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How NOT to advertise your bakery... a story!
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dearabbey wrote in fatshionista
So there's a bakery in the Raleigh/Durham area of North Carolina called CRUMB - they are a custom bakery, no actual store, just by order only. A friend of mine recently saw that they decided to use a ridiculous and fat-insensitive slogan, and decided to do something about it...

The slogan in question was "So good it makes fat people cry!"

umm... ok? First of all, it's a dumb slogan. What exactly does it mean, exactly? No, really? Why are they crying? Because it goes against their diets? Because they can't have any? Or because it's so good they burst into tears? If that latter is the case, why would that only be happening to fatties? Wouldn't skinny people burst into tears also, or do they not appreciate fine baked goods like we do? Also, why make a slogan that would possibly alienate fat people when, judging by the slogan itself, they are under the impression that fat people eat tons of cupcakes (and apparently burst into tears for some reason) - wouldn't that be bad business sense? Why drive away all us food-inhaling fatties with dollars to spend on overpriced cupcakes with edgy names like the "Miso Horny"?

But I digress.

So my friend sees this slogan and thinks "Hey, that's kind of offensive!" and decides to tell them so. She politely points out that their slogan was in poor taste and seems to make fun of fat people and how that's Not Okay. She didn't call them names, she didn't say mean things, she expressed no hatred or animosity, just letting them know that their supposedly edgy slogan is toeing the offensive line. So how did they respond? With the following:
"We offend everybody equally. You are the one with hate in your heart not us. Since we are fortunate enough to live in America you can do whatever you want."

Seriously??? This is a sweet lady, who I've never heard utter a word of hatred about anybody. Utterly shocked at their lack of decency, common sense, politeness and BASIC customer service skills, she sets up a hasty Facebook page urging folks to boycott the bakery until they change their slogan. At this time I joined her boycott page (even though I now live way too far away from NC to even contemplate giving this business my patronage) and pulled up the offending bakery's website. There it was, in an artsy-fartsy photo, a little plaque coming out of a cake with the dumb slogan.

By the end of the day, that photo had been replaced and the slogan mysteriously disappeared from the site. Interesting! My friend, thinking her small act of defiance against a stupid fatty-based slogan had actually worked, was about to take down the boycott page when we discovered just what the bakery owners had been doing all day. Apparently they took the opportunity to go on Twitter and yak about the "fat cunt" that was ruining their day. Yeah,  soooo classy! That particularly-worded Tweet has since been removed, though they're still managing to tweet about being "apocalyptic with rage" and that "today has confirmed my hatred for most of the human race." Nice. Well said, dickwad.  

Needless to say, the boycott page did not get taken down. My friend, and subsequently I, commented on the bakery's own Facebook page about their juvenile antics and lack of class. They're a startup business, where word-of-mouth support is crucial. I know this probably affects very few of you out there in Fatshionista-land, but if you live in that area and happened to think of ordering something from this bakery, I humbly ask that you think twice. Heck, the initial slogan wasn't ZOMGOFFENSIVEFATTIEHULKSMASH!, it's just their reaction to the suggestion was so crude... I know I wouldn't want to buy from them.  I'll make my own damn cupcakes.

Anyway, I just wanted to share this little story with y'all to show that you CAN successfully fight back against this kind of prejudiced BS! 


Good for you and your friend! Sounds like a bunch of asshats are running that bakery -- right into the ground.

I see they posted an apology to their website.....but if they're willing to treat people like that, they deserve a boycott.

I did some googling and saw they addressed it on their blog:
http://www.justcrumb.com/blog/

Regarding our slogan, let us begin by apologizing to you, Diana, and everyone else we have offended. This was never our intention. The tagline was meant as a joke and nothing more. We never meant to hurt anyone. The tagline is no longer in use and the tweets you found offensive have been removed.

Today, even before all of this happened, was a really bad day for both of us. The stress of opening a small business and dealing with all the details has been getting to us. None of this is fair to you, but it’s the truth and we owe you that.

Please forgive our insensitivity. We are truly sorry.

Sincerely,
Crumb


It's awesome that your friend spoke up and they realized their error (although, by the tweets you mention, maybe they didn't?)

Edited at 2010-06-02 02:20 am (UTC)

Must be tear gas in the frosting

stakebait

2010-06-02 05:03 am (UTC)

Better than nothing, I guess, but it's hard to feel the sincerity of this apology with the phrasing "the tweets you found offensive". Dude, man up and admit they are, and were meant to be, offensive. This isn't some peculiar sensitivity of hers.

I work with small retail businesses, many of them start ups, and setting aside my snark for the moment, if a stressful day makes them turn this kind of nastiness on a potential customer/community member they're in the wrong line of work, 'cause the stress of this kind of business doesn't stop coming.


I'd suggest filing a report on the bakery owner's behavior with the Better Business Bureau and/or writing a 'review' of their behavior on a site like Yelp.com or some other online review site. This way, others can read about the owner's despicable personality and questionable advertising strategy and make their own conclusions about ordering from the business owner. I'd include all info about the Twitter posts.

I saw they did have a yelp page- I would encourage your friend to write a review about this there- I'm sure others would like to hear about their behavior.

Well, if they give their cupcakes names like "Miso Horny" I'm guessing they don't really care about who they offend.

If that's the kind of business they want to run, fine. If people don't want to support that, also fine. However, I think it *is* good to let small, local businesses know if they're alienating customers. If they care about their customer base, they'll think about changing their practices. So good for speaking up.

