UPDATE: Gideon’s Bakehouse Owner Shares Statement on Recent Workplace Accusations

Shannen Ace

Cookie held in front of Disney Springs Gideon's Bakehouse sign

UPDATE: Gideon’s Bakehouse Owner Shares Statement on Recent Workplace Accusations

Steve Lewis, the owner of Gideon’s Bakehouse, has shared an official statement in response to allegations of a dirty, dangerous, and toxic workplace.

Owner of Gideon’s Bakehouse Shares Statement

Cookie held up in front of Gideon's Bakehouse in Disney Springs

In the statement, Lewis states Gideon’s Bakehouse complies with all health and safety regulations, values inclusion and representation, and aims to “cultivate a welcoming, safe space for everyone who visits or works at Gideon’s.”

Read Lewis’ full statement, sent to WDWNT by a representative, below.

I’m reaching out personally as the owner of Gideon’s Bakehouse. This week, an anonymous source made a variety of accusations about our little world. I want you to hear directly from me that we take every single claim very seriously, internal or external. If we have a common phrase on our team, it’s the question, “What’s the right thing to do?” 

Please rest assured, we comply fully with all health and safety regulations, and have a track record of doing so since I started as a pop-up in the East End Market 9 years ago. We’re proud of our record—regular inspections have consistently shown that we meet, and often exceed, the strict standards required of us. 

As soon as these accusations went public, we talked to each and every member of our crew to be sure they felt safe and heard, reminding them that they are valued and we’re all in this together. Gideon’s is not a giant company. I am a single-owner business with no partners or investors. Our days are worth it when we look out for each other, making life a little better with each day. That is our culture. There is no hierarchical structure. Any member of the team can reach me directly 24/7 to share their thoughts. 

One of the most important values at Gideon is inclusion and representation. I personally hire every person on our retail team and am proud to have so many members of the LGTBQ community wearing a Gideon’s apron. Very deeply, and as the proud son of a gay parent, I am hurt by the accusations that I am against a community that I have spent a lifetime surrounded by and passionately defending. Pride is not just celebrated once a year at Gideon’s Bakehouse. We’ve been representing every Friday, 365, for a long time.

I’m just a nobody who was given an amazing opportunity because of the support from my team and my community. You helped us open doors we could never open alone. The trust you place in Gideon’s means everything. Our gates have always been open not just to serve the best desserts we know how to create, but to cultivate a welcoming, safe space for everyone who visits or works at Gideon’s. Our sponsoring goal is to treat everyone like family and friends. Everything else is secondary. We remain dedicated to this promise, and I am here to ensure we live up to it every day.

Thank you for being part of our community and for your continued support. You put us here, and have our neverending gratitude.

The accusations against Gideon’s Bakehouse were shared by the Instagram account Ghosts of Gideon’s, a collective of anonymous employees. Among the Ghosts’ complaints are that they are paid only $8.98/hour plus tips, but that they aren’t allowed to ask for tips. They also stated members of management have used racial slurs and derogatory terms toward disabled people and LGBTQIA+ people. Their complaints regarding health and safety included concerns about working conditions outdoors, inaccessibility for wheelchair users, and poor sanitation.

Lewis initially responded on the Gideon’s Bakehouse Instagram story, calling the claims “either misleading or false.”

The Ghosts most recently posted on Instagram that they are in the process of unionizing:

We’ve won. Thank you for your support, love, and kindness. We’re now in the process of organizing with UNITEHERE! Local 362.

We demanded fair pay, safe conditions, and together we made it happen.

This account will not be monitored, so we’re turning off comments and messaging.

Thank you again for letting your voice be heard.

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