A group of Charleston restaurants are organizing a bake sale to benefit Planned Parenthood, following the lead of a New York City fundraiser that in May raised nearly $100,000 for the nonprofit.
Babas on Cannon, Renzo, Tu and Xiao Bao Biscuit are joining forces to host a bake sale later this month to benefit the Planned Parenthood clinic in Charleston. It's set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, July 21 at Tu, 430 Meeting St.
Marie Stitt, who co-owns Babas with her husband, Edward Crouse, said the event is inspired by the New York City bake sale which in its third year raised $96,000 for Planned Parenthood of New York City and tapped more than 50 chefs and bakers to participate.
“It has been stuck on my mind," Stitt said. "We had been hearing a ton about the bake sale just because it was beyond anyone’s expectation in terms of the amount of money they raised."
Pastry chef Natasha Pickowicz, of New York's Cafe Altro Paradiso, got the idea for the charity bake sale shortly after the presidential election in 2016. Her first bake sale in 2017 raised $8,000 for Planned Parenthood.
The bake sale in Charleston comes in response to "the slew of recent bills aimed at blocking access to providers," said Stitt, a native of Alabama.
"Seeing their most recent bills taking away a woman's right to choose even in those extreme cases of rape or incest was majorly concerning to me," Stitt said. "I also have a 3-month-old daughter and the thought of her having less of a choice than the women of my generation was really scary."
The success of the New York City bake sale has spurred similar fundraisers in Denver and New Orleans, so Stitt said she and her husband thought, "Why not Charleston?"
More than a dozen restaurants, bakeries and food trucks have signed up to sell treats. The list so far includes FIG, The Ordinary, EVO Pizza, Goat Sheep Cow, WildFlour Pastry, Miller's All Day, Life Raft Treats, The Harbinger Cafe, Scram Food Truck, Kwei Fei, Basic Kitchen, Brown's Court and Jackrabbit Filly.
"The sense of community is really inspiring to me," she said "Almost everyone we’ve reached out to has been eager to get on board and work together for this cause. They're almost thankful we're asking them to be part of it."
At the bake sale, most items will be sold for $5 and there's no admission fee to attend.
In order to streamline purchases, those attending will buy tickets for $5 at the door and exchange tickets for baked goods, a majority of which will be priced $5 or in $5 increments.
That system, Stitt, said, is an effort to make the event "accessible to everyone."
“It’s a way to have a really low barrier of entry,” she said. “$5 is all you need.”
In addition, there will be a raffle table and deejay music as well as coffee, wine and beer for sale.
"It’s also just fun," Stitt said. "There's something old fashioned and sweet about a bake sale."