and drive a couple blocks to a gas station. 2)The insurance issue is valid, no employee wants to risk their job and no owner wants to risk being sued.

    If you want a reason to boycott RMCF, do it because they got rid of avalnche bark, that stuff was fantastic!

  201. samurailynn says:

    @jsboehm79: The closest restrooms were probably at the theater, where the mother said she went after standing around arguing with the employees at RMCF.

  202. amoeba says:

    I lost my appetite!

    Was the 5 yr old already sick or got sick with the drink?

  203. thelushie says:

    @amoeba: My guess is that she was probably already sick. Maybe mommy should have stayed home that day.

  204. amoeba says:

    @thelushie: That’s what I was thinking…

  205. Poster99 says:

    Clearly I wasn’t there, but there has to be a time when an employee needs to know when to bend the rules. And clearly there needs to be a time when a parent has to make the choice of arguing with the employee or running over to the movie theatre.

  206. hamsangwich says:

    I blame the customer! How dare they give their child chocolate, it’s so unhealthy for a five year old.

  207. thelushie says:

    @richcreamerybutter: You make a good point. I just wish parents would realize that they have a right to spawn to their hearts content. But I also have a right not to have to deal with their little monsters. I am also not going to change my life or what I talk about because little precious may hear something that, quite honestly, they are hearing in school anyway.

    There was a letter in Dear Abby recently written by a mother who went out with her friends or family or something and was absolutely horrified that there was a group of single women (gasp! We go out without men!) having a great time at the table next to them. They were being loud and having an “inappropriate conversation” that her 8 year old was heard. Of course, Abby was in shock and awe (at least that is the way it read) and told her to march right up to the waiter and request to move and tell them why. You mean what alot of child-free people do when there is a screaming baby next to us?

  208. Julia789 says:

    My husband worked at a small retail shop many years ago, when I first met him. One day a gentleman came into the store, and begged to use their one employee bathroom. Being a nice guy, my husband agreed. The man did massive, explosive crap all over the seat and bowl, with spray all around the toilet, even the lid. He just left it there, closed the bathroom door, and rushed out of the store when he was done. The manager insisted that since he had let the guy use the toilet, he had to be the one to clean it. My poor husband was stuck trying to pour bleach all over the bathroom and scrub it up.

  209. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    Reading the post again I don’t see any *long* argument with the staff. They said no and the child soiled herself almost immediately. If they had let her back there she would likely have soiled in the food prep area between the counter and the restroom.
    The manager didn’t “laugh” at the incident but at the mom threatening to use her extensive contacts to launch a viral campaign.

  210. Ravenwaift says:

    So, here is a overhead view of the location.
    [overhead view, courtesy of Google]

    It’s designed more like a strip mall than a closed in mall that is all located in one building. I think that some of the people who say mom was wrong are thinking of the malls that are all under one roof.

    In this case, I think that the store is in the wrong. I don’t have kids, and I don’t even really like them. If this were an enclosed space with nearby public restrooms, it’d be different, but in this sort of design public restrooms should be available in the store.

    Legally, I don’t know. Morally, I think the store is in the wrong. If I were a customer of that store, I’d expect (based on the design) that there would be a restroom available.

  211. samurailynn says:

    @IfThenElvis: Exactly. And if I were a customer there that day, I would prefer that the accident happened away from the food and on the customer side of the counter rather than on the food prep side of the counter.

  212. bbernardini says:

    Oddly enough, there’s already an entry for “Rocky Mountain Chcolate Factory” on Urban Dictionary:


  213. br549xt93 says:

    I feel so sorry for the little girl. I think that’s terrible. How embarrassing for her and her mom. As a parent myself, I would have a hard time letting this one go. I’m glad we don’t have one of those businesses around here, otherwise I’d stop going.

  214. IrisMR says:

    …A sick kid. How could the kid know it had the poops BEFORE the thing came out? Because she had some beforehand that day. No other reason.

    When you have a kid with flowing fecal matter you stay at home, you don’t bring it to the mall. What’s wrong with her?! Also, if it was a mall there were public restrooms. In this case they CAN deny the use of the employee bathrooms since the there were some available to her in the establishment. Sorry.

  215. Aresef says:

    The fact this happened at a chocolate factory is priceless.

  216. anachro882 says:

    “Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory?” I know a little girl who has a new nickname!

  217. cyclade says:

    @MisterE: Contacting the local media is normally a great idea to expose these sorts of “I can’t believe people are so callous towards eachother” stories. But I’d not want to go there here, lest this poor girl of five suffer further indignity being known to her classmates and a whole region as “little miss poopy pants.”

    D*ck move by the employee. Simple as that. And if that bozo had to clean up a mess on the floor as a result, then they deserve what they got. This has nothing to do with what someone may be “owed” or “entitled to” and everything to do with some idiot not showing a little humanity.

  218. greedykitty says:

    I can clearly see that the ones who are defending Rocky Mountain obviously do not have small children……..when a kid’s gotta go, they gotta go RIGHT THEN

  219. thalia says:

    I would have told my daughter to drop her pants and go right there on their floor. They sure as hell wouldn’t deny a kid bathroom privileges again.

    Also, I thought that places that sell food are required to have public restrooms?

  220. amoeba says:

    I think the mother is responsible of her child’s embarrassment as well hers if she new that the girl was sick. I also think that the store should had provided the bathroom in this case, as an emergency. And I probably, if I was the patron of the store, would have requested to the adult to clean any mess left.

  221. ppiddyp says:

    @thelushie: When you’re 75 years old and need a seat on a crowded bus or need a hand doing something your ancient body can no longer handle, I hope someone takes the same sort of attitude as you: “stinky old fart should just die if they aren’t able to do X by themselves.”

    What goes around, comes around. Part of living in a society, rather than as a hermit in a cave, is making a few sacrifices for the comfort and well-being of others…even those who may have chosen to put themselves in a situation where they have a different set of requirements than others. And even if you have no compassion for parents, you’re a jerk if you think the kid in this case deserved what she got.

    Sorry if this post makes you all angry and stuff, ’cause it sounds like you’ve already got some shit to deal with.

  222. firenice says:

    Has anyone seen Clerks (fussy old guy who asks use of the employee bathroom, then softer TP, then pornographic magazine). Having worked at a grocery store, I have had customers using the employee bathroom pee on the floor, forget flushing, scribble grafitti, stick gum on the toilet seat. Need I go on.

    BTW, saying something like “I would be using my extensive contacts to begin a viral campaign to boycott your store and the entire chain.” is pretty snotty.

    This might be a nice time to recall the pooping direct tv installer story. Most of you would have thought “Ewww, I will never allow that in my home.” How is this situation different?

  223. failurate says:

    The people in the store should have been more helpful. They rightfully refused access to their restroom, but should have offered directions and maybe even a guide to the public restroom around the corner (thanks for the map).

    And, from the descripton of these Chocolate Specialty stores, I don’t think I will buy chocolate from them. If they are doing food prep, they should have a proper food prep kitchen. Not some make shift closet right next to the shitter.
    And, did someone say places like this often store merchendise (food?) in the bathroom? That’s messed up.

  224. P_Smith says:

    I’m not attacking the original posters, but who would ever eat in a place where there are no toilets to wash your hands?

    I can understand a supermarket or 7-11 not having a public toilet, but a restaurant? No wonder that place’s management are a bunch of fuckups.

  225. Anybody got a response from corporate as of yet?

  226. Sanveann says:

    @IrisMR: Have you NEVER had diarrhea? Because most people can tell when they’re about to have it, even if they haven’t previously that day. Just because the child knew it was coming doesn’t mean she’d already been sick … and I have a hard time believing that any parent would knowingly take a kid with diarrhea out to the mall. My little guy recently had a very upset tummy due to his medication, and believe me, we didn’t leave the house until he was done with the stuff!

    Furthermore, if you look at the links that others have provided, you’ll see that was an outdoor mall, not a regular mall, and the closest restrooms (other than at the movie theater) were nowhere near close enough for them to make it.

  227. davej147 says:


    Never heard of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory before, and, based upon what I’ve read here, hope I never meet the owners of this franchise. But, maybe this bad press is exactly what they were hoping for. Seems they are suing FMCF (among others). Just a thought.

  228. mandiejackson says:

    I used to work at a Starbucks in a shady within-close-proximity-to-a-Greyhound-station part of downtown Sacramento, where the only patrons were overpaid state employees buying their venti decaf americanos or meth-addicted open-festering-wound and other equally disgusting hyphenated adjectives to describe the other half of the clientele who rolled in. We figured that if you were a state employee, you could use the bathroom in your building, or if you were a bum, you can use the bathroom in the mall which was adjacent to my Fortune 500 best-companies-to-work-for establishment. Or use the bathroom in the park. Oh wait, there is no bathroom, but there is a bush you can squat behind. We used to bathroom to store our bikes. Starbucks didn’t subsidize parking for employees. Or public transportation. The bums would complain for a while, steal the milk from the condiment bar, and stammer out mumbling incoherencies. It was a stretch to get Starbucks to pay us 25 cents above minimum wage too. They don’t give a shit about you or if you have to use the bathroom. If you make a fuss we would just call security on your ass. Needless to say I didn’t work there long. I am now an overpaid state employee. And I don’t go to Starbucks.

  229. PabloPablo says:

    I’m wondering if this place actually has a bathroom. It is in a shopping center. There are public restrooms at the shopping center itself, I know this since I’ve been to Bella Terra many times. I think the rules for requirements on having a bathroom might not be the same if it’s in a shopping center / mall.

  230. I have little sympathy for BUSINESSES that fail to have customer restrooms. I don’t give a shitsky how small your facility may be, I don’t give a rats arse if there is a mall restroom, and I sure as hades don’t allow the excuse “employees only”.

    Bottom line: A child should never be denied access.

  231. PabloPablo says:

    I’d love to see pictures of that once since I work for TWC in Orange County. :)

  232. fizzyg says:

    At one of the nearby outdoor malls (in GA) I asked about a public restroom and was told that each store was required to have a restroom that customers could use if they needed. I’m not sure if this was company policy, or a state policy, but it definitely shows that there is some recognition of a need.

  233. LUV2CattleCall says:

    Milk Milk…lemonade…

  234. seanpfc says:

    sent an email to local store and corporate…
    case closed…

  235. Truthie says:

    OK is that graphic really necessary?

