Covina Bakery Swamped With Hate Mail After Being Confused for Another Shop

An Oregon bakery with a similar name refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple, but a Covina baker received much of the backlash.

By Kim Baldonado and Julie Brayton
|  Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013  |  Updated 7:17 AM PDT
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The owner of a Covina bakery has received dozens of hateful messages on her Facebook page from people who mistakenly took her bakery for an Oregon-based shop that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple.  Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Feb. 5, 2013.

Kim Baldonado, Sean Browning

The owner of a Covina bakery has received dozens of hateful messages on her Facebook page from people who mistakenly took her bakery for an Oregon-based shop that refused to make a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. Kim Baldonado reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Feb. 5, 2013.

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Melissa Harms is a mother of three who also has a small cake business called "Sweet Melissa Cakes" in Covina. When she checked the bakery's Facebook page Tuesday, it had about 200 "Likes" and some frightening comments.

"It was, like, 50 to 60 horrible messages," Harms said.

Those messages were meant not for "Sweet Melissa Cakes" but for the owners of "Sweet Cakes by Melissa," a Portland, Ore., bakery caught up in controversy. Word spread that the Oregon bakery refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple -- the story went viral but the Portland bakery owner held his ground.

"I believe that marriage is a religious institution, ordained by God," Oregon bakery owner Aaron Kelin said.

When Kelin's Facebook page was inundated with angry messages, he deactivated it, leaving "Sweet Melissa Cakes" in Covina as the first page listed in a Facebook search.

"I was a little scared at some points, because there were threats," Harms said.

Harms soon realized her Covina business was mistakenly caught up in a controversy nearly 1,000 miles away.

"I put up a post saying I fully support the LGBT community," Harms said.

The threats have now decreased and the number of "Likes" on the fan page increased to 350 by Wednesday morning.

As for the Portland bakery, supporters also took to social media, causing the bakery to have its busiest day ever.

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