Bakery owner apologizes after selling cookies with controversial Trump message
The owner of a bakery has apologised after baking and selling cookies with a pro-Trump message on them, saying he only did so as a joke. Ken Bellingham, the owner of Edmonds Bakery in Edmonds, Washington State, denied he was trying to make a political statement by writing "Build the Wall" on a baked treat.
It's a chant common at Trump rallies demanding a border wall to be established between Mexico and the United States, and the phrase was found on cookies sold as part of a collection of heart-shaped goods which featured phrases like "Cool Beans", "Addicted to Love" and "Believe" on them.
Bellingham has been running Edmonds Bakery since the year 1993, and one of his traditions is to make delicious, but tongue-in-cheek, Valentine's Day Cookies. "Some are a little risqué, some are nice. I'm back there trying to think of what to write on a cookie. I try to be funny," he explained, but on this occasion, Bellingham might have gone too far.
"You say something with enough hate — you chant it, you have white supremacists, the alt-right chanting it — it's going to become racial," says customer Ana Carrera, whose parents fled Mexico for the United States back in the 80s, adding that she would no longer visit the bakery.
“A cookie like this does represent that there is some hate coming out of this bakery. Whether he chooses to admit it or not."
Darnesha Weary also agreed, posting the photo to Facebook, where hundreds of people are sharing the photo of the offending cookie. But while some people have taken offence, others are standing behind Bellingham, saying that he clearly meant no harm by the cookie.
"He said it was just the one cookie, good grief!" said one such customer by the name of Linda Solbeck. "I know Ken — he’s a great guy. Leave him alone. I have known him his whole life!" She said, while a local columnist has thrown his support behind the bakery owner.
"Ken has a sign on his door that says ‘Stop The Hate'. Does that sound like someone who believes in building walls? If you get the chance, stop in the Edmonds Bakery and meet Ken Bellingham … When you’re there, ask him about building wedding cakes, not walls."
For his part in the incident, Bellingham has apologised for the cookie, saying that the whole thing was a joke, and that he wasn't trying to make a political statement. "It's not anything I endorse. I don't think building a wall will solve our problems," he said.
"If I wanted to make a political statement, I'd put it on a sign. And march up and down the street. But I put it on a cookie for heaven's sake."
Bellingham says he's received threats and boycotts for the cookie, and admitted he would probably not make any more of the cookies in the future.