    On the other hand I do find it humorously ironic that the kid had diarrhea at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

  236. PabloPablo says:

    I have to admit it’s pretty funny how quick the Internet forums are to taking one side and wanting to lynch the other side. It’s sort of funny.

  237. goodywitch says:

    huh, I’m in California, and I didn’t know about that. Does the code apply to government buildings also? The post office I went to didn’t offer bathrooms. Also, I was at a restaurant that had a sign posted stating “no public restrooms”. I think it was because it wasn’t handicap accessible. I should look up the law, but I’m too lazy. Apparently consumerist readers take their restrooms very seriously, judging from the amount of comments.

  238. lol_wut says:

    As a parent I am angered. If my five year old daughter suddenly had a situation come up where she needed to use the restroom, I would undoubtedly ask the employees of the business I was in first to see if I could use their restroom. If I was told no, I would probably look at them strangely, too.

    So lets think about this for a moment:

    The location was at an “outdoor mall”, which to me is a strip of stores that have no connection to one another aside from maybe sharing a wall here and there. There might be a larger retailer like a Wal-Mart or a Target that is the hub of the “mall”, but it’s a loose connection of stores and services for the most part.

    It isn’t out of the question for me to assume that it might be a significant walk until you got to the next store in the chain that was:

    a) Open
    b) Had a restroom
    c) Location you’d arrive at before you kid shat all over you

    When a kid says they have diherra and they are going to squirt, they really mean it. Unlike an adult that could maybe telegraph this to others a good five minutes before they lost control, the kid is likely to give the warning “just before” the shit hits the fan.

    So you aren’t thinking – “Shoot, the kid is about to crap all over me….I guess I’ll just walk over to the store across the way!”

    No! You are thinking – oh lawdy, I need to use THIS store’s bathroom, and NOW.

    Insurance risk my ass – it’s five year old with the squirts. You can either demonstrate a little compasion or force your hourly help to go ahead and clean up human waste from the store floor.

    I’d like to know the name of the move theater that allowed the mother in to help clean the kid off.

  239. Alex Chasick says:

    @jpx72x: That’s a typo. I’m studying for the bar this summer, and typed “public” instead of “plumbing” out of habit. This of course guarantees that I will refer to “plumbing policy” or “plumbing official” on the bar.

  240. corporatedrone says:

    @Concerned_Citizen: I hope you’re kidding. If you’re not, you are a complete douchebag and an even bigger moron. She didn’t bring out her sick kid – the kid got the craps while they were there at the store. And you know, I’m guessing crapping all over the floor of the store made a bigger mess than if the employees had let her in the bathroom.

  241. BAF says:

    @TheUncleBob: Obviously he meant the employee should point the mother in the direction of the closest rest room. I’m fairly new here, but you’re coming off sounding like an utter asshole to me.

  242. BII says:


    parents with kids are entitled to everything, lemme lose my job so you can get what you think you deserve.

    i’m so sick of this garbage. there’s a resturant, a sports crap store, a movie theatre, and another restaurant all right there. and tw cable. at hearing no, you book it to one of those places and take care of business.

  243. F.D.V says:

    I woulda ordered a huge chocolate ca-ca milkshake after I saw that.

  244. Heresy Of Truth says:

    One of my best friends has Chron’s Disease, and I have Celiac. Mine is under control, but hers is most definitely not. To the point where she brings extra clothes with her religiously.

    With that said, no one, no matter how small the store, has ever refused either one of us a bathroom. Period.

  245. snclfe says:

    Here’s where to file a complaint with the Orange County health inspector:

    Necessary details:
    7777 Edinger Avenue, Suite C-178
    Huntington Beach, CA


  246. RabbitDinner says:

    I thought this was common knowledge. In my state (FL), and restaurant or what have you that serves food/beverages is required by law to provide a restroom for customers. The one caveat to this that i’ve seen is the restaurant must serve food indoors. I once went to a chik-fil-a, which was basically a tiny building with a kitchen and a huge outdoor seating area. Because they didn’t serve food indoors, no restrooms.

    While not letting an ill 5 year old customer use the bathroom is abominable, i am, frankly, astounded that the OP was not aware of their rights to use a restroom and did not threaten to call the police.

  247. mamacat49 says:

    I sent them a letter. Maybe if we all take the 2 minutes to write, they’ll change their silly policy.

  248. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    It’s not a restaurant- it’s a candy counter. In my jurisdiction only restaurants with more than x number of seats are required to have a public washroom.

    If there was a McDonald’s nearby she could have left a quarter pounder.

  249. quieterhue says:

    Look, I understand if you have a policy against letting customers use the “employees only” restroom, but sometimes you have to use your good judgment and break the rules. I can understand refusing a healthy adult, but refusing a 5-year-old with Diarrhea? That’s just plan cruel. It saddens me that there are humans out there who would do that.

  250. oldheathen says:

    So glad you were born an adult, BII, though it must have been painful for your mother.

  251. JaneBadall says:

    “we were eating outside” at a mall.

    Then she should have grabbed her kid and run for the public restrooms that are scattered all over any mall. She goofed and thought it would be more convenient to go inside to a place that (from my experience with the shop) obviously does not have a public restroom.

    I’ve worked retail and there’s a reason you don’t let the public into your bathrooms. They are pigs. Chances are the kid would have shit all over the floor & toilet. The mother would have used the sink to clean her, left the rest of it. Then offered a cute little shrug and “oops, there’s a teeny little mess in there” as she hustled out the door.

    It was a worst case scenario for everyone involved, true. But there’s no way any minimum wage slob is gonna risk that.

  252. welsey says:

    I work at a restaurant with bathrooms that are specifically for “customers only” (we even put a sign in the window!). We don’t really follow it that religiously, but I do turn people away – EXCEPT parents with kids. It’s just not that big a deal to let them use the bathroom and younger kids aren’t fucking around when they let you know they’ve gotta go, it’s usually a limited amount of time before an accident happens.

    But most likely the employees weren’t being dicks, just trying to deal with an asshole manager, unforgiving corporate policy and whether or not this was worth losing their jobs…which sounds likely to have happened with a manager like this.

  253. MightyCow says:

    Next on The Consumerist : I’m boycotting a chocolate store because they let kids with diarrhea wander around in the kitchen.

  254. SilverBlade2k says:

    I really hope the family sues…really. No one should be denied bathroom in ANY place, regardless of where it is. It should be against the law to deny the bathroom to ANYONE, ANYWHERE.

  255. spryte says:

    Jesus H. Christ on a cracker!! Is it really that hard for people to read the comments before commenting? If there’s already 200+ comments on an article chances are someone has already said something like “Isn’t this store in a mall?” FFS…

  256. TechnoDestructo says:

    “As it turns out, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory may have violated existing California Code provisions. An organization called the American Restroom Association has a Uniform Plumbing Code that requires a “toilet facility for customers, patrons, and visitors of all mercantile and business establishments.” The Uniform Plumbing Code has been adopted by California, so it seems that there IS a requirement for businesses to provide restroom facilities for customers.”

    This is widely, routinely violated.

    I found the lack of public restrooms in California, in situations where it would have gotten a business in Alaska (the only US state I was previously familiar with) shut down, appalling.

    Eventually I just stopped patronizing restaurants (to be fair, it’s mostly fast food places that do this) and gas stations if they didn’t have public restrooms. Didn’t matter if I needed to use it or not.


    Exactly. Cleaning a restroom used by civilized people is bad enough.

    Which is why when I become the iron-fisted dictator of the United States, I will permit store employees to punish anyone they catch befouling the facilities however they see fit.

    @TheUncleBob: @TheUncleBob:

    It isn’t private property in the same sense that your home is private property. You lose some control over what can and cannot be done by others on your commercial property in exchange for you being allowed to do things (like run a retail business) that you might not be allowed on your residential private property.

    In some cases, such as establishments that serve food in many places, it means you either have to have a restroom available in YOUR space, or you have to be within a certain proximity to a public restroom that will be available to your customers.

    Since this was in a mall, there was almost certainly a restroom available elsewhere in the mall. But if you had a stand-alone restaurant, you’re going to have to allow customers access to a restroom, or you don’t get to operate that restaurant.


    See a guy rushing out of the bathroom looking winded and embarassed, detain him, force him to lick it up at gunpoint.


  257. @Concerned_Citizen: when you meet the Wizard will you ask for a heart first or a brain?

    “Can’t somebody think of the children?” said with all the histrionics of Reverend Lovejoy’s wife can muster.

    Our civilization is surely going downhill when people think they are being rational when they proclaim that the possibility of a one in a million insurance accident takes precedence over a five year old child’s needs. Even if the parent knew the child was sick, which they probably didn’t because, you know, five year olds aren’t masters of their bodies, human decency requires you to help if it is feasible. Taking the stupidity of the anti arguments you can easily say that if you were in an accident and bleeding to death that nobody except trained professionals like EMTs and police officers should assist you because the kind stranger that helped out might end up being sued by the person they helped.

    You can either put your humanity first or you can put your checkbook and job first–it’s your choice.

  258. thejackamo says:

    i live 20 minutes away from this place. just called and told them i would never spend a dime in their restaurant in my life.

  259. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    How much did you spend in the past?
    PS: It’s not a restaurant.

  260. Error_ID10T_ says:

    @TheUncleBob: Distinctions must be made between the private property of a home and the “private property” of a business located in a public place soliciting the influx and business of the public – thus distinguishing it from a business that does not attract customer to visit its offices. To compare the two and suggest they should be subject to the same governance seems an ill conceived thought. It’s one thing if your business is in a private compound and someone approaches the security gate and asks to be let in. It’s quite another when your business is an open market which customer walk freely into and out of indiscriminately. If you are to entertain customers in such an area I believe there are expectations of courtesy that should be met legality notwithstanding.
    But assuming I was to accept your argument, am I then to assume you support all kinds of despicable business practices as long as they occur on “private property”? What’s next? Your advocacy of “we don’t serve your kind”?

  261. katylostherart says:

    what pricks.

  262. itmustbeken says:

    I could just see one of those arrogant bastard valley kids being an @sshole to a mom about the bathroom.

    If this is true, and the manager did respond that way, its the last time I let my kids pick-out overpriced treats from that place.

