After hateful message over Pride cookies, the line at this Texas bakery wrapped around the street

·3 min read

AUSTIN, Texas – Cookies shaped like hearts and decorated with rainbow frosting may seem like one of the most innocuous foods on Earth, but for a bakery in East Texas, they led to hateful messages and canceled business. Then, they led to an "outpouring of love."

Confections, a small bakery in Lufkin, Texas, recently unveiled rainbow heart cookies in honor of Pride Month, which celebrates the LGBTQ community. On June 2, the bakery posted a photo of the cookies to its Facebook page with the caption “More LOVE. Less hate. Happy Pride to all our LGBTQ friends! All lovers of cookies and happiness are welcome here."

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Just about 24 hours later, the bakery was back with another post. This one was much less celebratory.

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"Today has been hard. Really hard," the post read. "We lost a significant amount of followers because of a rainbow heart cookie we posted. We received a very hateful message on our business page canceling a large order (5dz) of summer themed cookies for tomorrow morning (that we just finished decorating) because of a rainbow heart cookie we posted. My heart is heavy.

"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. Hopefully tomorrow will be better."

Well, "tomorrow" was better for Confections. So was the next day, and the day after that. As the bakery's Facebook posts gained traction, messages of support from the community and across the country poured in. The posts have since amassed thousands of likes, comments and shares – not to mention the love Confections has gotten on Instagram.

On June 4, Confections shared a picture taken by a customer of the line around the block outside Confections. "We are astonished at your generosity of heart," the shop wrote in another post that day. "The line is wrapped around the street since we opened."

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Confections sold out its entire inventory on June 4 and 5, according to Facebook posts. "All this attention on our small business is very humbling," bakery co-owner Dawn Cooley wrote in a post June 5. "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."

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Cooley then said she, her sister and co-owner Miranda Dolder and their baker Felicia are "so humbled and grateful and moved by this outpouring of love." Commenters and patrons have sought to donate money, but the Confections team has redirected those people to support local animal rescues instead. Confections also has received inquiries about shipping its cookies – including one from drag queen Alyssa Edwards, who is originally from Dallas and has competed on "RuPaul's Drag Race" and "RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars." Although the bakery does not ship, the team was elated by Edwards' request.

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Despite the initial hate, Confections' rainbow cookies seem to have produced the love they set out to inspire.

"We are so grateful for the many messages of love and acceptance we have received," the bakery wrote in a June 8 Facebook post. / "They far out way the negative, hurtful and hateful."

Follow Ella M. Feldman on Twitter: @ellamfeld.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Pride Month cookies: Community supports Texas bakery after backlash

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