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Customers swarm to support Baraboo bakery

December 15, 2018

A Baraboo bakery thrust into controversy this week enjoyed a banner day Thursday as customers demonstrated their support.

Looking to boost Neat-O’s Bake Shoppe, which suffered losses after being satirically linked to anti-Semitic propaganda, customers bought every last doughnut.

“It was an awesome day,” co-owner Amanda Nieto said. “We’re really touched and grateful to have so much support.”

Earlier this week, a video lampooning a controversial photo of local high school boys delivering an apparent Nazi salute, as well as anti-Semitic fliers posted at Jack Young Middle School, claimed to be sponsored by the bakery. Amanda and Tony Nieto said they had nothing to do with the propaganda, yet had seen business drop by half since those incidents.

The Nietos said their business was singled out because the bakery condemned the prom photo’s imagery in a Facebook post shortly after the picture went viral.

The community responded Thursday after learning of the downtown business’ woes. One customer, Brandon Wegner, got to the bakery when it opened 6 a.m. and bought a box of pastries to make a statement. “We can’t let this welcoming and wonderful town we know it to be become defined by the actions of one or a few small-minded individuals who are trying to divide us,” Wegner said.

“Supporting someone under siege, in this case a business that is being falsely accused of hate mongering, is a simple way individuals in our community can stand up,” he said, and send whoever is responsible a message. “We aren’t going to stand for their vile actions of bigotry.”

Employee Kayla Johnson told the Nietos, who weren’t at the bakery Thursday, that customers commented on the business’ importance to the community. “The outpour of love and positive feedback was outstanding,” Johnson said. “I did not see or feel one negative thing today. It was all positive.”

Titled “Those Baraboo Nazis,” the 7-minute video was posted Sunday by user “BarabooAryans” to the social networking website minds.com. The video been viewed more than 1,800 times by 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and was removed from the site a short time later. The video warned viewers to stay home Dec. 18, when Baraboo High School plans to hold assemblies in response to the prom photo.

In a related development, on Monday fliers featuring anti-Semitic messages and warnings about Dec. 18 were posted to the middle school walls. Baraboo Police Chief Mark Schauf said video from school security cameras is being reviewed. He said the threat is being taken seriously and he has reached out to state and federal authorities.

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