Ken Bellingham, owner of Edmonds Bakery, is weathering criticism — again — for his “Secure Borders” and “Build the Wall” cookies. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Ken Bellingham, owner of Edmonds Bakery, is weathering criticism — again — for his “Secure Borders” and “Build the Wall” cookies. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)

Edmonds Bakery keeps making ‘Build the Wall’ cookies

The baker also ices “Secure Borders” on treats and he’s hearing plenty from fans and foes.

EDMONDS — The baker who made national news earlier this year for selling politically charged sugar cookies continues “ICE”-ing his controversial slogans.

At Edmonds Bakery in recent weeks, a tray with a dozen round red cookies with “Build the Wall” and “Secure Borders” spelled out in white icing was in the glass case shared by colorful ladybug and butterfly shaped treats.

The “Make ’em cry again” cookie wasn’t among the baked goods on that particular day.

Photos of the cookies on social media ignited a new wave of attention — supportive and outraged — for Ken Bellingham’s bakery.

“Unless you want your cookies baked with bigotry, go somewhere else for your pastries!” was among the hundreds of posts.

Others praised him: “Hell yeah! Build the cookies!”

It didn’t hurt business. Foot traffic was steady last week for customers coming in for coffee and confections.

The old-time bakery has been on Main Street for decades. Bellingham bought it in 1993. It’s a quaint place, with a display of about 200 colorful ceramic jars of superheroes, Disney characters, dogs, clowns and bears.

Not a place where you’d expect to be jarred by a message on cookies.

The display case at Edmonds Bakery on June 27. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

The display case at Edmonds Bakery on June 27. (Andrea Brown / The Herald)

Bellingham, 67, defends his baking rights.

He said the recent incident was caused by people who are “radicalized and on the internet.”

“The phone was ringing off the hook and every time I picked it up people were calling me a piece of crap,” he said. “I thought, ‘Why do they pick on me?’ … I don’t want people to think that of me. They think I’m a racist and horrible.”

Bellingham fended off criticism earlier this year when he wrote “Build that Wall” on a tray of heart-shaped Valentine’s Day cookies, many with romantic messages.

News of the frosted wall cookie went viral when Ana Carrera, whose parents fled Mexico before she was born, was in the bakery and posted a photo to Facebook. “It is very demonizing to anyone of the Spanish-speaking language or origin,” she said.

Bellingham told media outlets at the time that it was a mistake.

He apologized. Then he didn’t.

He said he wasn’t going to make more. Then he did.

The publicity led to a demand for special orders.

“As a businessman I just thought, well, I’ll just make them for them,” he said.

Bellingham said he has since sold “a couple thousand.”

“I have people from all over the country ordering them,” he said. It’s $30 for a dozen, plus $15 tacked on for shipping. “Now and then I’ve had them occasionally in the case.”

A cookie from the case sells for $3.

He said “Make ’em cry again” was a recent addition.

“It came from a batch right before the Fourth of July that somebody had ordered and there were random sayings on them and one was ‘Make ’em cry again.’ I made a few extra. I just stuck them out there and didn’t think anything of it,” he said.

That is, until the bakery’s Facebook page and Yelp reviews became a firestorm of debate.

“It blew up again. Someone said that meant I wanted the children in cages on the border to cry. I thought, ‘How stupid is that?’ ” Bellingham said.

“I looked that saying up on the internet and it had to do with conservatives saying that to liberals. That’s what I understood it to mean.”

In the same case, Bellingham also had cookies frosted with rainbows during Pride month.

Sugarcoated messages are part of the bakery trade.

“We do a lot of custom work, whatever people ask us,” said Sheila Jensen, owner of Karl’s Bakery & Café, in downtown Everett. “Usually we just do flowers and pretty things … or funny memes from the internet.”

Regulars at Karl’s, home of the $6 giant apple fritter, include oldsters who’ve been coming for decades and hipsters from Funko headquarters next door.

Jensen bought the long-running bakery a few years ago. “That’s what’s nice about being a small business. You can decide which direction you want to go in,” she said.

Would Jensen put anti-immigration cookies in her case?

“I would never want to offend anyone. But if people supported and wanted it, I would make it. I’m not trying to make a big statement. We’re just trying to sell bakery goods,” she said.

Bellingham said he plans to stick with ladybugs and “God Bless America” cookies.

“I think I’ve learned my lesson,” he said.

Andrea Brown: abrown @heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter: @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
Man burned, woman found dead after RV fire in Marysville

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

Herald publisher Rudi Alcott
A note from the publisher

The Daily Herald publisher Rudi Alcott discusses our new publishing schedule and newspaper delivery by mail.

A section of contaminated Wicks tidelands on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port acquisition marks next step in toxic cleanup on Everett waterfront

Private owners donated land near the contaminated Wicks Tide Flats to the Port of Everett. Cleanup work could begin within the year.

A person and child watch seagulls on the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry in Washington on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Cold weather returning to Western Washington

Nightly temperatures in the 20s with highs in the 30s were expected this weekend. Cold weather shelters will be open.

U.S. Attorney Nick Brown and the victim of a brutal attack in 2018 answer questions from reporters on Jan. 27, 2023 in Seattle, Washington. (Jake Goldstein-Street / The Herald)
White supremacists sentenced for racist beating at Lynnwood bar

A federal judge handed out stiffer sentences than prosecutors had asked for in a series of sentencing hearings Friday.

FILE - In this photo taken Oct. 2, 2018, semi-automatic rifles fill a wall at a gun shop in Lynnwood, Wash. Gov. Jay Inslee is joining state Attorney General Bob Ferguson to propose limits to magazine capacity and a ban on the sale of assault weapons. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Democrats advance assault weapons ban, new rules for gun buyers

The measures passed a House committee without Republican support. They are part of a broader agenda to curb gun violence.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Boeing settles with Everett security guard claiming chemical exposure

Holly Hawthorne was assigned to Building 45-335 at the south end of Paine Field, while employees used aerosolized chemical sprays nearby.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring is this year's winner of the Henry M. Jackson Award given by Economic Alliance Snohomish County. Photographed in Marysville, Washington on April 25, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Marysville State of the City address set for Feb. 1

Mayor Jon Nehring will highlight 2022 accomplishments and look to the future. Questions from the audience will follow.

Construction continues on the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center on Monday, Jan. 9, 2023 in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Paved path, plaza coming to Mountlake Terrace near light rail

The public space additions are envisioned as boosting access to the Mountlake Terrace Transit Center.

Most Read