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Bake Me Happy Prepares To Re-Open After Racist Threats

Exterior of Bake Me Happy, a Black-owned cafe and bakery in Merion Village.
Adora Namigadde
/
WWOSU
Exterior of Bake Me Happy, a Black-owned cafe and bakery in Merion Village.

Bake Me Happy, the gluten-free bakery in Merion Village, closed its doors Sunday after receiving threats and racist slurs from a caller over the phone.  

Letha Pugh opened the sunny little bakery, known for its gluten-free takes on treats like Pop-Tarts and Twinkies, in 2014 with her wife Wendy Miller Pugh.

Letha is Black and Wendy is white, so when a caller started using the n-word over the phone, Letha says it felt targeted.

“Them calling Bake Me Happy, a gluten free bakery, which primarily has white customer base,  to say racial slurs?" Pugh says. "It was directed at me."

She says the caller referred to the business as an “f------- n----- bakery” and that they “better get out.”

To a certain extent, Pugh takes what happened in stride, noting there’s no Black person or gay person who hasn’t had to deal with slurs. But she also wasn’t going to let it pass. She describes the conversation with her wife about sharing information on their closure.

“You know, we need to let people know that we’re closing, and we need to be honest about why,” Pugh recalls saying. “You know this really happened.”

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bake Me Happy GF Bakery (@bakemehappygf)

Pugh wants to shine a light on the fact that there are still those who feel emboldened to speak or act out of hate.

“I think from this summer we’ve realized that there’s some issues that still need to be addressed, but there are also, I believe, white people who are getting it, and understanding.” Pugh says. “After [the riot at the U.S. Capitol] Wednesday, I think that there’s a significant number of people who can now see the inequity.”

In the meantime, Pugh has revamped security around the shop, and police are investigating the incident. Bake Me Happy will re-open as usual on Tuesday.  

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Bake Me Happy GF Bakery (@bakemehappygf)