A Black-owned bakery in Columbus, Ohio closed its doors on Sunday after management said they received racist threats.
Bake Me Happy, located in Merion Village on the city’s Southside, closed for employee safety, according to a post on the business’ Facebook page.
“Due to numerous racially charged threats to our Merion Village location today, we have decided to close for the safety of our employees,” the post read, in part.
The news stunned the community, causing many to come to the bakery and place hearts all over the facade. Letha Pugh, the bakery’s co-founder, says her store was having one of its better weekends for business since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, however that exciting news was short-lived.
“This wasn’t just a random, out of the blue call,” Pugh told NBC 4. “This was a very targeted call and so I took it seriously.”
Pugh says someone called the bakery and went on a violent, racially charged tirade and demanded people vacate the building.
“That’s a threat, essentially,” she said to the news station. “I called the number back and the person answered the phone and just kind of went into saying a bunch of racial slurs.”
Pugh closed the store down to keep everyone safe. “I wasn’t going to take any chances, not in this day and age,” she said.
Pugh also said the caller called numerous times on Sunday.
“I can’t think of any other reason outside of people just being blatantly racist that someone would commit Bake Me Happy to that because it’s a bakery, you know,” Pugh said to NBC 4. “It’s a brightly colored, gluten-free bakery. Who could have a problem with that?”
Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin says he spoke with Pugh and was appalled about what he heard.
“What I told her is what I will say this evening: that this type of hate and this type of racism has no place in Columbus,” he said. “It has no home here.”
Bake Me Happy reopened on Tuesday after being closed the last two days.