It started with a social media post responding to news that a draft of the opinion from the Supreme Court indicating that justices will rule to overturn Roe v. Wade had been obtained and reported by Politico.
Across the social media platforms for Flower Mound-based Hive Bakery, owner Haley Popp shared a cake decorated with the phrase “my body, my choice.”
“For the last four years, I’ve used my platform to say how I feel and stand up for things I believe in, particularly LGBTQ rights, Black Lives Matter, and women’s rights,” Popp says. “Ever since I’ve moved in, we have people who love and hate us.”
This isn’t Popp’s first stint in the public eye. Hive Bakery opened in 2018 and garnered national attention when Popp competed on Food Network’s Halloween Wars in 2019. Since opening, the bakery’s cakes have been described as edible art, and Popp has been published in Cake Masters and American Cake Decorators magazines. And she has frequently spoken up on the bakery’s social pages about issues that matter to her.
The post attracted the attention of a closed-community Facebook group called Flower Mound Cares, in which group members alerted each other to the post’s existence. Popp says members of the group left negative comments on the original post critiquing her and the bakery’s stance on abortion rights. She shared several screenshots of hateful responses critiquing her stance on the right to choose, as well as a rash of one-star reviews of the bakery on Google.
So, Popp pushed back, posting about the negative feedback on all of her social accounts. Her TikTok about the backlash has racked up over 125,000 views.
“I started getting personal messages calling me a slut, a baby killer, and threatening my livelihood,” Popp says. “People told me I should get a security system. I feel like I’d been bullied and harassed enough in the past four years, so I screenshot and posted their messages.”
In addition to those negative messages, however, Popp says she got notes from supporters in the community and, as the reach of her posts grew, from around the world. Popp says she also received merchandise orders from customers who had seen the video. Every day since making the post, the bakery has had a line out the door and sold out of baked goods.
“I know where I live, I know who I’m speaking to when I post these things,” Popp says. “But I also know there are gay kids who see this, people of color who see this, women who are pregnant who see this. I will use my platform to speak to whatever is going on the world.”
Popp was inspired by the support and decided to reach out to Beto O’Rourke’s campaign to tell them about what happened and suggest they come to Flower Mound for a rally. “I think there’s an audience where he can speak to young voters,” Popp says. “His scheduling manager told me they are shooting for August or September to get him at the bakery. So, fingers crossed.”