  263. richcreamerybutter says:

    @thelushie: I hear you…I AM the one at the adult table talking like a sailor. :) I like kids in the way I like dogs – on a one by one basis. I don’t love either as a group, but if they belong to friends or do something particularly endearing, that’s fine with me.

    And I’ve worked many restaurant jobs in my day, so I also sympathize with monitoring the bathrooms for non-customer use. But come on, this is a 5 year old in pain. WTF is wrong with some of you?

    Then again I’ve been subject to a couple of serious emergency IBS episodes in unusual locations, and one of my best friends has Crohns. Don’t say “it will never happen to me.”

  264. can we write any mean letters in support of her daughters diarrhea? seriously stand up for this inability to sit down.
    That sucks…

  265. @DanLar75:

    No violence. Please.

  266. Invisigoth says:

    Here are a few more addresses that may be helpful: – Donna Coupe, VP of Franchise Support – Joe McKinney, VP Finance

    I know that they aren’t customer service but I know for a fact that VP’s HATE, HATE, HATE emails like the one I just sent (polite but factual)

  267. junkmail says:

    @TheUncleBob: Yeah, especially those damn “darkies”. You shouldn’t have to cater to them either, right? Hey, it’s your business, and your private property. To hell with “da Man” telling you who you should and shouldn’t do business with, right?

    You sir, are a jackass.

  268. jjason82 says:

    @Underpants Gnome: Is it wrong that I’m really thirsty for chocolate milk now?

  269. billco says:

    I hate to be the bad guy, but there are very good reasons why shopkeepers shouldn’t let customers use the private bathrooms. Insurance is the least of one’s worries, at least as far as the wage slaves are concerned. The real issue is that the employees-only areas are employees-only for a reason. They usually contain food prep equipment, excess inventory, personal effects, etc. The last thing I would want is a stranger unleashing their bio waste in the same area where the food is made – a great way to get sued for food poisoning and fined by the food inspection agency.

    That said, it is an establishment that serves food, and many districts have bylaws that require such businesses to provide public restrooms. It’s the decent thing to do, and frankly I don’t think highly of restaurants, even take-out shops that don’t have public restrooms. Everyone fears the toilet, but the other equally important purpose of a bathroom is handwashing. I wouldn’t tolerate the chef handling food with dirty hands, why should I handle my own food without the opportunity to wash ?

  270. jeffsters says:

    Make sure you send a note to the corporate office!


  271. D-Bo says:

    @hellinmyeyes: You realize that you are the fruit of someone’s crotch right? Or did you just hatch?

  272. notyavgkat says:

    this is the actual website for the actual store in huntington beach…they look like snobs

  273. ninjatoddler says:

    Sounds like a classic case of a lactose intolerance and the “where’s the restroom when you need one?”

    All in all, it’s pretty cruel of anyone to deny the use of a restroom.

  274. Invalid_User_Name says:

    I’m just reiterating: California law requires establishments serving food to have restrooms. They serve food, they have to have a public restroom.

  275. D-Bo says:

    @TheUncleBob: You’re truly a nutjob. To hell with the ADA and prosecute kids for accidents…

  276. brokekid says:

    Regardless of who’s in the right, the internet loves these stories.

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company – EPIC FAIL

  277. schlottj says:

    they sell slushies? slushies always give me diarhea, atleast the ones from 7-11 do.

  278. vagabond1 says:

    I’m finding all the talk about California law pretty humorous. Has anyone here actually read the Uniform Plumbing Code? Section 413.5.2 states “Fixtures for customer use shall be permitted to be met by providing a centrally located facility accessible to several stores. The maximum distance from entry to any store to this facility shall not exceed five hundred feet”.
    I’m sorry that the kid had an embarrassing bit of bad luck but it’s not the store’s fault. They have a right to protect themselves financially by upholding what is most likely a store policy regarding public access to “employee only” sections of the store.
    Just to mitigate any backlash I might receive I’ll go ahead and say yes I am a father… and also an architect.
    I can only imagine the attention this story would have received if the mother and child made it to the tiny employee restroom and tripped over merchandise or cleaning supplies and hurt themselves. Unfortunately, the litigious society that we live in often makes people seem unkind when they are only trying to stay in business.
    A map of the mall was easy to find: [[]]

  279. mattpr says:

    I think the lack of human decency displayed by the store and its manager in this case is disgusting, but I think we need to take a deep breath and consider the implications of a law that requires the use of a facility on private property.

  280. cinlouwho says:

    Makes me want to go into the store, drop my drawers, and take a shit on their floor.

  281. Monoplex says:

    Someone want to explain to me why the employees should have to clean up after your little snowflake had a bowel movement?

    We had a kid in our healthcare throw up. Fine, it happens.

    Turns out, though, the kid had been throwing up throughout the day. Mom thought it’d be a great idea to still bring him in without telling anyone. Mom didn’t seem the least bit embarrassed whatsoever that he threw up on a assistant.

    Her and her family were dismissed from the practice.

    First off: You people are making judgements based on one side of the story. Second: Any losses from unlikely “boycotts” would dwarf the losses if the kid crapped in a food storage area with retail margins being what they are.

  282. glycolized says:

    …that is the most soulless, heart-wrenching story I have ever heard!

    Wow. Please don’t google “rwanda’ or ‘childhood leukemia’ or anything. I think your head may asplode if you see how bad a story can get.

    I’m just reiterating: California law requires establishments serving food to have restrooms. They serve food, they have to have a public restroom

    Okay. Cite this please. Find the code and copy and paste it. I think I skimmed the entire thread waiting for it, and I apologize to you if I missed it.

    I don’t think the law reads as simply as you put it there. If so, I don’t believe that the hundreds, maybe thousands, of little shops that sell food items in CA are in operation, and seemingly pass inspections, while in a flagrant violation of this unnamed law. I’d be willing to bet that there are exemptions that are based on seating capacity or square footage.

    I have never seen this store before, but I bet it looks much like a Mrs. Fields cookie shop like we have in our mall here. There is no way I would walk up to that place and expect access to the restroom. I wish I could see the layout of this particular place, because the path the customer is to take to get to the non-public restroom makes a big difference to me as to whether I would allow them to use it.

  283. Fuck this company. How trollish and evil can you be to deny access to your precious bathroom to a FIVE year old child who is suffering from trying to hold it in?? And I used to work for Godiva chocolates and our *tiny* little bathroom could barely contain my fat ass much less any normal sized human being. We’d send people over to the food court. On an unrelated note: We would have this display dome where we would show off the freshly enrobed (not dipped) products and this one time a lady came in with her 1yr old in a stroller. An employee was wiping the counter top and knocked the dome onto the floor. The god damn thing EXPLODED like a freaking hand grenade throwing glass ALL OVER the place. To make matters worse the thing landed like 2 feet away from this lady. I can still remember watching the thing dropping to the floor like slow motion. Well, the lady was totally cool about it and as she calmly picked out pieces of glass from the stroller my manager was birthing several litters of kittens left and right. Pleading with the lady that she was so sorry. The lady was like “No problem…it was just an accident”. Needless to say she left with several boxes of chocolate on top of the box she picked out for free…a couple of bags of coffee and bisquits and hot chocolate.

  284. @BeFrugalNotCheap:
    The moral of my story is: Rocky mountain chocolate factory shouldnt have to give anything for free…but an apology would be nice.

  285. macMD says:

    My wife and I buy their chocolate when we visit a store when we are in the area. But based on this new age business philosophy of treating your customers this way I will no longer buy any of their products. I will also mention this to my 400 plus co-workers of whom 150 are in sales and many are parents. They will likely (as will I) tell our customers and so on and so on. So treat your customers like crap and you get crapped on.

  286. mythago says:

    The employees didn’t have to be cruel about it, but sadly, “insurance reasons” for keeping customers out of employees-only areas is very real.

    Nope. Sorry. The imaginary hordes of sue-happy people are not going to get a lawsuit going over “you let my five year old use your bathroom”.

  287. Daggertrout says:

    So many people here are quick to vilify the store/employees on just these scant few details. We’re only getting the mother’s side of the story, so she’s obviously not going to make herself seem to be in the wrong.

    Just going by what is in this article, I would still have to side with the store on this one. Most places like this would have similar policies for a variety of reasons. I wouldn’t want to risk my job or any potential lawsuit to make an exception like that. Several other people have already made valid points to that effect.

  288. JaneBadall says:

    Actually I might write this company, as well. Let them know that their concern for my well-being is appreciated. I certainly wouldn’t want to eat from any place that allowed potentially toxic human waste behind the counter.

    I really pity the employee who was cleaning up the floor when this woman decided to come back in and get information instead of taking that poor little kid home to be thoroughly bathed.

  289. MissGayle says:

    You need to contact the “code enforcement” or “buiding code enforcement” division of the local government where this building is located and file a complaint. They are clearly in violation of the California Building Code and as such, you may also sue them. Go for it.

  290. thelushie says:

    @ppiddyp: No you don’t make me angry. You are a faceless name on a message board.

    We don’t choose to grow old. I will bend over, get things, and wait on my mother in a restaurant (like at a buffet) because they are my elders and that is how I was brought up. People choose to be parents. I am sick and tired of having to change what I do because someone’s precious baby may hear, see, etc. When you make a decision, you have to live with the consequences. One of the consequences is is that you have to keep your “precious” reigned in so they don’t inconvenience others because people have a right to go about their lives without being run over by some kid or having to listen to ear piercing screams.

    @richcreamerybutter: I have had problems with IBS in the past. It isn’t fun.

    What I don’t get is why the woman stood there and argued if her kid was in so much pain and needed to go to the bathroom that bad? The child’s discomfort and humiliation was her fault.

    We have all been in situations where we have had to go BAD! At the first no, you are not hanging around. You are trying to find a bathroom. LOL

  291. scerwup says:

    The picture is classic. It could be a new type of shake…

  292. FatFree says:

    Some of you people are amazingly heartless. Put yourself in the woman’s shoes – your kid is in pain and desperately has to go the bathroom.

    Do you:

    A) Go into the nearest store and ask to use their bathroom
    B) Take some time to think about what would be most convenient for the mall

    And remember, hindsight is 20/20. Many of you would have done the same or worse. So, before criticizing someone next time, try thinking a little bit more. Or, you know, thinking at all. I know that might be a little hard for some of you, though.

