A small bakery in Lufkin, Texas, is having the last laugh after being bombarded with homophobic attacks for posting an image of rainbow cookies in solidarity with the LGBTQ community for Pride month.
Last Wednesday, the Facebook account of Confections, a bakery owned by Dawn Cooley and her sister Miranda Dolder, posted an image of heart-shaped cookies iced with the rainbow flag.
“More LOVE. Less hate,” the post read. “Happy Pride to all our LGBTQ friends! All lovers of cookies and happiness are welcome here.”
For the sisters, who have run their business for 11 years, it was an opportunity to showcase inclusivity.
“We are in the business of making people happy,” Cooley tells Yahoo of the genesis behind the image. “A customer came in and asked us if we were planning on making any cookies to celebrate Pride this month. We said sure, of course. In general, we are not political in our business but I do not believe in discriminating against anyone, especially over who they choose to love. With troubling times, we need more love and less hate. So, I posted the pic to let other people who may want a rainbow heart know.”
The post, however, had consequences. The next day a post on Facebook revealed that due to the image, Confections lost a “significant amount of followers” and received “a very hateful message” on its business page, which ended up cancelling a massive order they’d just finished decorating.
Video: Bakery donates profits to LGBTQ organization
"If you love our cookies we will have an over abundance of them tomorrow. Hopefully tomorrow will be better,” the post concluded.
The next day, thousands of supporters responded to the message, resulting in thousands of new followers and a growing number of new orders.
By Friday, the small bakery welcomed a line that — literally — continued half a block down the street.
The shop, which opened on Tuesday morning with a hefty number of new orders, is ready to execute despite the tiny staff of three: Cooley, Dolder and a baker named Felicia, who’s been with the company for the last five years.
“We scraped through this past year of Covid by trying to find the humor in our situation, making toilet paper cookies to keep our heads afloat and keep our business open,” Cooley quips.
“I believe what I posted,” she adds. “I believe in more love and less hate. I believe in inclusivity. I believe in not purposefully harming another with hateful words or actions. These past few days I have seen so much good, so much positivity. All this attention is daunting, especially to someone as socially anxious as I am, but if we are able to help anyone feel included and not discriminated against, I am happy.”
Still, despite the backlash, Cooley is looking at the positive side of the situation.
“We love our bakery and we love our community," she says. “I know [LGBTQ discrimination] exists and that there are a lot of people set in their ways. I love my home state of Texas. Most people here have a heart of gold, I’ve found. The good people far outweigh the bad. Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. But honestly if you only have hurtful words to say, they are better left unsaid. There’s already so much negativity in our world. At Confections, we strive to be a place of welcome and positivity and humor.”
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