UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills says they will be permanently closing due to “misinformation and harassment” since July when they were the victim of a hate crime over a scheduled drag show.
The business said in a statement that it will close its doors on March 31.
Corinna Sac, the founder of UpRising Bakery, dreamed and developed the bakery in 2021 to serve everyone, including those in the LBGTQ+ community and those in need of gluten-free and vegan options.
“Her dream of an inclusive bakery to feed the community has since become a nightmare no businessperson could have anticipated,” the business said in the statement.
“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.
Sac said her business, once known as “an award-winning bakery that donates to local organizations and supports diversity and inclusion,” has been rebranded by misinformation as “gay only” and “pedophiles.”
Sac said local customers no longer patronize her business because of the “perceived threat” that tarnished the name.
In July, UpRising Bakery and Cafe announced they were planning on hosting a family-friendly drag show.
Sac reported receiving in-person and online threats after making the announcement.
UpRising Bakery sustained significant damage early in the morning on July 23, which was the day of the scheduled drag show.
The vandalism forced the business to cancel the event that day.
Officers found broken windows and hateful messages spray painted on the building.
Police arrested Joseph I. Collins, 24, of Alsip.
Collins was charged with hate crime, a Class 4 felony, and criminal damage to property, a Class 4 felony. He has since pleaded not guilty.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker visited UpRising Bakery and Cafe in August to “turn our anger into action and work together to find solutions.”
“We must come together to combat the rising tide of hate against our LGBTQ+ neighbors and friends, including the recent hateful attacks at UpRising Bakery and Cafe. Hate has no home here,” Pritzker said at the time.
Following the hate crime, UpRising Bakery routinely posted on social media that they had sold out of food due to the support from the community.
Protesters and counter-protesters gathered at the business following the hate crime and drag show, causing the Lake in the Hills police to stand by at the business.
“A campaign was initiated to discredit, damage and defame Ms. Sac, her staff, her food, and her patrons. Protesters spent more than 120 consecutive days on the property, creating disturbances, inciting violence, photographing license plates of patrons, and harassing them on social media and online,” the business said in their statement.
Sac said her business will shut its doors at the end of the month unless a cash infusion of more than $30,000 is received.