Gideon's Bakehouse Responds to Unfair Workplace Allegations

Gideon’s Bakehouse Responds to Unfair Workplace Allegations

Two days ago, an anonymous Instagram account leveled some serious allegations at Gideon’s Bakehouse. The author, ghostsofgideons, is asking fans of the bakery to speak up on their behalf.

Dear Supporter of Gideon’s Bakehouse,

We are the Ghosts of Gideons, a collective voice representing the employees whom you have come to know and love. Today we write to you with a desperate plea for help. Ownership & upper-management of Gideon’s have built a toxic empire of lies. We feel unsafe, underpaid, and are being severly [sic] taken advantage of, purely so they can reap a fortune. There are numerous health & safety violations at the Spring’s location. We are paid $8.95 per hour, the lowest of any employee, and we are forced to rely on your tips to make our wage. Upper Management is also utilizing racial slurs to refer to you & us, such as ‘gypsies’ and ‘hoodlums’, during official meetings and we cannot allow this disgusting behavior to continue. Yesterday, we issued a demand letter to Ownership to resolve the myriad of infractions. Instead of offering a plan, they have begun to retaliate by firing and punishing innocent employees. Please, we beg you, boycott this store and write to Ownership & voice your displeasure at their reprehensible actions. A link to our full demand letter can be found in the caption. Please, we need your help. Let your voice be heard.

@ghostsofgideons on Instagram

The post also included an email address for Patrick, presumably Patrick McKinney, Gideon’s “Grand Poobah of Operations.”

A second post upped the ante considerably:

IT HAS GOTTEN WORSE. Upper Management is cornering us, interrogating anyone they feel might be related to this action, and retaliating by fasifying claims/infractions and firing anyone they feel might be involved. The atmosphere inside the Bakehouse is now a police state. The workforce as a whole is petrified. Ownership is on a warpath, speaking up jepordizes our livelihoods, & the ability to provide for our families. Coming to work is entering a nightmare. They have made no attempt to resolve any of our complaints, nor offered any form of apology. Toxic leaders remain in charge. Manager Drew recently remarked ‘why is everyone acting so autistic”, belittling our neurodivergent Cast. Plus, a disproportionate number of LGBTQ+ staff are being targeted and terminated as a retalitory measure. Since making our first post, we have had fellow team members from East End & the warehouse locations step up with allegations of rampant sexual harrassment, victim blaming, and continued racist behavior. We stand with all of you. If you are a current or former employee with a story to share, please send to our DMs. Your identity will be kept confidential. We have completed our first round of media interviews, with coverage starting to appear. Please contine to allow your voices to be heard. Call your local Orlando media, tag influencers, share our posts. Together, they cannot ignore us all. We will not be bullied. We will not be silenced. Together we will win. #UNITEDINSOLIDARITY”

@ghostsofgideons

I decided not to write about it at the time. Everything in the posts may be true, but they’re being shared anonymously. Verifying the truth can be difficult when names aren’t attached. We’re covering it now because Gideon’s has responded.

Hi. I’m getting a lot of calls to answer the anonymous poster’s claims of workplace mistreatment. We will respond, but I am not anonymous and have guidelines I must understand. However, much of what is being represented is either misleading or false. I ask you not to run to the pitchforks and hear our side. I hope we’ve earned at least that much in our own community. I can eagerly go through the list of demands, from why I shake my cold brew flavors to our handicap/ADA compliance. Also, the flagship store offers a competitive take-home that is more than double what has been claimed, plus full benefits. In our nine years of business, we have never failed a health and safety report or had any major infractions, and our second location would not have been permitted to open without meeting all requirements and then some. Most importantly, I love my team. I hire everyone personally, and we discuss bringing emotional maturity and leaving out ego in the workplace with the need to look out for each other. Sometimes, people fall short and are let go, but you’ll notice many of the same faces have been with me for years. Gideon’s is a team of over 180 people, and no one can ever say that everyone is completely happy in a group that large, but I feel confident that everyone is treated with care and respect.

Gideon’s Bakehouse on Instagram

Gideon’s response is unsigned. It could have been penned by the aforementioned Patrick, but the safer bet is that it was written by Steve Lewis, Gideon’s owner. Whoever wrote it, the tone is very direct.

Typically, allegations like those made by @ghostsofgideons are met with PR-speak saying that the company will do better. That is certainly not the case here. Gideon’s is adamant that they’re already doing fine by their employees.

We’ll share details as we learn them.