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An east Texas bakery is inundated with orders, messages of support and donations after revealing it faces backlash over its colorful cookies celebrating Pride Month.
The owners of Lufkin-based Confections unknowingly sparked the chain of bittersweet events last Wednesday when they posted a photo on Facebook advertising their heart-shaped rainbow frozen cookies. and calling for “More LOVE” and “Less hate”.
The next day, however, they reported the opposite: an article on the bakery’s page stated that it had lost a “significant number of subscribers” to cookies and received a “very hateful message” canceling an order. of five dozen cookies that had already been decorated.
Noting that an order of this size is “big in our world,” the owners told their Facebook followers that the cookies would be available for purchase in the store for $ 3 each, and said they hoped the next day would be better.
Then they went viral.
Confections gained some 2,500 new social media followers and received thousands of comments and support messages on Facebook from people across the country and around the world.
Some of the public comments came from as far away as Washington State, Minnesota, New York, Canada, Brazil and the United Kingdom.
“Love always wins, and unfortunately, sometimes it takes hate to prove it,” one message read. “We don’t get rainbows or flowers without the rain.”
“This story of the initial hate at the end of so much love made me cry all day today,” wrote another.
Many reviewers have asked about the shipment or have promised to visit the bakery in person.
Some of those cookie orders and shipping requests came from pickup superstar Alyssa Edwards and Brian Cuban, a prominent Dallas-based lawyer and brother of billionaire Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
“We’re overwhelmed by all the sweet words of support posted, messaged and emailed,” read an unsigned post from the bakery’s Facebook page. “There are so many that it might take a while for us to go through them all. Tears of joy rolled down my face as I read them.”
Bakery owners did not respond to multiple calls and emails from NPR.
Confections does not currently ship. But locals flocked to the store on Thursday, forming a line that snaked around the block.
The bakery said it sold everything by mid-afternoon.
And it didn’t take long for their shelves to empty the next day as well.
In fact, they added, the last customers of the day “put money on their credit cards for us to donate because there was nothing left to buy.”
Courtesy of these clients, co-owner Miranda Dolder wrote on Facebook, they gave these donations directly to local animal rescues.
One of them was Wendy’s Misfits Animal Rescue, an all-volunteer nonprofit in Lufkin.
Zeata Rowe, a volunteer rescue surgery coordinator, told NPR by email that she received $ 4,240 on Friday.
This entire sum will be used to sponsor pet sterilization and sterilization surgeries in the county, Rowe said, adding that the past year had been particularly difficult for fundraising and that the rescue was “terribly grateful” for support.
“The kindness, generosity and support of the owners of Confections is touching… and they turned around and shared it all with nonprofits… a good story in every way,” Rowe wrote.
Co-owner Dawn Cooley wrote in a post on Saturday that the small business hasn’t garnered as much attention in its 11-year history.
“We (my sister and co-owner Miranda and our fabulous pastry chef Felicia) are so humble, grateful and moved by this outpouring of love,” she added.
The owners said over the weekend that, based on customer feedback, they are working on a plan to donate the cookie recipes to local nursing homes and other charities, and hope to get started. a calendar to do it after Father’s Day.
Orders continued to pour in this week, prompting the bakery to close at 3 p.m. local time every day in order to catch up on dough making and cookie baking.
The owners have also started donating money to the Lufkin High School Diversity Club, which aims to promote acceptance and inclusion by supporting those who feel marginalized and offering programs, activities and opportunities. scholarships to its members.
The bakery announced on Wednesday that it had donated $ 250 to the club, which has since created its own online fundraising page.
The owners added that they have more ideas and plans on how to get the attention going, but don’t want to advertise them as a precaution.
In a Facebook post on Thursday, they hailed locals as “the heroes of this story” and offered words of support and acceptance to “everyone in these areas afraid to be your real self. “.
“Somehow our bakery has the world’s attention,” they added. “Let us shine it on our young people where we can allay their fears. Help us guide their way with kindness and care. We have this moment.”