A Black-owned dessert shop in Florida has become the target of harassment, which its owner believes stems from racism. The Cake Drip is a Black, female-owned bakery and dessert bar located in the affluent Hyde Park area of Tampa, FL.
Last week, its owner, Faronda Davis, posted a video on her Instagram of her and her daughter confronting a woman, who lived in the condos above her shop. Davis told ABC Action News that the lady hit her during an argument, after complaining that her music was too loud.
The video, posted on Nov. 9, showed the aftermath of the altercation and another woman, identified as Hyde Park Village General Manager Nicole Dee, who was trying to diffuse the situation.
“All of our videos are normally upbeat and fun but this had to brought to attention,” the post read. “You see “Karen attacks” everyday on social media but you never think it can happen to you, until it does. My mom was attacked at our Hyde Park location by some of the upstairs residents who have had a problem with us from day one. If you have ever been to the Cake Drip, you know that we love to make everyone’s experience amazing no matter your race, gender, sexual preference, everyone is welcome. Cake Drip is always peaceful and we always have a great time.”
The post went on to add how the woman called Davis “racial slurs and even hit her.”
“We are the ONLY female black-owned business in Hyde park and we have been getting harassed since we first opened,” the caption read. “Another women from upstairs even attacked me and my coworker earlier this year. No one is hearing our cry for help, and we don’t feel safe for us and our customers in our own store.”
In another video posted on Instagram, two employees ( one who was Davis’s daughter) said they were “verbally assaulted” by another neighbor who came in and voice “her opinion” on the dessert bar and the volume of the music.
” I tried my best to stay calm because as you can see we have customers in the store and I was honestly just scared that she was going to try to barge in or even harm us,” the post read. “She even told me that she hates MY type of music. And that I will not be here for a long time. She also kept asking to come in and we did not feel safe so we kept asking her to leave.
Davis told Creative Loafing that she believed the woman’s compliments went beyond loud music and got an attorney because she felt bullied. “I don’t think it’s about music,” she said.
“It’s truly sad that we are being racially profiled and ignored by everyone who has played a part in this whole thing,” Davis shared in another IG video that showed another harassment incident.
Since the altercation, the Cake Drip temporarily closed. But thanks to the support of the community, small but strong power moves are being made. On Nov. 17, Davis announced on Instagram that she will be reopening on Friday and progress has been made with the woman in the video as well as the Tampa Police Department.
”Progress has been made finally with the woman in the video and TPD,” the post read. “@hydeparkvillage has stated that they are unable to accommodate our request to move, SO we have decided to boldy re-open. We have also put measures to protect our family and staff but also our customers. We have opened our reservations starting this Friday.”
Davis added, “We are ready to celebrate the holidays with y’all and we are coming back BETTER THAN EVER,” Davis posted. “Dj will be back and Cake Drip has a new look coming soon😉🎄 Again Thankyou for all your support. We truly could have not done all of this without your help. Now it’s time to show y’all some love back so, see you all this Friday.”
Cake Drip has a village of supporters around them including fellow Black-owned Tampa businesses and entrepreneurs such as Nova Cane, boy care line, Real Rich Naturals, , wedding photographer, Ashley Canay and 7th and Grove Restaurant.
The Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association released the following statement on their Facebook about the incident, “The Historic Hyde Park Neighborhood Association (HHPNA) is saddened to learn of the recent events at The Cake Drip. HHPNA represents a diverse neighborhood and supports all types of businesses in Hyde Park Village. We do not condone the reprehensible behavior that took place.”
If being Black is hard, being a Black business owner is harder. According to a 2019 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Black business owners were approved for smaller loans than Whites. Black business owners were also disproportionately affected by the pandemic and earned loss revenue than White-owned businesses. Plus on the retail side as consumers, at least 90% of African American shoppers reported being racially profiled in a store.
It’s for those reasons that we love to see small wins like Cake Drip! We’re rooting for Cake Drip and all Black businesses like it!
A working journalist, entrepreneur and founder of RoyalTee Enterprises. Born and raised in Tampa, Fla. The vision of RoyalTee was inspired in 2015 by Alexia’s ambitions to return to her passion for creative writing and publishing and create a platform to showcase the excellence of minority women across the country through professional, personal and social ventures.