LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - M&B Food Store has been a staple in north Lufkin for nearly 30 years, but last week anonymous flyers found around town called the store unpatriotic, claiming they refused service to a U.S. soldier.
Bipin and Mina Patel greet regular customers by name as they enter the store.
"We never treat army people like that in my store my employee's daughters she's been in the army since long time and we got her picture in the store too," said Patel.
Loyal customer Scott Davis has known the Patel family for 20 years and calls the flyers a senseless attack on innocent people.
"The family has to answer phone calls accusing them of being unpatriotic when they have been in this country almost 30 years," said Davis.
Since discovering the claims owner Mina Patel has contacted local army liaison Sgt.1st Class Chris Dunham, hoping for answers to the false claims.
"He told me Mrs. Patel, this is not from Lufkin or anyone from military," said Patel.
Davis has researched the hoax and says these anonymous letters are generally geared toward people of Pakistani and Arab ethnicities and the Patel's Indian heritage made them a target.
"Because they have brown skin, to the best of my knowledge they didn't target any other store in Lufkin beside M&B Food Store," said Davis.
Patal says despite the rumors new customers are coming into the store and business is improving.
"They are trying to give us more business they say whoever did this it is not true and we are going to give you business now," said Patel.
In the meantime, the family is seeking any information that might lead them to the person responsible for the flyers.
The family reported the flyers to Lufkin Police, but were told the flyers are not illegal. The family will have to hire a lawyer and file a lawsuit against whoever printed the flyers.