Black bakery owner jilted by Tesla credits Elon Musk effect with surge in business: ‘You either love him or hate him’



Last week, a bakery owner in San Jose, Calif., slammed the electric-vehicle maker for ordering $16,000 of pies and then canceling the order on short notice, leaving her out thousands of dollars.

As news of the incident spread, Tesla CEO Musk took notice, posting on X: “Just hearing about this. Will make things good with the bakery. People should always be able to count on Tesla trying its best.” Much media attention focused on the fact this occurred in February, which is Black History Month, and that the bakery’s owner, Voahangy Rasetarinera, is Black.

Tesla then paid Rasetarinera $2,000 to cover the costs of the canceled order. It also offered her additional business—which she turned down because she was too busy. 

Indeed, business is now booming. After the tiff with Tesla, the Giving Pies bakery has been receiving 200 or so daily customers, compared to 30 or 40 on a typical day, Rasetarinera told Fox Business. 

She believes the incident over the order “would not have blown up this way” if it happened with another company. 

“Tesla is associated in people’s mind with Elon Musk,” she said, “and you either love him or hate him…so when people saw that it was Tesla, I think it stirred strong emotions.” 

Reeling and left high and dry

Rasetarinera had written in a Facebook post about how the carmaker’s order reversal “left me reeling, realizing the extent of the impact on my small business. I had invested time, resources, and effort based on assurances from Tesla, only to be left high and dry.”

The post went viral, and soon new customers were pouring into her bakery to support it—and since it’s off the beaten path, she noted, many of them had to go out of their way to visit. The mayor of San Jose dropped in, as did some Tesla employees offering their apologies. 

In the comments below her Facebook post, a Google employee, Pamela Salazar, wrote: “Google loves you! We love ordering your pies (only wish I could order them more frequently)…please know that we got your back.” 

Rasetarinera said one Tesla employee told her that an hourly worker had placed the ill-fated order despite being unauthorized to do so. 

The Giving Pies had never had problems with corporate orders before, Rasetarinera told local channel ABC 7.

“They request a quote, I send the quote, they approve, I send the invoice—I’m paid immediately,” she said. “When you’re a big corporation, $2,000 is pocket money, it’s nothing. But for us, it’s a lot.”

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