Backlash to Pride cookies backlash turns out to be very good for a Texas bakery

Illustration for article titled Backlash to Pride cookies backlash turns out to be very good for a Texas bakery
Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images (Getty Images)

Happy Pride Month, everyone! Now is the time to remember that love is love and that rainbows look good on everything. In Lufkin, Texas, about two hours north of Houston, the owners of Confections, a local bakery, made a batch of heart-shaped sugar cookies with rainbow icing. And then they learned that not everyone believes in universal love and rainbows.

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Last Wednesday, June 2, the owners, sisters Dawn Cooley and Miranda Dolder, posted a picture of the cookies on Confections’ Facebook page. On Thursday, they posted a follow-up explaining that their rainbow cookies had not been as well-received as they’d hoped. Specifically, they’d received many hateful responses, lost a significant number of social media followers and, even worse, a customer cancelled an order of five dozen cookies that had already been baked, decorated, and packaged for delivery.

“My heart is heavy,” they wrote. “Honestly I never thought a post that literally said more love less hate would result in this kind of backlash to a very small business that is struggling to stay afloat and spread a little cheer through baked goods. So. If you love our cookies we will have an over abundance of them tomorrow.”

That post—and the original post of the cookies—both went viral. Many responses were from people who were too far from Lufkin to visit the bakery in person (there were also a few trolls who were promptly shot down), but there were still enough customers on Friday for a line to extend outside the store and down the block. By early afternoon, the shop posted a picture of empty shelves: it was all sold out—including the five dozen cookies in the canceled order. The boom continued on Saturday, when the bakery sold out in just three hours. The bakery also got more than 2,500 new followers on Facebook. Alyssa Edwards of Netflix’s Dancing Queen asked if they shipped.

“All this attention on our small business is very humbling,” Cooley posted on Saturday. “Makes me nervous! Those who know me (Dawn) know how shy I am. In the 11 years we’ve been open we’ve never seen anything quite like this. We (my sister and co-owner Miranda and our fabulous baker Felicia) are just so humbled and grateful and moved by this outpouring of love. The last several people in our shop put money on their credit card for us to donate because there was nothing left to purchase.”

Dolder added later that the sisters were donating the extra money to a local animal rescue. On Sunday, the bakery posted, “So many of you want to buy cookies and donate to our local nursing homes and charities and we are working out how to accomplish that! We are hoping to start a schedule after Father’s Day.”

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And so we have a happy ending. Love conquers all. “Y’all,” the sisters wrote on Instagram this morning. “We really don’t deserve all this attention. We simply wanted to be inclusive. Thank you for your kindness.”

Associate editor of The Takeout. Chicagoan. Owned by dog.

DISCUSSION

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I hope they kept the payment for that canceled order, too. Sheesh! I wonder how that person explained that instead of pretty custom cookies, they were handing out Pepperidge Farm at their little Myyckyllyiee’s dance recital party.