An employee of Minnesota’s Largest Candy Store was fired Friday after a series of vulgar messages were sent to an individual from the store’s Facebook account Thursday, July 23.

“We got hacked,” the store’s Facebook page initially said Friday morning, shortly before the page was temporarily deactivated. “We apologize to the (person) that was attacked and treated unfairly.”

After speaking with individuals who had access to the account, owner Robert Wagner said one employee suggested their cellphone had been hacked. But after further investigation, Wagner decided to fire the employee.

“After getting feedback from people that have a greater knowledge of how Facebook and cellphones work, they indicated that maybe this particular individual had actually done it,” Wagner said.

The private messages, first shared on Facebook, show the store’s account sending a Facebook user a vulgar message. The account and the user then argue over the Black Lives Matter movement. Wagner said the former employee denies having sent the messages.

“The screenshots showing the messages by no means reflect the views of the owners or the Jim’s Apple Farm family as a whole,” a company statement said. “We sincerely apologize that this event occurred and are in the process of determining action going forward.”

This is not the first time the story has been the subject of controversy. The store’s sense of humor, often advertised on large signs along Highway 169, has attracted outrage in the past.

In 2018, following a heavy April snowstorm, the sign read, “In only two years Trump fixed global warming.” In 2015, the front sign said “Join the movement #caramelapplesmatter.”

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