The owner of a bakery in Massachusetts says she lost thousands of dollars in business over the past couple of weeks because she sold items that show support for the LGBTQ community.
Diana Batista, who owns Main Street Pastries and More in Northboro, says the issue centered around her rainbow-colored bagels that were being sold in honor of Pride month in June.
Batista says she had an uncomfortable encounter with a customer who asked if she was gay and informed Batista that she does not support "gay business."
"I will not tolerate rudeness, prejudice, vulgar or any type of hypocrisy in any form here," Batista said in a Facebook post. "I value ALL my clients and appreciate your continued patriotism !!!"
Batista says her bakery welcomes diversity and everyone is welcome. She continued to sell Pride-inspired baked goods and made multiple posts on Facebook that love is love is love. But standing her ground came at a cost. Batista says she has lost clients and nearly $3,000 in revenue in the past two weeks.
Batista says after some customers learned her shop supported gay rights, they canceled their orders or simply never showed up to pick up their items.
While Batista says that is "completely fine," she is, however, very upset that this is affecting an amazing program run through the bakery -- the Hope Bread program.
In the past, the bakery has donated money and food to people in need through this special program. But now, Batista says some customers have demanded their donations back -- all because they don't share the same beliefs.
Recounting one such experience, Batista said, "Before I could even say anything or grasp what she was actually saying to me, she said, 'I don't support gay business. I don't agree with your politics.' That's what she used. And she would like to have her donation refunded. I didn't even ask her, I didn't even check the date, I just gave her her $30 back."
Batista is pleading with people to not let their differences come between them and the program's good works.
She calls the Hope Bread program a blessing -- no matter who you are or what you believe in.
"Please do not stop supporting the hope bread program," she said on Facebook. "This program was started before the pandemic and it is needed now more than ever. Do not let our difference come between such an amazing non profit! I would hate to think someone who needed food couldn't receive some because grown adults cant get along... the hope bread program is a blessing no matter who you are or what you believe in, it takes a village!"
Batista says she plans to continue to sell the Pride-inspired items for as long as she wants. And in a joyful turn of events, there are customers happily stepping up to support her and her staff to show that love conquers hate.
The bakery profited $2,000 Friday, according to a Facebook post, and Batista says she has decided to donate this to the Trevor Project in honor of all who have supported them in "this amazing show of unity."
In-depth news coverage of the Greater Boston Area.
The nonprofit is focused on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth.
Batista says she also gave her staff bonuses for having to endure the hate and standing strong beside her.
"Let the love drown out the noise of the haters words," she wrote.