  293. bladwig75 says:

    This is a complete bunch of crap. I hope the person that wrote this does sue. What will likely happen is it will get thrown out as frivolous. In a lot of states there are health codes that have to be followed if you are to offer public restrooms. This store likely did not want to have to deal with it so they do not provide a public restroom. That is completely their choice. This is another story of someone being sue happy.

    Just as the store has the right to refuse service to anyone they also have the right not to provide a public restroom. The sick thing is the writer of this article actually wasted time threatening the manager of the store. I am glad the manager laughed in their face.

    Personally, if I hear of or see any type of viral campaign against this shop, I will start a petition to get this person removed from their writing position here. This is a blatant abuse of a journalistic outlet. As the manager said I am absolutely sure the daughter would be very proud to have a parent that does something childish like this.

    Maybe the writer needs to grow up and realize they have to follow the rules just like everyone else.

  294. FatFree says:

    Also, many of you are overestimating the time it takes to ask people to use the bathroom. Many of you are assuming that she stood there for twenty minutes complaining to them while her daughter was crying. And remember, when you assume, you make an ass of you and me.

    It is also not that they refused to let her use the bathroom. They refused to help her at ALL. The least they could have done was to guide her to a different store with a usable bathroom or helped out someway. Instead they did nothing. Is helping people against company policy now?

    It’s times like these that I am ashamed of living in the United States.

  295. bladwig75 says:

    Oh and btw Invalid_User_Name the california law only states you must provide a public restroom if food is consumed (not just sold) on the premises. Also it does not have to be in the store it just has to be within a few hundred feet of the store.

  296. nowbrewing says:

    i live down the street from bella terra, i wanna see how close the nearest public restroom is. i have never seen a rmcf with one…but having worked in a mall before, how hard is it to direct someone to the nearest public restroom??

  297. planet2334 says:

    We don’t have these places in my area, but it’s great that the online forums can spread the word about such poor customer service. I believe firmly that we vote with our money, and being able to avoid companies like this will hit them where they’ll feel it, in their cash register.

  298. Fanning says:

    The companies symbol is RMCF on nadaq. Just start selling the stock short and posting about the boycott on yahoo message boards.

  299. KoW says:

    @FatFree: “And remember, when you assume, you make an ass of you and me.”

    Kind of like how you assumed in your previous comment that she didn’t have access to public restrooms, or have any options other than RMCF?

    The woman should have heard the first no, explained the situation, heard the second no, and run for another bathroom. It should’ve been clear by then that the employee wasn’t going to give in, and her daughter’s ass should’ve taken priority. Argue with the useless bitch of an employee later; deal with your daughter’s problem now.

    Holding the company at fault isn’t fair at all, although it’s not the mother’s fault either. Maybe it’s the daughter’s fault for getting the runs.

  300. TheUncleBob says:

    @BAF: As I said before, had you bothered to read, I wasn’t there and I can’t say for certain, but if I had to put money on it, I’d be willing to bet that the employees on duty *did* point the mother to the nearest restroom. Something tells me the mother just didn’t pick up on this due to her panic.

    @SilverBlade2k: “It should be against the law to deny the bathroom to ANYONE, ANYWHERE.”

    What’s your address? I need to drop some big ones.

    @TechnoDestructo: I know that, legally, there’s a difference between private property (home) and private property (business), but I personally don’t feel there should be. My reply was directly to those who are saying that there should be a law requiring that a private business allow individuals onto their private property.

    @Error_ID10T_: I do not support businesses that would do something like, say, deny a particular race use of their business. While I would support a private business’s right to determine who comes onto their property, if I had reason to believe the business was doing something immoral like that, I would simply choose not to spend money at this business and would encourage my friends and family not to do so either.

    @junkmail: See above.

    @D-Bo: Yes, to hell with the ADA. However, I never said to prosecute a kid for an accident, I said to press charges against a person who allows their child to defecate in the front of a business.

  301. Tom Servo says:

    I just sent my feedback to RMCF and made a pledge to never visit their Memphis location until they make a satsifactory response here. We’ll just go to Godiva if we need some chocolates.

    Please send your feedback and force RMCF to do the right thing here: []

  302. Tom Servo says:

    @thelushie: Do you think the parents stood there and debated with the RMCF minimum-wagers for 20 minutes?

  303. BTW, the local ice cream parlor in a strip mall has a sign that reads “no public restroom”.

    Just this evening I asked the owner (a semi-friend) if “no public restroom” meant NO RESTROOM.

    His answer was …. kids always get to use the restroom if the ask…. the sign means no teenagers or adults.

    And YES, his restroom is behind the counter.

    Also the City code requirements do not apply to his establishment because the building predates the City code requirements for new buildings.

  304. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    @Cool Cat:
    Do a test run at Godiva before you buy anything there. Run up to the counter and ask to use their restroom.

  305. vlmodcon says:

    I suppose one can argue this many ways, but in the end it is an intensely personal thing. I have been a customer at this particular establishment, but that will not be the case in the future. The degree of cruelty and lack of humanity (actually, just decency) shown by the manager of this store is simply enough for me to say that I choose to not spend my money there. I believe and hope that many will agree with me. That’s the most powerful vote I have.

  306. mikelotus says:

    @dragonfire1481: any store that keeps dangerous chemicals in their bathroom violates OSHA and who knows what else.

  307. vlmodcon says:


    Point 1: A deliberately cultivated persona of an ass online probably translates to a similar persona in the flesh. Perhaps your suffering will be short.

    Point 2: You would have absolutely ZERO chance of successfully prosecuting such a case. Bodily functions are not crimes, juries would see you as needlessly cruel and harsh, and most judges would go out of their way to see you squirm.

  308. ChaosMotor says:

    I don’t understand why people bother asking permission in a case like this. You gotta go, they say no, fuck ’em, let them call the cops if they want to. What, the cops gonna arrest you for takin a shit?

    You got two options in this case – ignore their assiness and use the restroom, or drop trou and shit on their floor. Either works.

  309. Snaptastic says:

    Sorry Mom, just because your precious little snowflake gets the runs, it doesn’t give you carte blanche authority to commandeer anyone’s restroom.

    And for what it is worth, I’m sure your crotchfruit will eventually do something else to embarrass themselves or you down the road. That’s partly the reason YouTube and college is so popular.

  310. sventurata says:

    Okay. Ground rules of decency, below.

    IF the RMCF has a bathroom (indicated by employee/management refusal to admit otherwise), AND the mother made it clear her child was in dire straits, then they deserve store-wide defecation, and a boycott from those who care about such things.

    Laws are not made to infringe upon perfect, self-focused individuals, they are intended to create a fair and equitable society, and prevent us from pooping in the streets like animals. Please do not feed the libertrollians. Thank you.

  311. noncon says:

    @DarrenO: You’re an idiot. It’s amazing the dumb things people say about kids when they don’t even have any of their own to draw experience on. As EdnaLegume already mentioned: “As a mom, I know that when one of my kids needs a bathroom, there is little time to debate the issue. Diarrhea is a whole other ballgame.”

  312. Ianny says:

    Chocolate from this place will now be associated with poop to me. Glad they thought this one out over at Rocky Mountain Chocolate. Smart decision, bastards! Good luck cleaning up after this one. Pun intended.

  313. legrue2000 says:


    Franklin Crail, Chairman, CEO and President, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory:

    Edward Dudley, Senior VP, Sales and Marketing, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Company:

  314. complexsearch says:

    If I was the employee, who’s boss said ‘don’t let nobody use the restroom’, then a girl takes a shit in front of you.

    I feel sorry for the employees.

  315. MT says:

    I know it’s already been addressed in the OP update, but I just have to add my disgust. Any business that serves food that is meant to be eaten in the store has to provide a bathroom for customers. At my old job, we prepared food but it was all take-out, and we technically weren’t supposed to have any customers in the back of the store, but if a little girl (i.e. not a threat) were about to hershey squirt all over our lobby, I would not hesitate to let her in the back to use the bathroom. I’m all for going by the book, but people should really be using their discretion to make exceptions, like in this case.

  316. katoninetales says:

    @samurailynn: the RMCFs I’ve been to have been bigger stores in outdoor shopping complexes, where the route to the nearest bathroom isn’t always clear. Any employee who is unwilling to let a child use the bathroom should at least be trained to give quick directions to the nearest public restroom.

    @TheUncleBob: Yes, if someone was walking through my neighborhood and stopped at my door saying, “My kid has diarrhea, can she use the restroom?” she would be admitted and allowed to use it.

  317. lawstud says:

    From what I determined. (about the kid crapping her pants)

    1. Ca has indeed adopted the Uniform Plumbing Code
    2. Public places have to provide a bathroom for the public
    a. Exception: a centrally located restroom within 500 feet from store’s door to restroom’s door. (413.5.2)

    Bella Terra food court from Rocky Mountain to the central bathroom is right at or over 500 feet from my measurements. I measured it over 525-550 feet.

    It is easy to enforce a visible problem like the distance being too far away than a story about being denied access to a bathroom.

    If the bathroom is indeed over 500 feet away this store legally had to let the mother use the bathroom. Otherwise if that public restroom is under 500 feet away they can refuse anyone.

  318. katoninetales says:

    @rellog: What would that solve? You don’t even know the people cleaning up the mess would be the same ones who were working that day, let alone the ones who directly refused bathroom access.

  319. mystigo says:

    Bank of America wouldn’t let my 4 year old use the restroom in an emergency last year. I took him outside behind some bushes and let him pee on their wall.

  320. nuness1988 says:

    I was recently perusing one of my favorite blogs, the, and I came across a story that would make any parent shudder with disgust. Apparently a woman was eating outside of your “establishment” (though I think referring to your business as such shows a great disservice to the word) with her friends and daughter when her daughter had to use the restroom. Not seeing any other solution in site and assuming that an establishment that she paid money to would show her the basic service of human decency, she went inside and asked to use the restroom. Now, any other human being would say yes and not think twice about it. Apparently the Rocky Road Chocolate Factory has a strict policy to only hire hell spawn to work in their stores. The woman working refused to let her use the restroom and as consequence the little girl went number 2 all over herself and mother. Surely this will a traumatic experience in the days to come for this girl and a harrowing story for the mother to share. She then contacted the store and spoke to a manager who again continued the rocky road tradition of acting like hell had just opened up and spawned her out. She even told the customer to “sue if it made her happy.” The mother instead chose to begin a viral campaign to show what horrible people work at the store. Anyways have fun knowing that you employ and are a horrible person.
    A Loyal Customer (Just Kidding I Hate Your guts)

    My e-mail to the company. First time doing this but I felt, strangely compelled given the situation. I tried looking for any errors and I’m sure it could have been a little more eloquent, but hey it’s monday. Cheers everyone.

