Thursday, March 18, 2010

Bleeding Heart Bakery Strikes Back . . . Again . . .

Michelle Garcia of Bleeding Heart Bakery (Photo: Bill Lambert)

From what I remember about Bleeding Heart Bakery owner Michelle Garcia, she's a fighter.

When some posters on the Chowhound message board went in hard on her Roscoe Village bakery in 2007, she immediately struck back.

And now, according to the Chicago Tribune, she's doing it again as BHB's one of 10 businesses in the country to join a class-action lawsuit against Yelp:

"Of the raft of lawsuits and plaintiffs, Garcia says, 'Well, it is about time this happened. We felt very alone for a long time. We heard that others were upset, but just got ridiculed over and over by Yelpers for 'crying wolf' when we weren't...Now, look, everyone else is saying the same thing. Damn, it feels good.'"

The comments section in the Tribune article is particularly interesting as there's support for Garcia and detractors . . .

UPDATE: Garcia just posted a statement on Facebook on the Yelp lawsuit:

"BHB on The Yelp Lawsuit: This is the only statement we will be making:

It is true, we have joined a class action lawsuit re Yelp's extortion tactics. This suit has nothing to do with bad reviews, or reviewers, that is a completely seperate problem that probably will never go away. We are aware that this all may seem petty and vindictive, however, this lawsuit is helping small business' stand up for themselves and there is plenty to back us all up.

We will no longer be publicly discussing this issue as we have spent the last 24 hours being harassed and abused by folks who were just looking for another outlet to hate us in or have never met any of us or been to our shop. We have consistently apologized to anyone we had ever angered on yelp wether it be private or public and we no longer wish to be raked over the coals by folks who do not have any of the facts or just are simply angry and happy to see other people suffer, no matter who they are.

We care very much for our customers and how they feel, our business is built on honesty and openess, not on hatred and lies. We do not wish to be a part of any public pissing contest, not only for the obvious reasons, but also because we just won a Food Network Challenge and we are BUSY! (insert happy dance here).

Thank you to everyone who has publicly supported us and also to those who support us simply by coming in smiling day after day.

This is a bakery, not a drama club, we urge the 'haters' to move there energy elsewhere."


The Urbanophile said...

It sounds to me like Michelle is so used to be feted by the likes of Food Network that she can't take any criticism. Remember the old expression, "Don't feed the troll."

The Bleeding Heart said...

Hi! Nope, I have never been "fet" any comments, but many people have spoken for me, that's for sure. This lawsuit has nothing at all to do with how my baked goods taste or what they are made with, nor does it have anything to do with any bad reviews in any way. It is wrong to illegaly offer services for cash. Services you actully cannot offer and have no intention on giving. This lawsuit has nothing to do with me personally in any way and nothing to do with my love or hate of any website. What's wrong is wrong.

Chef Renee said...

raucous applause to Michelle Garcia! yelp is evil... i'm deleting my account there... one place i worked was hounded with calls from advertising staff there and every time we refused to buy, it was implied that business would suffer.

corduroybear said...

Part of being a small business owner is having a thick skin. Take the praise the same way you take the criticism, warranted or not. Writing snarky comments and having a 'hunt down the snarky commenter' mentality, gives any current and potential customer another reason not to give you a second chance.

That being said, this isn't the first or second time I've heard about Yelp muscling businesses to buy into their marketing 'program.' I hope Yelp sees the light and can change how they 'sell' their services to small businesses.

The problem with Yelp is there is nothing stopping anyone from writing a review that can result in damaging a business' reputation. Such a review does not include someone who likes soft croissants vs. crispier croissants. A damaging review is a review that writes off the entire business based on one product or service. Every business should be entitled to try to make amends with a customer. Reviewers need to understand the power of the pen (or in this case, keyboard). Every 'bad' review is an opportunity for the business to show its customers otherwise.

maxwellimus said...

I've actually been to bleeding heart bakery. And honestly, it was nothing spectacular. Of course, this is a personal opinion. I would take Vanille any day over BHB