Some of you may have seen the story I wrote several months ago about an Edmonds baker who decorated a batch of cookies with “Build The Wall’?
A customer of Hispanic descent posted a picture of one of the cookies on Facebook and it was immediately deemed offensive by many. My initial reaction was one of confusion and I felt it was important to get “the story behind the story” so I interviewed the owner of the bakery over the telephone.
At first he couldn’t have been more apologetic, insisting it was “just one batch,” he wasn’t racist, it was “just a joke” and that he “wasn’t in favor of building a wall.” In the article I defended his right to decorate his cookies anyway he wanted. This is America after all. He is the business owner and customers have the right to purchase his goods or go somewhere else, both of which they have done.
Again, my article was written after speaking with the owner for quite some time, offering him a chance to explain and developing the opinion that he was genuinely “sorry for offending anyone.”
All too quickly the story grew legs of its own, attracting national media attention and the interest of a local talk show host who had the baker on his show, praising him for being an American. I believe that may be the moment this local shop owner’s opinion and attitude changed. Fifteen minutes of fame can make people do interesting things.
While following the progression of the story online, reading posts made to his Facebook page and comments from readers of my article, it was apparent that he had found an audience of which he didn’t think he would have initially. He had now found people who — like him — thought decorating a cookie with “Build The Wall” was indeed funny and that those who found it offensive were merely “snowflakes.” The “Apologetic Baker” then publicly retracted his apology and has begun to again make cookies that some might find questionable.
I guess everyone needs a gimmick.
I haven’t seen them yet, but I’m going to assume he’s saving the cookies decorated with “Witch Hunt” for the month of October. I’m curious though, do they make a peach-flavored icing…for an imPEACHment cookie should the need arise? By the way, if he hasn’t already thought of these two ideas, he’s free to use them, no charge.
In reality, I don’t care one way or the other what this small business owner does in his little corner of Edmonds. I tried one of his cookies when I went into his shop, they tasted like any other cookie one can purchase from a bakery at Safeway or QFC. I also don’t go to downtown Edmonds enough to worry about where I’m going to purchase my next cake.
However, I do care that I wrote a story in defense of someone whom I thought may have just made a poor decision. I also have to call into question someone’s integrity when their moral compass is affected by the attention they receive from people out of state. People who can’t support his business because he has no way of shipping his goods?
Long story short, I don’t regret writing the story. I wanted to afford him the opportunity to make his case before the public jumped to any conclusions. I continue to believe that his business is…his business, and I continue to believe this baker should be afforded the same freedoms granted us all under our Constitution.
I just feel I was lied to and that those lies prompted me to write a story under false pretenses. A story that with my words described a situation that wasn’t completely true. Regardless, our baker appears to be up to his old tricks. (See photo)
I don’t know how well his business is doing locally, but I hope the comments he gets on his Facebook page from his fans out of state will generate enough electricity to keep his ovens warm?
— Rob Oxford
Rob Oxford, a writer, lives on the border of Shoreline and Edmonds.