  321. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I measure close to 500 feet walking distance. It’s a new mall. I would be surprised if it wasn’t built to code.

    Birds eye view (you can rotate it)

  322. businessowner says:

    The way it could have been handled by the manager could have been better. But, it may be that the mother is puffing up her side of the story.

    As a fellow retail business owner, I can understand the customer’s frustrations. But, I have the same policy. I NEVER allow anyone to use our restroom. I tell the employees this and I practice it myself. I’ve refused cops and even a pregnant lady.

    It breaks my heart when people get angry, but it’s because something can happen. You can get sued if something happens. It’s happened before. Plus there are people who can and do exploit you. Since I deal with food, it’s also a health violation to let any unauthorized person in the stock room. Do you really want a 5 year old girl with diarrhea in a chocolate store’s bathroom??

    To Rocky Mountain: don’t change your policy just because of this. It’s reasonable. Just train the employees on how to communicate with customers and direct them to the nearest bathroom.

  323. RMCFWEST says:

    I am the owner of the store in question. My wife and I have worked very hard to operate this store and have sacrificed quite a bit to do so. Based on some of the comments that we have seen and heard from the bloggers and callers, you think that we are rich and snobby. We are neither. Some of you have even noticed that we have a claim against Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory and think this is all a publicity stunt. I can assure you that it is not. I am not sure why Jennifer is has started this campaign for not letting her daughter use the restroom. The blogs spread out across the country from the Bouroughs of Manhatten to the Castles in Huntington Beach. Radio stations in Alabama have given our home address out encouraging criminal vandalism.

    Many of you are very smart or are business owners and have guessed why the restroom is off-limits. Its not allowed per our policy becuase cleaning chemicals, bleaches, caustics, and other dangerous items that are stored there. Unlocked employee lockers with personal belongings are also in there. The fact is, zero customers are allowed behind the counter. Zero. In some Rocky Mountain stores, there is not even a restroom there. Try going to any other food court and ask to go behind the counter. How about Wetzels, See’s. For some of you New Yorkers how about street vendors, can you go back behind the kiosk? No. Hell Disneyland for that matter, there are no restrooms in the food service areas other than the common public restrooms. Downtown Diney candy store, no (even through there is one). Bella Terra mall provides a very large public restroom and in between our store and those restrooms, there are at least 15 more that the public are allowed to use. Its a matter of safety. It was not our intent to cause any harm to a child, but rather to protect her. Based on our video monitors and customer witnesses, our employees directed them to the public restrooms several times. Based on what I was told, there were even some other customers who asked her to leave.

    When we called Jennifer back, there was nothing that she wanted from us other than to have these employees fired. The employess in question are very hard working and if you knew their personal circumstances, you would be ashamed to call for their termination. Especially those of you that live in the same comuunity here in HB. These are your people. They were not laughing at you, they were smiling at customers that they were helping, who by they way, were also trying to direct you to the public restrooms. We cannot fire them for complying with our company policy no more than an account executive at a national lending corporation would be able to break their rules and hand out loans based on personal preferences. Not to mention using business networking contacts for a persoanl vendetta. That company would become a party to damages or criminal activity.

    What many of you might not know, might make you feel quite bad for screeming “common decency” all the while threatening my wife with an iron pipe and hoping that she screems before she dies. Thats right, the police are involved and actively researchinbg a few of your IP addresses. You are not realy as anonymouns as you think you are. Its your right to have an opinion, but some of you are making death threats and were not even there.

    We will have happy to answer all the calls from newpapers etc from those of you that call. Based on our converstaions with other papers, you have not been given the whole story, which I assure you, is far more print worthy.

    Todd Overturf

  324. GamblesAC2 says:

    Lets give em’

  325. D-Bo says:

    @TheUncleBob: Wow, I said that in jest and you agreed… that is scary. While I understand that bureaucracy and over regulation stifle American businesses your extremism and lack of respect for others betrays your freedom loving intent.

  326. sixcolors says:

    I fully support a business right to not allow people to use their bathroom, I would not support a law requiring them to have one. I may piss out back if I had to go really badly and I wouldn’t go back. That’s my right, and it’s my right to find this to be ‘jackassery’ from the manager and owners so I sent them an email to let the corporate office know I will not shop at that location and probably will not shop at other locations too.

  327. jackspat2 says:

    I used to work for Jamba Juice and my manager always said the bathroom was off limits to customers unless he/she has a small child with an emergency. Otherwise, go to the Starbucks across the way.

  328. Mozoltov, motherfucker says:

    I read that document that was after the link. So if I am reading correctly all businesses that serve food need to offer public restrooms to patrons? because I have seen business with “No restrooms for public” with a specific city code on the sign, don’t remember which one.

  329. garbagehead says:

    90 000 views!?! I’m going to start a blog relating entirely to poopoo related incidents. And yes, chocolate rain will be playing upon entering the domain

  330. TheUncleBob says:

    @mikelotus: That’s about 110% incorrect. Many businesses keep “dangerous” cleaning chemicals in their employee restrooms. So long as they’re stored properly and labeled correctly, it is in no way against OSHA code.

  331. CardamS says:

    Sent to the local franchise and RMCF Corp:

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    Granted, I am only aware of this person’s side of the story, however, there was a child involved (you know, traditionally the cornerstone of the chocolate industry). Your ignorant claim of an insurance issue restraining the use of your facilities is pompous, and I am sure you are well aware of that.

    Good luck in your personal campaign to keep reassuring your conscience you are correct and had every right to deny that little girl the use of your restroom. Now that this issue has become more public (and I sincerely hope it gets more so) it may be a tough fight to retain your laughable take on the whole situation.

    I am cartain the way you remember the conversation is nowhere near as rude as the customer’s take, however being in the position of a service provider and representative of a franchised brand, you have failed miserably.

    Personally, I will never visit this chain in the future and will do what I can to ensure no one else does either (Ohio). Even if this situation was no here near as bad as the parent of that poor child explained, any derivative of this story gives me reason enough to boycott RMCF.

    –She laughed at me when I told her I would be using my extensive contacts to begin a viral campaign to boycott her store and the entire chain and told me that she was “sure that would make my daughter very proud.”–

    You have no idea how proud she will be……


    Shawn Cardamon

    **This mailing submitted to corporate website for RMCF**

  332. caj11 says:

    I’ve never heard of this chain and thus never been in one of their stores, but I’m wondering if the individual locations vary a great deal in size that some are large, with tables for people to sit down at, etc., and might have bathrooms that are readily available to customers – that is you can see them when you walk in, and other locations are just tiny little counters with very little space and hence no bathroom that is visible. A chain I am familiar with, Dairy Queen, has locations that vary greatly – some are essentially full-blown fast food restaurants with seating areas and restrooms for the customers, while others are just walk-up kiosks without even restrooms for the employees. Could the mother have thought there was a restroom available for customers and been mistaken?

  333. Metropolis says:

    I kind of wish I was in a situation like this so I could just drop trou and shit all over the floor.

  334. tc4b says:


    Really? “Stupid crotchfruit?” This sentiment is a close cousin to that which the manager espoused and has so many people quite rightly pissed off. You were once “crotchfruit,” and at some point in your (apparently miserable, judging by your outlook) childhood (crotchfuithood?) someone took compassion on you. Like others have said, it’s about basic human decency. They haven’t invented the perfect human yet, so when one of the humans near you, especially one of the small ones, is experiencing a flaw, the decent thing to do is help him/her out, knowing full well that you, too, will need help some day.

  335. Superawesomerad says:

    I agree that the “extensive contacts” line makes the woman sound like a lunatic. I probably would’ve laughed, too.

  336. Superawesomerad says:

    @Snaptastic: Seriously, “crotchfruit?” Grow the hell up.

  337. fuzzyprint says:

    Okay guys, so maybe customers shouldn’t be allowed into the employee bathroom for various reasons.

    The woman probably didn’t know this when she rushed into the nearest place she could. That doesn’t make her unreasonable.

    The main issue at hand here is that the manager, rather than taking the high ground and EMPATHIZING with the humiliating situation, laughed and invited the woman to sue.

    Maybe the woman wasn’t all that pleasant on the phone either.

    It doesn’t mean that the manager can be unpleasant too.

    It is not that difficult to say, “hey I’m sorry, it was an insurance policy thing, my employees didn’t understand how urgent it was…” In my case, I do not suggest the manager had to do this, I wouldn’t mind throwing in some money of my own to invite the customer back to enjoy some free chocolate.

    Maybe it won’t satiate the customer but those are things I have in my power to do… I wouldn’t egg the agitated customer on further.

  338. grumpygirl says:

    ok, if my kid were about to have violent diarrhea, and the person at the counter said no, would i stand there and scream or would i ask where the closest restroom was and head to it right-quick? doesn’t much sound like this poor child was going to make it anywhere in time. certainly wasn’t going to wait till the mom stopped having her fit.

    i have colitis, i get what it’s like to need the bathroom NOW. i also know that letting a sick kid use your tiny employee-only bathroom is a recipe for disaster. if a mom is dealign with a sick child, is she going to have time to get that bathroom spic and span afterward?

    people, READ THE COMMENTS before making them. large public outdoor mall with restrooms, food in places like a foodcourt, basically countertop storefronts.

    and did nobody read the item on today’s consumerist about how most people who think they have stomach virus have norovirus? yeah, i’d like to take that chance in my store.

  339. Mary says:

    @jsboehm79: This makes me think the fault lies with the mall more than anything else then. My local mall is that way, finding a restroom is far too damn difficult. Even adults have plenty of issues where the moment between “oh, I need a bathroom” and “Hey, here it is!” shouldn’t have to be fifteen minutes apart.

    That said, people do have very valid points about why you can’t allow customers in the back, and customers need to recognize that and just deal with it. Even the people I know with severe gastro-intestinal issues (Crohn’s, IBS, etc.) have never and would never ask for or feel entitled to bathroom access in a store that does not have a public restroom. I can’t really speak for parents, I don’t really know that many, so I can’t say if I feel children should be an exception.

