A leftist baker is set to close the doors of her Chicago-area business at the end of the month, and she's blaming the failing business on "endless harassment" and "negative misinformation" from people opposed to her activism.
Corinna Sac, the self-described "bisexual" owner of UpRising Bakery and Cafe, has announced that, barring a tremendous infusion of cash, the business will close permanently on March 31, just two years after it opened and about eight months after it first attempted to host a supposedly "family-friendly" drag show.
"Closing our doors is the direct result of the horrific attacks, endless harassment, and unrelenting negative misinformation about our establishment in the last eight months," Sac said in a statement.
UpRising, which offers "gluten-free and vegan options" and wedding cakes for "those in the LGBTQ+ community" among other wares, first made national headlines last summer when it planned to host "Starry Night Brunch Drag" in late July. However, threats and an incident of vandalism forced Sac to postpone the sold-out event twice.
On July 23, Joseph I. Collins, 24, of Alsip was arrested and charged with a class 4 felony hate crime and criminal damage to property in connection to the vandalism, which included broken windows and graffiti with slurs against homosexuality. A couple weeks later, the drag show event was held without further incident
Perhaps as a result of all the publicity from the on-again, off-again show, business at the bakery was booming last July. At that time, LGBTQ+ groups in the area rallied to support UpRising, causing the bakery to run out of inventory and to scramble to hire additional personnel to meet demand.
But that activism-driven demand was only temporary. After the "Starry Night Brunch" took place, business slowed to a crawl. Sac blamed the drop in interest on the endless barrage of "hateful comments and fake negative reviews" posted online since the drag show. Now, she says she's about to lose "everything."
"Everything I have is in this business: our home, cars, retirement, savings," she said. "We put everything we had on the line and personally secured this location, our equipment, and our dreams."
Sac also claimed in a statement that she needs "more than $30,000" to "keep the doors open." A GoFundMe account established to try and save the bakery is just short of that goal, as of Tuesday afternoon. However, Sac may also require additional funds, as she also referenced a need to "reduce some of the debt."
For now, Sac appears skeptical that her business will continue. Those patrons intending to visit UpRising in its final two days have been asked to "tip the bill" — in other words, pay double for each item to give staff members some extra money while they look for other employment.
"If we have to go out, we will go out with a bang and make it long-lasting and positive," Sac stated. "I will do everything I can to make sure what happened to my American Dream doesn’t happen to anyone else."
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