A Portland, Ore., bakery caved to a disgruntled customer’s allegations of racism and fired two employees after they wouldn’t serve a customer because the shop was closed.
Back to Eden Bakery sent multiple apologies and public statements admitting it’s racist because it refused to serve a black woman who entered the shop after hours and asked to buy a pastry even though the shop had closed.
The incident occurred in early May and is now circulating in the news, garnering a strong public response on Facebook and social media. A woman named only as “Lillian” entered the bakery at 9:06 p.m. after the shop had already closed, according to the bakeshop’s Facebook post about the event. Confusion arose because the shop was unusually busy for the late hour and there were still a few customers in line who the shop agreed to serve but who’d been informed the shop was officially closed. The lighted “Open” sign had been turned off.
After the bakeshop employees informed Lillian that they were officially closed and they could serve no more customers, Lillian video recorded the experience and claimed the bakery was racist because it served the two white women who had arrived at the shop earlier, but refused to serve her.
In a public statement of apology, bakery co-owner and general manager John Blomgren described the event as “absolutely egregious” and stated the shop had fired the two employees who had informed Lillian they could not serve her because the shop was closed. “We are doing business in a gentrified neighborhood in a racist city within a racist state of a racist country,” Blomgren wrote in the Facebook post, noting the incident reveals the shop has more work to do to dismantle racism. (RELATED: New York Times Columnist Declares Trump A ‘White Supremacist’)
“Back to Eden Bakery is 100% committed to … dismantling the white-supremacist heater-patriarchy,” Blomgren wrote. He indicated in the apology, however, that firing the employees was not enough and that more action must follow, inspiring him to write a second statement of apology on May 11. The bakery must dedicate itself to becoming more “pro-Black” and accepting of “Black, Brown and Indigenous People,” he wrote in the lengthy apology.
“This has certainly been the most heartbreaking and educational 24 hrs in the history of our small company,” he added. (RELATED: Fresno Prof Blames Racism For Backlash Over Barbara Bush Comments)
The bakery touts itself as a shop that is rooted in community. Its mission is “creating a space where everyone can feel safe and welcome to share in food that everyone can eat,” according to its website.
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