UpRising Bakery and Cafe in Lake in the Hills, which announced they were closing due to low sales after being the victim of a hate crime, now says they will remain open after raising over $30,000.
The business said in a statement earlier this month that it would close its doors on March 31.
Corinna Sac, the founder of UpRising Bakery, said she 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.
Sac said her business would shut its doors at the end of March unless a cash infusion of more than $30,000 was received.
In an updated statement this week, the business announced they had raised even more than the $30,000 that was needed to pay overdue rent following a GoFundMe fundraiser.
“I am grateful to tears for all the help from so many people,” Sac said. “Because of the groundswell of support, we are able to stay open.”
Sac said her business is exploring a possible move to a new location.
Meanwhile, the cafe portion of the business will close in mid-April so they can focus on the bakery portion of the business.
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.