  340. MMD says:

    @Jetgirly: Two words:
    Super. Vision. Escort the person back there. End of problem, avoid public relations nightmare. It’s that simple.

  341. MMD says:

    @Superawesomerad: “I agree that the “extensive contacts” line makes the woman sound like a lunatic. I probably would’ve laughed, too.”

    Umm…except who’s laughing now?

  342. sparksparkspark says:

    got a few free moments? tell them what you think… tell them that you will boycott them.


  343. prime1010 says:

    Franklin E. Crail is Chairman of the Board, President and CEO. I wonder if anyone can find his e-mail address. If not, let him know what you think via. snail mail.

    Franklin E. Crail
    265 Turner Drive
    Durango, CO 81301

  344. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    It’s turned into a battleground at Wikipedia…



  345. LVP says:

    Is it illegal to poo in front of the person who refused to let you use the restroom?

  346. grumpygirl says:

    ok, you guys need to READ THE COMMENTS before you go spouting off about employee bathrooms and public outdoor malls and storefronts.

    second, i have colitis. i know all about needing the bathroom now.

    third, read today’s consumerist story about food poisoning,and how norovirus–remember, highly contagious puke virus?–is often mistaken as other ailments.

    fourth: i’m trying to see myself behind the counter at a dessert shop. an agitated woman come in holding a child who’s screaming “diarrhea! diarrhea!diarrhea!”…this makes me want to bring that woman through food prep to the private employee bathroom?

  347. mandiejackson says:

    Children’s needs are different from adult’s needs. Those employees that refused them their bathroom rights because they “might get fired” need to find a new job.

    And who cleans up the diarrhea? Probably the underpaid half-wits who refused the bathroom in the first place. When I worked at Starbucks a lady peed on the floor (she was a bum, and probably on meth) and we had to clean it up. A week later I quit. I don’t owe ANY company my health and dignity to clean up someone’s excrements. Oh yeah, we DID NOT deny this lady access to the bathroom, it was just being used by someone at the moment.

  348. mandiejackson says:

    this also reminds me of a funny story when i was at Jack in the Box (a fast-food restaurant) in highschool, and a lady went in to use the bathroom before me, and she only took a couple minutes, then RIGHT AS SHE CAME OUT this other random lady comes TEARING in through the front door yelling how she needs the bathroom “sooo bad” and so I let her use it, she comes out like 10 minutes later and was like “Damn the lady before me tore it UP in there!”

    when clearly, it was her. she took a huge dump.

  349. monkeyboy42 says:

    I just got an email response from my local Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and it looks like an apology was forthcoming from their corporate office:

    “I wanted to give you an update on what has transpired since we communicated this morning. I have personally spoken to one of the upper level executives in Rocky Mountain. She was very aware of the situation in Huntington Beach.

    The COO / CFO of Rocky Mountain, Bryan Merryman, who is functionally the CEO, has personally called the mom of the girl mentioned in the story. (I think the mom’s name is “Jennifer”.) He has sincerely apologized to her directly.

    She accepted his apology and said that an apology is all she really wanted. She said that she was about to go back onto the website to update where things now stand with Rocky Mountain. I am under the impression, that in spite of her horrific experience (which I know will never truly fade from memory), that she is able to fogive us for what happened.”

  350. avconsumer says:

    I must be a genius. I would’ve had a signable release form at the ready for that poor kid (& her mom). Crisis and any legal ramifications averted.

  351. angryblur says:

    The online map isn’t very clear but the actual restrooms are very far and out of the way, down what looks like a shipment corridor. That being said, there are 3 restaurants that will let you use their restrooms within a stones throw that the parent should have run to the moment she was denied.
    I know should know, I’ve had a potty emergency at the pinkberry there. TMI?

  352. Saydrah says:


    I think you mean “against health code for NON employees” to pass through food preparation areas, but EXACTLY!

    Between the possibility of an angry customer trying to get me fired and the possibility of the entire STORE being shut down, if I were in the employee’s shoes, I wouldn’t have let her use the bathroom either. Kids have accidents– it happens. Too bad for the girl, but if mom had wiped her up, said, “Poor baby, but that happens to everyone someday,” and put her to bed after a bland snack, she’d be fine. The only thing traumatizing the child here is her mother making a huge deal of a situation that was embarrassing to her daughter. Now she’ll have to hear about it every day as mommy’s viral campaign lets everyone know she pooped her pants.

  353. bbernardini says:

    I’m glad to hear that the CEO-type gentleman contacted the mother. However, I’m curious about two things:

    1. Does anybody know if either of the owners pictured on the outlet’s website is the “manager” in question?

    2. If not, will the manager face any consequences for her actions?

  354. bbernardini says:


    It looks like the website for that specific store has been removed. They have also removed the link to that page from the list of all the stores in California. (The store is still listed, however.)

  355. Gopher bond says:

    @mandiejackson: ” I don’t owe ANY company my health and dignity to clean up someone’s excrements.”

    Nice how you’re saying that cleaning up toilets and such messes is an indignant and unhealthy job. Do you treat all janitors as “unclean”? Believe me, having worked as a janitor I know all about those type of people. So high and mighty they look down their nose at you. Champion of the poor and despondent in the light of day but beat you with a switch if you don’t cut their grass in the vertical lines they asked for. Disgusting.

  356. infecto says:

    These readers amaze me. Yes it sucks it had to happen. Yes the parent can be upset but there is no reason to start a whole campaign against the store. I can see so many more reasons that they should not have let the kid in the employee restroom then reasons they should have. Does the parent not think the mess her and her child left behind are enough pain for that store?

    We live in a sue happy world where people love to smear companies.

  357. @TheUncleBob:

    ummm.. comparing this situation to one where you open my front door and demand to use my bathroom is not jsut apples and oranges, it’s eggplants and dvds. The store is a place where consumer go to conduct business. It is expected for them to be on the premises so they can shop. in your example, you’ve got no expectation to be on my property, in fact you have no right to be there at all. It’s called trespass. Huge difference.

  358. MMD says:

    @infecto: No one is suing anyone. The argument is over human dignity. Unfortunately, lawsuits and publicity are the only forces companies seem to respond to.

  359. I'm a tweeple too! says:


    Child’s bathroom emergency puts candy store on the defensive

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory official issues apology after Surf City store employees refuse to let a 5-year-old with diarrhea use bathroom

    The Orange County Register
    Comments 0| Recommend 0

    HUNTINGTON BEACH Officials with Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory issued an apology Tuesday after employees at a Huntington Beach store refused to let a mother use their restroom when her 5-year-old daughter complained that she had diarrhea.

    A story about the incident, posted on the Website, sparked a backlash that has led to death threats, said the store’s owner, Bonnie Overturf, who was not there during the incident last Thursday.

    Overturf said her employees were following insurance policies for her store, and there were at least a dozen restrooms near the store the mother could have used.

    The posting on the site said the mother, daughter and friends were eating outside at the Bella Terra Mall when the girl began crying and screaming “diarrhea, diarrhea.”

    The mother ran into the chocolate store and asked to use the restroom but was refused multiple times without being offered alternatives, she wrote.

    “My daughter was humiliated, forced to defecate on herself due to the lack of compassion exhibited by the store,” she wrote. The mother took the girl to a restroom at a movie theater around the corner where she cleaned her up and threw out some of her clothes.

    The mother told editors of the site that she would not comment to reporters because she was also receiving threats. She would not provide her name to the Register.

    “I don’t want anything,” she wrote. “I just want them to have a bit of compassion in the future.”

    Bryan Merryman, chief operating officer for the Colorado-based candy company, issued an apology to the mother Tuesday, saying “the actions of one franchised store’s employees do not represent the values of the company … We truly regret this situation occurred.”

    “We are a very family friendly company and would never encourage any policy that does not take individual facts and circumstances into account,” he wrote.

    Overturf, who also apologized to the mother earlier, said she contacted police once death threats began and her home address was posted on an unknown Web site. People also threatened to throw feces at her home, she said.

    Overturf said that it could be dangerous for customers to walk through their hallway, which is lined with supplies, to their back bathroom. At another Rocky Mountain store Overturf owns in Westminster, a man had snuck into the back in 2006 posing a firefighter, she said. Nothing was stolen from the store, she said.

    “Even if insurance wasn’t an issue, there is the possibility of theft and people getting hurt,” Overturf, a mother of three, said today.

    Alex Chasick, an editor with, said he did not talk with Overturf or Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory officials before posting the story on Monday. The story has had more than 116,000 views and 330 comments, he said.

    “It was a pretty terrible situation that happened to her,” Chasick said about the girl.

    To read the story on the click here.

    Contact the writer: or 714-445-6696

  360. njovin says:

    They’ve got a notice posted on their feedback page ([]) about the story.

    I sent feedback anyway. It’s not enough to slough responsibility on the franchise owner. They should yank her license.

  361. Not-so-common-sense says:


    That is a rather misleading picture. I’ve been there and this story doesn’t stand up. I know where the RMCF is and where the theatre and public restrooms are. The more I read the more I think this lady was negligent in the care of her child and looking for a fight. IT has to be somebody else fault right.

  362. PabloPablo says:

    @snclfe: Why does anyone here need this information? None of us had an issue with the store… You people confuse me sometimes.

  363. adamlamar says:

    Have you read the company’s apology?


    My 2 cents:

    I think you should just close up shop or change your name and drastically change your policies.

    Your treatment of the mother and daughter was inexcusable and I don’t accept your half-baked apology (which in careful reading doesn’t even sound like an apology) while hiding behind your franchise agreements. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory CAN dictate policies towards franchise’s treatment of customers as much as you dictate standards for chocolates sold in your franchises.

    The actions of one store DO represent the values of its organization, like it or not.

    As such, I will no longer purchase anything from Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory ever again. Your COO, Bryan Merryman, in your online apology has made a complete ass of himself while in the end has stood behind the incomprehensible actions of their franchise store. In all of the vapid content of Merryman’s “apology” I did not hear of any punitive action taken against the franchise owner – at the very LEAST you should cancel their agreement and run it as a factory store until new ownership is negotiated. Short of this, your company is trying to take the cheapest way out of a very serious situation.

