It’s been a difficult few weeks for UpRising Bakery and Café in suburban Lake in the Hills.
Opened in November 2021, the cafe regularly hosts events including live music, painting classes and the upcoming Disney karaoke night. But one event became a recipe for conflict in this suburb 40 miles northwest of Chicago.
“As soon as I announced on Facebook that we’d be hosting a family-friendly drag show, the criticism was immediate,” says UpRising Bakery owner Corinna Sac. “We received angry calls, hateful social media posts and there were threats about planning a protest.”
The harassment went as far as calling bakery workers pedophiles and reporting Sac, a mother of two, to the Department of Children and Family Services.
“We’re trying to make sure everyone has a safe space to go to. All kids and families need to know they are accepted and welcomed,” Sac said. “Also, I have staff who are LGBTQ and I want them to know I support them. We had no plans to cancel the event, but once the windows and door were smashed we had no choice but to cancel.”
Police soon arrested 24-year-old Joseph Collins of southwest suburban Alsip and charged him with a hate crime.
Uprising Bakery was closed on Saturday, but reopened Sunday with long lines stretched outside the building.
The bakery plans to hold another family-friendly drag show Aug 7.
“We’ve only been getting positive responses since we reopened Sunday,” says Sac. “We’ve had people traveling to our cafe from Wisconsin and Indiana to show their support.”