“My Body My Choice” Cake at Hive Bakery Inwebsites Ire in Flower Mound

It began with a sticker. About 4 years in the past, baker Haley Popp slapped a sticker on the entrance of her store that declared she and her group affirm LGBTQ rights.

Or, as Popp places it, “We’ll make cakes for fucking anybody.”

Many residents of Flower Mound, a suburb of about 80,000 northwest of Dallas the place Popp’s Hive Bakery relies, weren’t blissful. According to the baker, it was round this time that her neighbors (lots of whom used a Facebook group referred to as “Flower Mound Cares”) began calling her, amongst different issues, “fucking trash,” a “fucking bitch” or a “fucking whore.” The harassment wasn’t confined to the web, both.

Popp, whose vibrant purple hair is immediately recognizable, has appeared on Food Network’s Halloween Wars and grow to be, as her workers places it, “Flower Mound famous.” That’s not at all times a very good factor.

“I’ve had someone call me a bitch to my face at Target,” she says. “Certain members of this town have disdain for me and things I stand for.”

In different phrases, the sticker incident sparked a development: Popp speaks up about equality, rights and actions like Black Lives Matter, and hordes of conservative trolls emerge with profane posts, abusive cellphone calls and emails pledging to finish her profession. The development has continued all through the COVID-19 pandemic.

“When COVID hit and we were mask-mandating in the store, people would come here and yell stuff like, ‘It’s my fucking right; I don’t have to wear this shit in your store,’” Popp says.

Then, in early May, the harassment took on a unique hue.

Following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that alerts the courtroom will overturn abortion rights, Popp used the Hive Bakery social media accounts to submit an image of a cake with the phrases “My Body, My Choice” etched in icing. The backlash was swift, with many commenters labeling Popp a “murderer” and one individual writing, partly, that they’ll “make it my duty to take as much clientele as possible.”
“Fuck you for supporting murdering innocent babies that cannot fight back,” the commenter continued. “Hope you feel real important bitch.”

Popp is used to this type of response, however over the cellphone with the Observer roughly per week after the leak, she admitted the harassment was significantly vile this time.

“I think what put this over the top this time is obviously abortion is a hot-button issue, and we live in a very Trumper voter area, so they’ve been emboldened to spew hate,” she says.

Eventually, Popp began capturing display screen pictures of feedback and posting them on social media — title and all. That led to a sequence of emails whereby the harassers would cycle by some mixture of fury, authorized threats and, finally, an apology and plea for the submit to be taken down.

Fortunately, the response hasn’t been all detrimental.

When Popp first started sharing her views brazenly, she held out hope that she wouldn’t be the lone liberal voice.

“Anytime there’s anything of note that’s going on in the world, I want to speak about it — especially to the people in my town,” she says. “I remember thinking, ‘There have to be more people like me here. I can’t be the only one.’”

She was proper.

In the final week, the Hive trustworthy have rallied across the bakery with phrases of encouragement and blockbuster gross sales. In reality, on the Saturday morning after the Supreme Court leak, the road of shoppers stretched out the door and into the car parking zone. That afternoon, all of the cabinets had been utterly naked: The bakery was offered out hours earlier than closing.

As of Tuesday, May 10, a full week after the leak, Popp stated the shop was nonetheless promoting out on daily basis. “I think we might have a cupcake and a brownie, and that’s it,” she stated.

Popp relishes that love, which, fortunately, at all times reveals up simply because the trolls roll in.

“We’ve at all times had prospects who’ve had our again,” she says. “If you drop a dirty sentence online, there’s a swarm of people ready to have our back. [The support] really proves to me that this town is not all alt-right conservative. There’s a very large pocket of liberals here in the Flower Mound area.”

Hive Bakery occupies a sliver of the suburb’s picturesque Parker Square. Nestled between a body retailer and a brunch place, it’s most likely not the place you’d look forward to finding a haven of baked items and “progressive” opinions like a perception in bodily autonomy. Popp is fast to level out that she is neither a Democrat nor a Republican; in her phrases, “Hive and I stand for all things that are equality in life.”

Even nonetheless, she’s desirous to get a Democrat to go to her bakery: gubernatorial hopeful Beto O’Rourke.

“I have to do what’s best for my family and my friends,” she says, and to her, meaning campaigning for O’Rourke. By bringing the candidate to city, she hopes to additional encourage native liberals and all disengaged events to vote for candidates who help reproductive rights and equality at massive.

“In the suburbs, I think there’s a large crop of people who don’t actively involve themselves in politics because they think it doesn’t affect them,” she says. “But they’re wrong. Things like overturning Roe v. Wade will echo for generations.”

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