    How can I have confidence in your company maintaining a high standard of quality with regard to your products when you aren’t willing to maintain a minimal standard of human decency?

    Your “apology” is not accepted.

    Adam Lamar
    Burbank, CA

  364. biswalt says:

    It all depends on what the specific store looked like, if it was a mall type store or something where you had to go to the back of the store they were right to refuse access to the girl. Despite what some people may think a restaurant with limited space in which the only plumbing facilities are in the back of the store cannot allow people through kitchens and past management offices just because someone needs to use a bathroom. Anyone that thinks differently has obviously never been an employee of a small store with an employee only bathroom in the very rear. Imagine how upset you all would be if the headline had read “Rocky Mountain Choclate Factory Breaks Company Policy; Girl Has Runs in Kitchen.”

  365. baraboo says:

    I once had to change my infant son’s poopy diaper in a BK in Lafayette, IN, which did not have a changing table in the restroom and the restroom floor was too gross to even think about putting my son on it to change him.

    I asked the “manager” about a changing table and he said that they had it removed b/c someone at a BK somewhere in the world sued BK b/c their kid fell off the changing table.

    So I proceeded to change my baby’s poopy diaper on a table (an eating table) at BK in front of everyone. Then I went back up to the manager and suggested that she sanitize that table before other customers sat down to eat at it.

  366. Superawesomerad says:

    @baraboo: That is fucking disgusting and you should be ashamed of yourself.

  367. riverstyxxx says:

    I live in the area around the corner and can print up a few hundred copies of the two articles. If anyone wants to head over there with me to hand them out, message me :)

  368. IGIVEASHIT says:

    You know..This shit (excuse the pun) is exactly why people sue companies stating that the food was contaminated and made them sick. I agree with the owner and am happy to hear that they take enough pride in their business to not allow for potential contamination. If it was me, I wouldn’t have allowed it either. The employees were also following the rules! Sorry if you don’t agree. Perhaps she should go back to where they ate to complain and stop harrassing the chocolate factory! I support them! and if anyone has a right to sue it would be them for threats and harrasement!

  369. IGIVEASHIT says:

    I’m sorry but I agree with the company. This shit (excuse the pun) is exactly why people sue for saying the food/chocolate made them sick. I am glad they have enough decency to protect their “true customers” well being. The lady and kid weren’t even customers there!

    I commend the employees for following the rules because NO ONE knows what would have happend had it gone the other way. If anyone has the right to sue it is the company for being harrased and threatned… AND for a few other things that closely sound like defacation! lol Haa Haa!

    Who gives a shit you say? I do because it’s people like that that create chaos in the world and why companies have to go to drastic measures to protect themselves and their customers.

    I have never heard of this chocolate company before because I live out of the area but now plan to support them!!!

    I can eat their chocolate with out worry….

    WTG! I support you!

  370. seanpfc says:


    20′ under new ownership neon sign included…

  371. swimnsoccer says:

    I have been to this outdoor mall that this occured at and there are plenty of other places that the mother could have taken her daughter to. Right across from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory there are a few restaurants. I have 2 daughters and I know in situations like this you have to use your head. I would have ran to one of the restaurants that for sure have restrooms for the public to use and just taken her back there without talking to anyone. She chose to ask the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory which is a tiny little place and the restroom is in the back of a counter. Of course, she would have a hard time being able to use that restroom. Use common sense and think!

  372. solange305 says:

    @TheUncleBob: You moron! This isn’t “private property” like your house is. It’s an establishment that sells to the public, and they have to provide reasonable accommodations. Or, they can face the consequences: people find out your customer service sucks, they won’t even want to come IN your store and spend their money, much less use the bathroom, and you go out of business. Problem solved!

  373. @TheUncleBob: A private residence and a business where you want people to come in are two completely different things.

  374. armishanks says:

    RMCF corporate has issued this statement on its web site, and also re-emphasized this was the action of a franchisee. It seems its aware CA code requires customer access to bathroom facilities by merchants.

    An Apology to Our Customers :
    Re: Incident at Bella Terra shopping center, Huntington Beach, California

    The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Store in the Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach, CA is an individually owned and operated franchised store.

    The Company has personally called the individual involved in this incident and apologized on behalf of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. In this instance, the actions of one franchised store’s employees do not represent the values of the Company or our entire system of franchised stores.

    We are a very family friendly company and would never encourage any policy that does not take individual facts and circumstances into account. We encourage all our franchisees to adopt policies that are in accordance with local laws and regulations and that are reasonable and compassionate. However, individual policies of this nature are ultimately adopted by each franchisee.

    We truly regret this situation occurred and hope we can continue to serve your chocolate needs.

    Bryan Merryman
    Chief Operating Officer
    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.

  375. TechnoBabe says:

    I can’t believe I’m going to say something that isn’t completely pro-consumer here, but here goes:
    I’ve been to Bella Terra, and immediately next to Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is Pomodoro, and two doors down is Daphne’s, both with a restroom easily accessible. Wouldn’t it have been quicker to go to the place immediately next door to use the restroom than to stand there and argue with the clerk, or than to run all the way to the movie theatre?

    Now, that being said, I think it really stinks that the policy of this location is to not let them use the restroom, when in California, you are required to allow customers to use the facilities. And then, the manager could have simply just apologized over the phone, which probably would have soothed ruffled feathers, but chose her battle unwisely.

  376. Monoplex says:

    It saddens me how reactionary people have become. So many people are only able to see things in simplistic terms (i.e., the child should been allowed access to the bathroom) without any consideration whatsoever any possible extenuating circumstances.

    It’s people wanting simple answers to multi-faceted issues that I believe has gotten this country into the shape that it’s in.

  377. musac4life says:

    This is what i found on their website.. I am still NEVER using their service. I hope she does sue, and win big!

    An Apology to Our Customers :

    Re: Incident at Bella Terra shopping center, Huntington Beach, California

    The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Store in the Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach, CA is an individually owned and operated franchised store.

    The Company has personally called the individual involved in this incident and apologized on behalf of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. In this instance, the actions of one franchised store’s employees do not represent the values of the Company or our entire system of franchised stores.

    We are a very family friendly company and would never encourage any policy that does not take individual facts and circumstances into account. We encourage all our franchisees to adopt policies that are in accordance with local laws and regulations and that are reasonable and compassionate. However, individual policies of this nature are ultimately adopted by each franchisee.

    We truly regret this situation occurred and hope we can continue to serve your chocolate needs.

    Bryan Merryman
    Chief Operating Officer
    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.

  378. Monoplex says:

    @musac4life: I hope she does sue, and win big!

    And it’s exactly that sort of mentality that likely prevented the child from being allowed to use the bathroom in the first place.

  379. Musician78 says:

    I love all the bickering about this…. you can say what you want, and feel however you want, but what it all boils down to is insurance reasons and our love of suing people. If my company’s policy said no public restrooms, then that is it. No negotiating. I need a job.

  380. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    “I hope she does sue, and win big!”

    Sue who? And on what grounds? What are the damages?

  381. Monoplex says:

    @IfThenElvis: @Monoplex:
    “I hope she does sue, and win big!”

    You do understand that the comment you attributed to me was not mine, right?

  382. jeffsters says:

    FYI: I wrote the company and got this reply. I don’t hold Rocky Mountain Chocolate responsible but the owner and appreciated the response back.
    June 24, 2008

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s Inc.’s Bella Terra Shopping Center in Huntington Beach, CA Bathroom Complaint Response:

    The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Store in the Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach, CA is an individually owned and operated franchised store. The Company has personally called the individual involved in this incident and apologized on behalf of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. In this instance, the actions of one franchised store’s employees do not represent the values of the Company or our entire system of franchised stores.

    We are a very family friendly company and would never encourage any policy that does not take individual facts and circumstances into account. We encourage all our franchisees to adopt policies that are in accordance with local laws and regulations and that are reasonable and compassionate. However, individual policies of this nature are ultimately adopted by each franchisee.

    We truly regret this situation occurred.

    Bryan Merryman
    Chief Operating Officer
    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.

  383. jharrell says:

    Update – I received this response from RMCF today:

    “Please do not reply to this message as we are unable to respond at this time”

    June 24, 2008

    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory’s Inc.’s Bella Terra Shopping Center in Huntington Beach, CA Bathroom Complaint Response:

    The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Store in the Bella Terra shopping center in Huntington Beach, CA is an individually owned and operated franchised store. The Company has personally called the individual involved in this incident and apologized on behalf of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. In this instance, the actions of one franchised store’s employees do not represent the values of the Company or our entire system of franchised stores.

    We are a very family friendly company and would never encourage any policy that does not take individual facts and circumstances into account. We encourage all our franchisees to adopt policies that are in accordance with local laws and regulations and that are reasonable and compassionate. However, individual policies of this nature are ultimately adopted by each franchisee.

    We truly regret this situation occurred.

    Bryan Merryman
    Chief Operating Officer
    Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc.

  384. ShizaMinelli says:

    I worked at a “mall store” and one day a woman was shopping and her daughter started screaming “potty! potty! emergency!”. The mom looked frantic and begged me to use the bathroom. I knew how far away the closest public bathroom was and felt awful, and our bathroom was just inside our stockroom to the left. I propped open the stockroom door and she ran in with her daughter. I didn’t stand there and watch, but I was trying to keep an eye on the door so I could make sure they came right back out into the store and not into the rest of the stockroom. I was helping a customer when I heard the fire alarm, I ran to the back and found that a large amount of expensive items we sold were gone, and ran out the back door in enough time to hear peeling rubber. I turn around and the other customer that needed “help” was jogging out our front door.
    Long story short, it was one huge scam that ended up costing us $800+ in merchandise and nearly got me fired. I can completely understand the employee’s stance on this. If I had told the customer to wait a second, I would have been written up if they complained. It was just a big old “screwed if you do/don’t” situation. It’s unfortunate that employees have to stick to their guns in situations like this, but the fact is a few bad apples ruin the bunch.

    This, however, does NOT excuse the manager’s refusal to apologize and laughing in the mother’s face.

  385. Anonymous says:

    In the retail situation I have worked in the reason for bathroom request refusal is that the bathroom is not handicapped accessible. The store fears being sued by wheelchair bound customers and has to refuse access to avoid lawsuits. Sucks I know, but little girls aren’t suing anyone.

  386. weirdalfan27 says:

    Gee, aren’t they nice?

