The Guilfordian

Bakery Faces Backlash for “Build That Wall” Valentine Cookies

A bakery in Edmonds, Washington is facing backlash after a customer posted a photo online of a cookie made by the bakery containing the phrase, “Build That Wall.”

The bakery is well-known by the people of Edmonds for creating humorous and even risqué Valentine’s Day cookies in years past. However, while sentiments like “Be Mine,” or “You’re One of a Kind!” are often associated with Valentine’s Day, the phrase “Build That Wall” has become a point of political debate and discourse among Americans.

The owner of Edmonds Bakery, Ken Bellingham, has since apologized after the photo went viral earlier this week. Regardless, Bellingham’s “Build That Wall” cookie has already managed to ignite a social media firestorm.

Among a slew of other social media sites, many have taken to Twitter and Facebook to criticize Bellingham’s decision to use the controversial phrase and to condemn his choice to mix business with politics. One Twitter user suggested that combining the phrase “Build That Wall” and Valentine’s Day was “dumb” and that “building walls is not good for love.”

While some have even resorted to threatening Bellingham, others meanwhile have taken to the bakery and its owner’s defense on Yelp by dismissing the controversy as “hysteria.”

Among those who’ve taken to social media to voice their opinions on the cookie controversy are U.S. college students from several states that extend far beyond Washington. While Twitter-using college students seem to be as equally split on the issue as Washington residents are themselves, many Guilford College students found the bakery’s actions offensive.

Junior Juwan Houston was not surprised that the cookie created controversy.

“The phrase ‘Build That Wall’ isn’t funny, it’s offensive to me and a lot of people I know personally, not to mention across the U.S,” Houston said.

Seniors Darius Peterson and Larry Fitzgerald echoed Houston’s sentiments.

“He’s going to lose a lot of customers, even if he (Bellingham) was just trying to be ‘funny,’” Peterson explained.

“It’s bad for business,” Fitzgerald followed up.

Students agreed: mixing business and politics, especially in the current political climate, is a bad idea.

Bellingham seemed to regret having done just that.

In an interview with NBC News affiliate KING, the owner of Edmonds Bakery explained, “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.”

By the end of the week, however, Bellingham had retracted his apology and resumed selling the cookies after an outpouring of support from customers around the country.

Bellingham has claimed that the decision to resume selling the controversial cookies was based on business rather than politics. The owner of Edmonds Bakery also continues to assert that he doesn’t believe that a border wall would solve any of “our problems.”

Bellingham has added a “Lighten Up” cookie to his bakery’s catalog to accompany the controversial “Build That Wall” cookie.

Though Bellingham has continued to make light of the situation, his decision to include the phrase “Build That Wall” on his cookies continues to spawn critics and supporters alike.

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