What happens when local pastry chefs get together to combat racism? They have an international bake sale, according Paola Velez, pastry chef at Kith and Kin on the D.C. Wharf.
“Bakers Against Racism was not only to make a fundraiser, but to raise awareness on the issues that impact the Black community,” Velez said.
But the project didn’t come from Velez. She said it’s the brainchild of Willa Pelini, a pastry chef at Emilie’s on Capitol Hill. Pelini contacted her in May, after Velez sold doughnuts in a pop-up shop at Union Station in March.
After Velez talked to Pelini, she called fellow chef Rob Rubba to join the effort. After a few days of planning, the three pastry chefs launched their idea.
Through Bakers Against Racism, professional chefs and home bakers are making and selling desserts, then donating profits to a group of their choice that supports Black people in their communities.
“For us, we didn’t expect a lot at the beginning of this bake sale. We were hoping for 80 bakers and we got more than abundantly surprised by how many participants were not only willing but ready to bake for Black lives,” Velez said.
The project’s Instagram account has more than 28,000 followers, but chapters have also popped up all over the country to help organize the effort. The group’s hashtag on Instagram, #bakersagainstracism, features tens of thousands of baked goods from pastry chefs around the world who are asking their followers to place orders and donate.
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Once the massive bake sale is over, Velez said Bakers Against Racism will continue to work to promote Black causes and Black-owned businesses.