AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin man claims Whole Foods discriminated against him after he ordered a cake reading “Love Wins” and instead got one with the words “Love Wins F–,” an anti-gay slur.
Pastor Jordan Brown says he ordered the cake from the flagship Whole Foods store on N. Lamar Boulevard.
According to a press release sent out by Kaplan Law Firm, Whole Foods reportedly said, “the store and its employee had done nothing wrong, and no action would be taken.”
Brown, the pastor at the Church of Open Doors on E. Riverside Drive, said on April 14 he went to pick up a cake at the store for one of his congregation members.
He requested “Love Wins” on a blank, pre-frosted cake in the display case, Brown said. The associate then took it to the prep table and began inscribing the cake. Brown says she sealed the cake with a sticker and handed it to him.
According to the lawsuit, Brown did not notice the added word until he was at a stop light and looked down at the cake. He said he first called the Whole Foods corporate office and left a detailed voicemail. Brown says no one from the company returned his call.
He then called the flagship store directly and spoke to a Whole Foods team leader. Brown says the man he spoke to was apologetic and he planned to fire whoever was responsible. The lawsuit states Brown was offered a gift card and a replacement cake.
Two hours later, Brown said the employee he spoke to earlier called back, saying Whole Foods came to the conclusion the store and the bakery associate had done nothing wrong.
Whole Foods released the following statement:
Our team member wrote “Love Wins” at the top of the cake as requested by the guest, and that’s exactly how the cake was packaged and sold at the store. Our team members do not accept or design bakery orders that include language or images that are offensive. Whole Foods Market has a zero tolerance policy for discrimination. We stand behind our bakery team member, who is part of the LGBTQ community, and the additional team members from the store, who confirmed the cake was decorated with only the message “Love Wins.”
At a 3 p.m. press conference with his attorney, Brown, who is black, said, “Saying f– is the same as calling me a n—–.” His attorney said they consider the inscription to be an act of hate, and that no one deserved to be discriminated against.
“As a pastor, I forgive her. I’m praying for her that she would have a change of heart,” Brown said.
Brown made a video showing the receipt, the sealed cake and his reaction to the slur: