Schuler’s Bakery’s ‘Politically incorrect’ sign prompts reaction

Published: Friday, November 20, 2015 @ 8:51 AM
Updated: Friday, November 20, 2015 @ 3:56 PM

            Schuler's Bakery owner says sign is not a marketing ploy
Schuler's Bakery owner says sign is not a marketing ploy

A popular Springfield-based bakery has taken a stand against political correctness at its locations in Clark and Champaign counties.

Schuler’s Bakery posted signs that read: “Notice: This store is politically incorrect, We say Merry Christmas, God Bless America, We Salute our Flag and give thanks to our Troops, Police Officers and Fire Fighters. If this offends you, you are welcome to leave. In God We Trust, Schuler’s Bakery, Trent A. Schuler, CEO/Owner.”

The signs were posted on Thursday afternoon at all four Schuler’s Bakery locations, which includes three stores in Springfield and another in Urbana.

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The signs are not a marketing ploy, Schuler said, but rather a statement of his beliefs about the world, including freedom of speech and religion.

“I felt like there’s a large majority out there who are silent who have some of the same feelings and views that I share,” Schuler said. “I felt it was time for someone to step forward. … I believe God has blessed me in so many ways, and I wanted to share that with others as well as being a positive voice in society supporting folks who put their lives at risk for us every day.”

Some Facebook users, however, reacted differently. Keith Holloway wrote on the bakery’s page: “The false indignation is just plain stupid. Nobody is ever really offended by those things. There is no ‘war on Christmas.’ Get over yourselves and just sell donuts.”

Schuler saw an expression like his on Facebook earlier this year and spent a few months debating whether to make a similar statement in his stores. He reworded it to say what he felt, he said. The signs are permanent, he said, but were posted in time for the upcoming holidays.

“I felt like I was called by God to share my message and my vision of the world,” Schuler said.

Schuler put his own name on the sign to make clear the views were solely his and were not meant to tell people they can’t think differently, he said.

“I was quite surprised that so many people have been so supportive of what I’ve done,” Schuler said. “This was done out of love. The expectation I had was that there would be mixed reactions. So far, it’s been overwhelmingly positive.”

If the signs have a negative effect on business, Schuler was prepared to accept that, he said.

“People who don’t share in those beliefs are welcome to get their bakery products somewhere else,” Schuler said.

It has received many positive reactions from Facebook users writing on the bakery’s page. Kim Meadows wrote: “Awesome of you to stand by your beliefs and let your patrons know you aren’t meaning any disrespect, but that you won’t change to please everyone!”

Schuler’s slogan is “Home of the Homemade.” It has been in business for 78 years, started by John Schuler in 1937. The store also has several wholesale locations throughout the region.

Several customers who saw the sign at the East Main Street location on Friday afternoon were supportive of the message.

“I can go along with that,” said Bill Hayner, who was been coming to Schuler’s since he was about seven years old. “There’s no other donuts than Schuler’s.”

The sign is what America’s about, said Springfield resident Robert Martin.

“We stand up for what we believe in,” Martin said. “To have a store stand up for the troops and actually say ‘Merry Christmas,’ that’s what we want to see.”