WASHINGTON — A flour shop in northwest Washington has been shut down for the weekend amid protests by anti-racism activists who said the flour store’s owner used racist slurs.
The owners of five roses florists and a baker said Monday they’re continuing to bake at the bakery in suburban Sterling, which is also the headquarters of the Sterling City Council.
A local NAACP leader called Monday for the owner to be fired, saying she doesn’t trust the owner’s ability to serve African Americans and other minorities in her community.
Sterling City Councilwoman Janelle Williams said Monday she’s been in touch with Sterling Mayor John McDaniel, who was among the first to call for the store’s closure.
Williams said McDaniel said Sterling was the first city in the nation to adopt a new ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on race, color, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.
Williams also said McAdams told her he’s committed to working with Sterling to develop a “safe space” for black residents to bake in a new neighborhood.
Serendipity has led to a rift between the Sterling community and five roses, which has been selling flowers since 2014.
Severing has had an African American baker since 1993, and Williams said Sterling City Manager Paul McAdams has told Sterling residents the bakery would continue to bake flowers and other items.
Williams called the bakery’s owner, Robert Brown, a friend who lives in the area and was open to serving customers.
Williams, a Sterling native who grew up in Sterling, said she and her family moved to Sterling when she was a child.
Williams said Brown told her that Sterling is a “very diverse community” and said Sterling has a “deep history of supporting people of color.”
“There’s no place for racism in Sterling,” Williams said.
“This has been a community that has embraced and worked hard to be inclusive and welcoming.”
Steril City Council President John McAdams also called McAdams for comment Monday.