A baker in Edmonds, Washington is in the hot seat for making a cookie that had the phrase “Build That Wall” on it.
Since this topic is currently one of the most polarizing political issues in the U.S., it's no wonder why so many folks have weighed in on social media. The Edmonds Bakery has seen both backlash and increased support due to the viral cookie.
During the Valentine’s Day season, Ken Bellingham, the owner of Edmonds Bakery, added heart shaped conversation cookies to that menu that display traditional & (sometimes) comedic phrases such as “Addicted to Love,” “Sweet Cheeks”, and “Only You.” As a joke (according to Bellingham), a cookie with the phrase “Build That Wall” was added to the case and placed among the other conversation cookies. However one customer, Ana Carrera, didn’t find it funny at all. In fact, she found it to be offensive and took to social media about it.
Along with a picture of the cookie, Carrera wrote that the incident ended a “four year relationship with my favorite local bakery.” Carrera’s parents immigrated from Mexico before she was born to escape the dangers of Mexican cartels.
Carrera's post quickly went viral and soon Edmonds Bakery found itself in the media, and receiving an enormous amount of national backlash for the cookie. Initially, the owner apologized on Facebook saying “I will not be making anymore cookies of a political nature, but a narrow line of Love and Sweetheart maybe a Nice Butt.”
However, that tune quickly changed as the bakery became bombarded with support from those who agreed with his perspective and his right to free speech. Bellingham claims that his sales have increased 3 fold since the story went viral, which I would imagine is why he is now doing not only “Build that Wall” cookies but also “Make This Cookie Great Again” and “Ligthen Up.”
Bakers in the News
This isn’t the first time that a baker’s beliefs have landed them in the spotlight. We’ve seen cases where, after refusing to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, bakers have landed in court on claims of discrimination.
The question is where do we draw the line? Political and religious beliefs aside…what is a business owner to do when they inadvertently offend a client or an entire community because of their own personal belief system? Then what about the concept of all press is good press? I mean...he did see an increase in sales.
Whether you agree or disagree with the actions of either party, you have to agree that these types of situations are pretty touchy for the business owner. Comment below. What would you do if you were in Edmonds Bakery's position?
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About the AuthorCydni N. Mitchell (aka Cyd) is the bakery and Sweet Business Coach behind Sweet Fest®. Based in Atlanta, GA, Sweet Fest® is an online company that supports the business needs of the Sweet Community in the areas of professional development, marketing and branding. By trade, Cyd is an accountant & financial analyst with a Masters from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also the organizer of The Ultimate Sugar Show, a baking and sweets trade show in Atlanta, GA, and she is the Co-Founder of the Sugar Coin Academy, an online business academy for business owners in the baking and sweets industry. Learn more.