A small, local family owned bakery in Texas recently joined in celebrating June as Pride Month in the best way a bakery can. They created a heart shaped cookie iced with rainbow stripes, in honor of the LGBTQ+ Pride flag.
The Lufkin, Texas bakery, called Confections, was thrilled to announce the seasonal snack with a supportive Facebook post.
But when the bakery owners posted the picture of the cookies on their Facebook page, they faced an immediate storm of backlash.
The owners received hate-filled messages over Facebook. They also had a very large order cancelled, a significant financial stress for the small local business.
One of the owners shared their surprise and disappointment in a post.
She included a last-minute plea for people in the area to come buy the dozens of cookies from the canceled order which would now go to waste.
"Today has been hard. Really hard."
"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 (5 dozen) 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 ❤️"
That post caught people's attention.
Many assured Confections' owners their hard work and inclusive views were more than welcome in the community.
Jo Willis Sellers/Facebook
Jamie Nicole Hardin/Facebook
Amazed by the outpouring of support in both the comment section as well as through private messages, the bakery owners posted a thank you along with plans to keep business moving.
And the support didn't stop there.
Over the following couple of days, Confections saw lines out the door and wrapped around the street.
They sold out of cookies and even had to close down early to bake enough for the following day.
The owners, sisters Dawn and Miranda each shared their thoughts in another Facebook post.
"We've sold out."
"All this attention on our small business is very humbling. 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."
"Yo! Miranda edit here! Giving it all to local animal rescues.We told the customers they could donate to that cause.They chose to do so."
"If you have an issue, I've got a mouth."
"More love. Less hate. Always❤️"
In another message, the owners posted:
"We are so grateful for the many messages of love and acceptance we have received; they far out way the negative, hurtful and hateful."
"We want this to be a positive place. We will not accept hate or be bullied with lies. I know what is in my heart and I know what is in my sweet sister's heart."
"We just want to make our cookies. We just want people to be happy in our shop surrounded by our cookies that are made with LOVE. We want people who receive our cookies to be happy."
A picture of the line on one of those days captured a proud community supporting small business and striking back at bigotry.
People were thrilled to see such an amazing, uplifting outcome in a story that began full of hate and intolerance.
Marianne McKay Swager/Facebook
Jean Young Allison/Facebook
Fortunately, it stands as yet another story of the good, inclusive sentiments the internet can set into motion.
More love, less hate, always.