“We don’t know how to begin to wrap our heads around this and voice our gratitude.”
So said engaged couple Desirie White and Jess Dowd after a New York baker stepped in to save their wedding day with a free vegan cake.
In June, the pair were planning their nuptials and contracted for a cake over the phone with local vegan bakery O Taste and See Delight in Effort, PA.
After the bakery owner received the signed contract back indicating the cake would be for a same-sex couple, she denied them service.
The owner wrote: “I want to thank you again for reaching out to me and asking me to create your wedding cake. However, I will not be able to do this for you. Please accept my deepest apologies.”
“I believe that the LGBT + community has the right to live as other civilians and be protected. Yet, my refusal to make your cake is based on my fidelity to the God of Scripture, and my religious beliefs are combined with my business practices. I have refunded you the full amount of $275.00. The contract is no longer binding.”
White posted the about-face on Facebook.
“I don’t know what to make of this. I am extremely upset. I’m extremely upset that she has waited a month to the date to wait and tell us no, when I reached out to her in June.”
“Jess and I agreed we wanted to invest in her small, black owned business. I reached out to her because she specializes in cakes that I need for a medical issue. It has taken us awhile to find that type of bakery so it felt like a blessing to have found a small business that bakes vegan goodies and is about 15 minutes away from our venue.”
“I believe in God, but I know that MY GOD would not condemn or deny me because of who I am and who I love. My conscience and my decisions are made from unconditional love, respect, and understanding which I know in my heart are God’s values, too. Not fear of punishment. I’m not going to lie, this hurts really deep.”
That’s when Rebecca Riley, the owner of Peace, Love, Cupcakes in Syracuse, NY reached out online to offer the couple her own wedding day dessert, free of charge.
White told Syracuse.com of the offer: “I immediately started crying, like something hit me in the gut. Some people in my family wouldn’t go this far for us.”
Riley posted she was “furious” with the baker’s denial of service, and since she’s “only two hours and 52 minutes away,” she would provide the couple’s vegan lemon cake for free.
White added in a follow-up post: “Rebecca extended her hand without a second thought to offer her services in making us a beautiful cake at no cost with the support of her followers.”
“One person turned their back on us and a whole community stepped up to stand beside us and the feeling I get from that is just so overwhelming… from the bottom of our gay hearts, thank you.”
While Riley got pushback on Facebook for ”patting ourselves on the back” and “shoving our liberal agendas down everyone’s throats,” she wanted her followers to know:
“Our hearts are just bursting. Thank you for all of the love and beautiful words but please know, this is about so much more than us. This is about the incredible community surrounding us and how they chose to step up just as quickly as I did, no questions asked. That’s the real feel-good story here.”
One follower commented: “You just keep kicking butt and frosting cupcakes. We know where your heart is. And we appreciate it.”
The name of the bakery that denied service is likely a reference to the Bible’s Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”