A picnic table brimmed with chips, pretzels, lemonade, lemon water and a tray of cookies from Bethel Bakery was prepared just before Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney Tuesday during his short campaign stop in Bethel Park.
On Wednesday, Bethel Bakery was abuzz following a comment by Romney that had the bakery's fans disappointed (see recent posts by others on Facebook page). Romney sat down with the families, making small talk.
The stickered lid was removed from the cookie tray before Romney saw it and he wasn't informed they were from one of the best bakeries in town—he lightheartedly guessed they were from a "7-Eleven Bakery."
At that moment, a pin drop could be heard among local reporters in the press barracks—especially with those who grew up on the favored sweets.
Following the hour-long informal discussion, the goodies were left untouched, one cup of lemonade was poured—and Romney never got to try the delicious confections.
Julie Lytle, the sales and marketing assistant at Bethel Bakery, clarified the bakery's point of view over what they're good-naturedly calling the "Cookiegate" scandal.
"We're not mad," she said. "The situation kind of blew up, so we decided to put a fun twist on it."
The bakery is offering a deal for customers through Friday—buy one dozen of cookies, get a half dozen free.
"We wouldn't take a stance on anything like that," Lytle said. "Next time, we'd love for him to come in and try our cookies."
When asked if they'd deliver cookies for him to taste at his next campaign event in Pittsburgh, Lytle said, "We'd totally jump on that."
The incident had many upset, including local GOP candidate Evan Feinberg, a grad. He tweeted, "Huge mistake. Bethel Bakery is an institution around here!" The bakery is celebrating its 57th year.
Editor's Note: The cookies were passed around to reporters after Romney's departure. It was overheard among traveling national press that they were "amazing," and they were.