Amid days of peaceful protest and violence, the people of Ferguson, Mo., and beyond are rallying around a local baker who has -- not for the first time -- found her business disrupted by the unrest.
Natalie DuBose discovered that on Monday night, looters had shattered the glass storefront of her Natalie’s Cakes and More in downtown Ferguson, soon after news broke that a grand jury would not indict police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown.
An image of DuBose crying in front of the bakery spread quickly, a symbol for the human-sized effects of what has become international news. She boarded up the store.
“It feels like it’s a movie that’s taking place,” she told St. Louis’s KTVI. “It’s just unbelievable, and I can’t believe it happened to my shop.” (Dozens of businesses have been looted or damaged during this week's riots and protests -- a contentious fact in the larger debate about how people should "properly" respond to the grand jury's decision.)
The community rallied around DuBose, contributing to donation funds to repair the damage (raising more than $90,000 as of this writing) and, according to the Washington Post, offering to help fill orders during the Thanksgiving squeeze. Celebrities such as Patricia Heaton have also lended their support, which many have echoed online.
This is not the first time DuBose's business has been affected by the turmoil. Per the Post, Natalie’s Cakes and More opened in June, two months before Wilson killed Brown and her customer base "evaporated."
But this isn't the first time the community has supported her, either: Customers turned out in force when word spread this summer that DuBose's business was struggling.
She told the Fox affiliate in St. Louis this week that she will rebuild.
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