Cupcake with feeling

Getting quotes and taking names

KATU news team interviews Angelica of Fat Cupcake. They had a news story, and oddly enough, they decided to talk to sources first! Well done KATU. Photo CC BY 4.0, Pete Forsyth.

This morning, I was irritated by a thinly sourced news story. By this afternoon, I was in it!

The Oregonian declared a controversy (racism! politics! oh my!) centered on a local cupcake bakery, Fat Cupcake. The source for their story? Wait for it…a Yelp reviewer. Not a group of Yelp reviewers…just one. Not even somebody they interviewed and named…just somebody who took a few minutes to hammer out their thoughts on some web site. Maybe they had nothing better to do on the way to work. Maybe they have a love/hate relationship with sugary snacks. Who knows.

That was the source for the Oregonian story. That’s it. And a few hours later, it was on the radio too, on OPB.

I posted about it on Facebook, and chuckled over some friends’ comments.. That could have been the whole thing. But after lunch, it was still bugging me; and when I learned it was nearby…actually, in the same space as a bakery I used to visit many years ago…I decided to stop in and show a local biz a little love on a tough day.

Fat Cupcake professional presents “The Professional.”

My visit started off as planned: I browsed the case, commiserated about the news story with the young lady at the counter, and let her talk me into purchasing “the controversial one,” which was renamed today from “Mr. President” to “The Professional.”

But as I sat down to eat my cupcake and head back home, two women came in…with a news camera. And as I took a bite, the reporter came over and asked if she could interview me. It all happened pretty quick, but sure enough, one question got me going:

KATU: “So, do you think people are extra sensitive around issues of race and politics, due to what’s going on in the presidential election?”
Me: “You mean people, like media people?”
KATU: “Well, people in general.”
Me: “I think the only person who’s commented on it is some random, anonymous commenter on Yelp. I don’t think that’s ‘people.’ But yeah, I do think the media might be picking up on some stuff due to the presidential race.”

As I finished my cupcake, I enjoyed a front row seat as Anjelica Hayes, the bakery’s owner, gave a delightful interview. If you’re lucky enough to watch, I’ll bet good money (or even a cupcake) that you can’t hold a negative thought about her. Her enthusiasm for her business, and the ways it helps her to connect with her community, is as pure as it gets. When asked about the Yelp reviewer, Anjelica thanked them for helping her understand how the name made them feel, and invited them to come talk it over with her over a cupcake.

I’m still dismayed that the Oregonian and OPB would run such a story without a decent source. But after seeing Anjelica at work, I’m sure her business is no worse off; and it was gratifying to see KATU step in and do some real reporting, talking to the business owner and her customers before running their story.

If you’re in Portland, watch the 11 o’clock news on Channel 2 tonight…you’ll see a great local business, and maybe me, too!

Anjelica Hayes, owner of Fat Cupcake, poses with me and her “controversial” cupcake. Photo by KATU news anchor, at Pete’s request.