UpRising Bakery to close following harassment, vandalism for hosting drag performance

“Closing our doors is the direct result of the horrific attacks, endless harassment, and unrelenting negative misinformation about our establishment in the last 8 months,” the owner said.

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UpRising Bakery and Cafe, 2104 W. Algonquin Road in Lake in the Hills..

UpRising Bakery and Cafe, 2104 W. Algonquin Road in Lake in the Hills, was targeted July 23 by a vandal who broke out windows and scrawled hateful graffiti on the business.

UpRising Bakery and Cafe/Facebook

UpRising Bakery & Café in Lake in the Hills has announced it will close at the end of the month after facing multiple attacks for hosting a drag performance.

Corinna Sac, the owner of the bakery, said in a news release that operating her business has become a nightmare. Sac opened Uprising in 2021 to provide a variety of baked goods for anyone, including gluten-free and vegan options and wedding cakes for LGBTQ couples.

“Closing our doors is the direct result of the horrific attacks, endless harassment, and unrelenting negative misinformation about our establishment in the last 8 months,” Sac said in the news release.

“From an award-winning bakery that donates to local organizations and supports diversity and inclusion, we have been rebranded by misinformation as ‘gay only’ and ‘pedophiles.’ Local customers no longer come here because of the perceived threat that tarnished our good name and the fears of their license plates are photographed, and they are harassed.”

Sac hosted several community events at UpRising since the bakery and café opened and offered catering to local businesses. Last July, she organized a family-friendly show at UpRising featuring drag performances, according to the news release.

The event drew outrage, Sac said in the release. The night before the performance, the doors and windows of the bakery were smashed and hate messages were painted on the building.

After the attack, the village of Lake in the Hills told Sac she can no longer hold events at the bakery due to a zoning issue.

“This was almost a year after the space had been utilized for events without comment,” Sac said in the release.

Sac, her staff and the bakery’s customers were also attacked. Protesters spent days outside UpRising, harassed patrons and photographed their license plates, according to the release. Sac and her children were also threatened on social media.

The bakery’s sales and patronage dipped following the attacks due to the harassment, vandalism and a lack of support from local government, Sac said. She tried for months to get help from the McHenry County State’s Attorney and Illinois Attorney General.

“Without an infusion of more than $30,000, at this time, I cannot keep the doors open to my dream bakery,” Sac said in the release.

Several fundraisers are planned for March to potentially save the bakery, or to at least provide financial support to Sac and her staff.

“Everything I have is in this business — our home, cars, retirement, savings,” Sac said. “We put everything we had on the line and personally secured this location, our equipment, and our dreams.”

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