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EXCLUSIVE New Statement – Gideon’s Bakehouse Owner “Hurt” by Abuse Accusations

A wooden hand model posed next to a stack of two chocolate chip cookies with various nuts. The cookies are thick and have an abundance of chocolate chips. The background features books and a fur texture, adding a cozy and rustic ambiance.
Credit: Gideon's Bakehouse

For nearly ten years, guests visiting Walt Disney World Resort have been flocking to Disney Springs to get their hands on some of the best cookies and cakes in the area. Gideon’s Bakehouse started as a pop-up shop in the East End of Disney Springs. Now, it has its own storefront, and people line up before it’s open and wait hours to get their hands on classics like the Peanut Butter Crunch and Triple Chocolate cookies.

Gideon’s Bakehouse is so loved by guests and so popular that it shocked everyone when, on May 14, serious allegations were made against the store’s owner and some of its managers.

A Gideon's Bakehouse Chocolate Chip Cooke

Credit: Gideon’s Bakehouse

Related: Disney’s Sugar Empire Crumbles: Boycott Surges Amid Horrific Employee Accusations

That day, an Instagram account called Ghosts of Gideons made some truly disturbing accusations. They claimed that the workers in the Disney Springs location were paid less than minimum wage and forced to survive on tips. They also alleged that managers use racial slurs when talking about workers and customers. All of this is on top of “numerous health and safety violations” they say the store has.

In a follow-up post, those running the Instagram account said that the popular Disney Springs store had become a “police state.” They alleged that managers were questioning employees and firing anyone they thought could have been involved.

Pistachio Toffee Chocolate Chip

Credit: Disney

Related: Gideon’s Bakehouse Owner Speaks Out After Horrifying Work Abuse Claims

Shortly after the accusations went viral, the owner of Gideon’s, Steve Lewis, released a statement on the store’s official Instagram stories. He denied the health and safety violations, saying the store would not have been allowed to open if there were violations. He also said that the flagship store in Orlando has competitive take-home pay, but did NOT address the wages at the Disney Springs location.

And now, we have a new statement, sent to Disney Dining from Allied Global Marketing on behalf of Gideon’s. In the new statement, Mr. Lewis says that he is “hurt” by the allegations against him. He said that he is the child of a gay parent and would never attack or target employees who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gideon's Bakehouse

Credit: Disney

Here is Mr. Lewis’ complete statement:

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.

Gideon's Bakehouse

Credit: Gideon’s Bakehouse

Despite Mr. Lewis’ claims that he wants each employee to feel safe and heard, there are still posts being made to the Ghosts of Gideons Instagram page. The latest post said that the employees at Gideon’s Bakehouse Disney Springs location are working with a local union and have plans to unionize in the near future.

Employees have also been sharing their own stories, supporting the original claims made by Ghosts of Gideons. It is important to note that these are merely claims made by former and current employees.

Who do you believe? The owner of Gideon’s Bakehouse or its employees? Let us know in the comments!

About Krysten Swensen

A born and bred New England girl living the Disney life in Southern California. I love to read, to watch The Golden Girls, and love everything to do with Disney and Universal. I also love to share daily doses of Disney on my Disney Instagram @BrazzleDazzleDisney!

One comment

  1. “Merely”? I hope the workers are able to unionize. Their claims should be taken seriously, as they work there. I hope the owner does the right thing, as he says he’s going to do. The first statement put out was atrocious. This one tries to be kinder but does not offer any solutions either.

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