  387. Anonymous says:

    I have a retail business, and we do not have “Public Bathrooms”. But for customers we know and or see that they have kids we usually let them use the bathroom. But even then it sometimes blows up in our face, cause sometime people are just totally inconsiderate. So we use our own discreation, so I agree with Coco Factory management, but there is also a thin line that one must walk when dealing with customers. Usually though you do need to make the customer happy or articles get written like this one above. But I also did not understand why a cafe/restaurant does not have a public restroom, i mean they seem to have a lot of stores and by now you would think they would of learned. But again Business is crazy, and who knows…

  388. warf0x0r says:

    Go get ’em!

    I’ll never visit this place if I ever see one.

  389. If the woman bought food FROM the Chocolate Factory, then why did they not allow her to use it? She is a customer, after all. It’s not like she’s some pedestrian.

    And, what’s the “insurance reason” that was cited? What insurance reason could there be? Unless they were scared that their own food caused the illness? It’s unclear to me.

  390. Jest Dempsey says:

    funniest story i have heard all day.

  391. Anonymous says:

    I can guarantee you after reading this I will not use Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory for the gifts I was getting ready to send over the internet.

    Customer Service obviously is not in their company policy either.

  392. hectica says:

    Considering their sugar free chocolates carry this disclaimer: “SENSITIVE INDIVIDUALS MAY EXPERIENCE A LAXATIVE EFFECT FROM EXCESSIVE CONSUMPTION OF THIS PRODUCT.” ([]), one would think they would gladly provide the use of a restroom.

    BTW, the serving size on the linked product ([]) is 5 pieces… 1 serving apparently counts as “excessive consumption” for myself & everyone else I’ve spoken to that has tried these. Give ya the Rocky Mountain Squirts.

  393. thrid001 says:

    If your child is unable to control her potty urges in public, she should be wearing a diaper, or not taken out. Just because you think the brat is cute, does not mean the rest of us want their shit everywhere.
    I’d also point out that if in the backroom there may be confidential information, money or product that could conceivably be tampered with. If they let her run back and the poopies went into the next back of chocolate was mom gonna pay for it all?

  394. Anonymous says:

    I hate to be one of the few voices of dissent, but… I don’t blame the employees one bit. Most people who have worked in retail, especially those who have a lot of contact with mothers and their small children, have at least one horror story about a bathroom or (and I shudder to think, but I have heard it) a dressing room being left in a horrible state.

    The mother, meanwhile, scoots out with an apology, and does nothing to clean up after herself or her child.

    Get stuck, just once, cleaning up some strange child’s runny feces from the bathroom floor and walls, and the next time a Mom implores you to let her volatile child use the restroom, see what your response is.

    I feel for the mother and the child, I really, really do, but I can’t blame the employees for not wanting to have that situation left in their hands. Literally.

  395. Slack says:

    @third001: Please never reproduce.

    @Supriya..: Point of story being…There would be nothing to clean up, had there been access to facilities.

  396. fundy says:

    Personally if I was the manager I would find it hard to turn away a mother and her daughter …BUT..if the bathroom isnt for the public (and Im assuming it isnt or they wouldnt have had to ask to use it) and is only there for the employees they would have to be careful allowing people back there. Would they have access to areas they shouldnt have like food prep areas, storage, cleaning, employee lockers? Also if they allow them to use it they are setting a precedent and would potentially have to allow others. Then there would be the added duty of cleaning the bathroom. I wouldnt want to think the person serving me was knee deep in feces an hour before my arrival.

  397. Anonymous says:

    In any case, it is quite interesting that when you google Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory today, “Worst customer service ever: Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory” shows up as third link. It hope this company gets the point.

  398. HenryMelbo says:

    I totally support the company here. They really do have a legal issue, and if anything happened, they WOULD be sued – this happens all the time.

    Shame on the woman for making such a stink about this – it was her fault, I’ve had young kids and I never expected a store to take on a huge legal risk because I was too lazy to cross the road to use a public restroom. Shame!

  399. Anonymous says:

    The Ironic thing about this situation is that the mom totally made this thing up. I work at a store right around the corner and I’m good friends with the employees that were working at the time, and was there when this “diarrhea” situation occured. The girl did not have an accident in the store, nor had an accient in the theater. Next time the mom should stop whining and compaining and do the logical thing, and take her to another restroom. Its a shopping center so of course there is going to be a restroom around the corner.

  400. Jim Chapman says:

    I am not going to agree with the company decision at that store. I will say this. Please remember the majority of stores are not company owned stores and that they are owned by the individual operators.

    I have no problem with an establishment not allowing bathroom use, however I also feel certain exceptions need to be granted. When you ahve a young child who is obviously in distress I think it is an exception that needs to be granted. If a person is using your establishment is obviously is going to get sick would you rather have it in your restroom or all over the sales floor? I do see certain instances that companies should not allow use of the restroom facilities. My best friend works in a jewelry store. They can’t offer the restroom for customers due to the store design. It becomes a safety issue for them to do so. A place like RMCF should make exceptions for customers obviously in distress.

  401. Anonymous says:

    I was so sorry to hear about this situation; I feel the worst for your daughter. I just went to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory this weekend in Camarillo, CA and received some of the worst customer service I ever have experienced. Not only did the young employees give sour faces and rude answers to my questions, but then proceeded to outright flirt with each other instead of tending to the other customers waiting. The manager (who I’m guessing was the manager) was no better; she gave horrible looks and a horrible attitude to her employees, as well as the customers. People in upper level positions need to understand the importance of attitude – the customer is ALWAYS right and your employees will emulate whatever they see from their supervisors. Yes, they only work in a tiny little chocolate shop as opposed to some big corporation, but big or small, customer service (or even just a kind heart) goes a LONG way. I feel sad for them.

  402. Christopher Walker says:

    I work for a National Fleet Lease company and last week we had a Client’s employee run into a store (with a bad case of IBS) to use the facilities. He had to beg for about 2 minutes before they would allow him access to the employee washroom. In the mean time he forgot that the car he left in the fire lane was running with the door open. When he came out of the store he found the car stolen with the presentation he was about to give on a $3 million contract proposal. Needless to say all 438 employees who have lease cars got a lecture with the specifics of the incident. Corporate humiliation none funnier.

  403. Anonymous says:

    This is interesting about the Uniform Plumbing Code. Is it an actual law or only a “suggested rule”? Recently my sister and I took a trip to Santa Cruz, California. We discovered that almost no businesses in the downtown area provide restrooms for their customers–including many restaurants, bakeries, candy shops, and cafes. We asked a few business owners about the law requiring bathrooms for patrons–in my home state the laws are pretty specific regarding restroom requirements in food service establishments, and were told that no such law exists in California, that it’s an urban legend, and that businesses removed or hid their bathrooms to prevent street people from using them.

  404. Anonymous says:

    So we are supposed to feel sorry for you because you ran into a problem when you decided to take a sick kid out. I have no sympathy for you, it appears you would rather be a net bully then realize that lawsuit happy individuals such as yourself are who caused this insurance problem in the first place. You have reaped what you have sewn.

  405. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry, if someone came running into my store store, telling me they were going to have diarrhea, I would say no too. I’ve had people come in my own personal boutique, asking to use the restroom, which is back near my personal office. The last time I did it, an adult woman mind you, decided to throw up in the sink and not rinse it down. There is no way, ever I’m letting someone use the rest room again. There’s plenty of restaurants out there with public restrooms you can use. I think it would be even more embarrassing to sue the company. I think bathroom issues should remain in the bathroom. It’s too bad your daughter had this accident but I think it’s pretty gross to write about it.

  406. Anonymous says:

    As a parent, I can relate and sympathize with your horrible experience. I have had a VERY similar experience but fortunately was lucky enough to find a bathroom before it was too late.

    However, I happen to know that Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is a franchised company with many different owners. You are doing many innocent franchisees a disservice by posting a general comment like this one.

    To your credit, it showed up as the number 4 result on my “Google” search. So, you campaign is working. Unfortunately, in my opinion you general attack on all RMCFs is mis-guided.

  407. Anonymous says:

    First as a business owner the state’s REQUIRE EVERY business to install a handycap bathroom, for the customer’s to use. but yet when we go to some business ther is posted ‘NO public Restroom’s”.
    but on the ther hand wne you do let people us it , first it is sometime’s DAMAGED, which the businees owner has to pay to have repaired, as well as the upkeep. so it is a give and take on both side’s, more business would probally ope there restroom’s if more people would do less damage.

  408. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what the legal issues are, nor am I prepared to speak to the ethical or moral issues, as I do not run a shop such as their’s, and have no experience with the issues that could arise in this situation. But I will say that from the Manager’s attitude, to the numerous comments in this discussion thread that exhibit a total lack of empathy, I have to admit I am ashamed that I share the same species with these people. You can disagree on the issue, and do so with grace and sensitivity. But to the many that responded with crass, negative, non-constructive and totally empathy-free responses, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Then again, maybe I should thank you, because I suddenly realize that I am much better human being than I realized. Grow up people.

  409. tfcocs says:

    I am glad to see the update; I was about to comment that in California, and many other states, there are laws requiring access to bathroom facilities where food is served.

  410. tfcocs says:

    My letter to the corporate office:

    I am disgusted by your corporate policies regarding the use of bathrooms in your establishments. I recently learned about this policy when reading about the actions of your staff at your Bella Terra/Huntington Beach store recently wherein a young child was denied access to the staff bathroom, and subsequently experienced a bout of diarrhea in public. From what I have read about this incident ( at []), it sounds like you have violated California state law regarding providing patrons of food establishments access to rest rooms. I hope the Orange County Department of Health has been notified about this policy, and promptly investigate the matter. I certainly look forward to hearing more about how your company addresses this issue.

  411. Brad says:

    1. You should have run to the public restroom. You really thought a private business should let you scrape shit off your kid in their restroom?

    2. I don’t want your sick kid taking a shit where food I might consume is produced.

    3. You should have gone to the public restroom the FIRST time the store told you that they couldn’t allow you to use their restroom.

    4. Your kid’s bowels are YOUR problem, not the store’s problem.

    5. Your attempt to boycott them is mean spirited and stupid. What’s your goal? Change the law so that all private restrooms are available to parents who are having an “emergency”? Yeah, that would work.

    6. Quit having kids.