Exactly what I was thinking. If their slogan wasn't bad enough, some of the names of their cupcake are downright racist! "Miso Horny" is even more offensive to me than the anti-fat slogan.

Edited at 2010-06-16 12:00 am (UTC)

Clearly they are operating in accordance to the guidelines set out in "How to alienate customers and fail at business" ...

http://www.justcrumb.com/images/crumb12.jpg
Haha, I can't believe they thought that was clever enough to put on cards. Pathetic! Good for you and your friend.

Being an owner of a start up business - and one that does cakes... all I can say is wow...

I'm pretty informal with the tone of our website/advertising copy, so it's feasible that I'd have a joke or offhand comment flop... But, to spend the day talking trash about a customer who found something I said offensive? Not to mention, doing this talking online on Twitter... I think my business partner would have my head... o_O

"We offend everybody equally. You are the one with hate in your heart not us. Since we are fortunate enough to live in America you can do whatever you want."

I can't believe somebody responded IRL with what sounds like a stupid LJ comment. Good on both of you for calling them on their bullshit!

Hopefully they will do themselves a favor and pick up some literature on customer service and public relations. I would scoff at that sort of behavior out of a kid running a lemonade stand-- this is completely unacceptable from adults trying to run a successful business.

So, you may all hate me for saying this...

edmunde

2010-06-02 04:30 am (UTC)

But... why do fat people not seem to have a sense of humor about being fat?

It's something I've noticed in this community, is that EVERYONE seems particularly sensitive to fat jokes. And really, I don't see what the huge issue with this is.

So what if the bakery had some stupid fat joke in their slogan? That's their decision. And as for "What exactly does it mean, exactly?" we all know what it meant, being obtuse about it is just silly. It meant, fat people like to eat cake (it is possibly how they got fat), and since they like cake so much, our cake will make them weep with joy. The end. We all know this is not true, but it is a stereotype. It is something all groups that fall into a classification have to deal with. (And in my more personal opinion, it is the way these groups deal with jokes about stereotypes that matter. I feel that dealing with something like this with a sense of humor is better then some boycott that will hurt some local business that just made a stupid joke. And then had the gall not to be ashamed of their stupid joke.)

And, when she said "Since we are fortunate enough to live in America you can do whatever you want" she was kind of right. Yes, the wording was off, but she wasn't hanging hate speech in the window, it was just some dumb joke. And it was her right to have it there.

I understand where you are coming from. Fat empowerment and trying to change society's way of thinking that fat is bad... and all that. But is campaigning against a locally owned bakery REALLY the way to go?

Re: So, you may all hate me for saying this...

dearabbey

2010-06-02 04:51 am (UTC)

Personally, their slogan was just sophomoric and dumb - I wasn't truly OFFENDED, just thought it was a lame joke at an easy target. I wasn't going to stand up against this bakery for just having a lame and slightly offensive slogan. It was the way they responded to criticism that showed a lack of class, decorum and respect for their customers, fat or otherwise, that made me stand up. It's *not cool* under any circumstances to call a customer (potential or otherwise) a "fat cunt" on your twitter account. Yes, it was his personal twitter account, which was listed on the business account and therefore fair game.

Frankly, I have a great sense of humor but there are times when I've had enough of being the butt of the joke. Even the little jokes start to add up, you know? And I don't think just being quiet and laughing it off is going to help us be better accepted in society - either we become the ANGRY fat person or the JOLLY fat person, but both are caricatures and dehumanizing. The fact is we have no way of saying we disagree with a joke without being labeled as the angry fat person. Heck, they were calling her a fat cunt when they had no idea what her weight was! They simply assumed she must be fat because she was offended by a fat joke. Isn't that insulting too?

The campaign against the bakery would not have even begun if they'd responded in a mature and responsible manner to this woman's initial email. It's more about them being assholes who are also making fat jokes than about fat-jokers who happen to also be assholes.

oh my God, their first response is CLASSIC! America, we do what we want. I agree that the slogan wasn't the worst part, their response was. The tweets are really over the top, yikes. Good job on spreading the word!

I wonder how can anyone with a "hatred for most of the human race" think opening a public business and being in contact with humans days after days is a good idea.

wow. that's quite a story. thanks for sharing it.
and seriously, what the hell? HOW can they expect to get ANY business if they treat potential customers like that? erieafviuafbvaekjrbvlb rage.

You know what's funny? The slogan annoyed me a little but I wouldn't immediately call an angry mob on the bakery, I am however willing to grab a pitchfork and/or flaming torch for the bakery's piss-poor attitude dealing with a customer politely telling them that they found the slogan offensive.

They should only be so lucky that your friend decided to approach them affably to discuss what was wrong with the slogan. Other people would have really attacked them. They really need to own up to the fact that they are behaving rude and childish and extremely unprofessional. I'm surprised the business is still running with attitudes like that behind it.

I agree with everything you said,only you said it much better than me! :)

Wow, the person that runs that bakery sounds like a douchebag. They are doing everything wrong, wrong, wrong!

I read the comment you left on Jezebel. I hope your friend is okay. And I'd really love to get in line to smack her "boyfriend" for making her feel bad. She stood up for something she believed in. She should NEVER have to apologize for that.

I live in Raleigh/Durham and will be like "Booooo!" if I ever hear anyone talking about buying from them. Not funny!

Now posted on Consumerist, with a link to this write-up. Just FYI.

Also, it looks like the apology blog post is down now (or at least not visible on their blog's main page)...you can't get to it unless someone links you directly to it, and comments are closed. Cowards.

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