Someone broke into a cupcake shop in Winston-Salem early Monday, taking a number of things — including the cupcakes.
“My mom said the ‘Cupcakes are so good people are breaking in to get them,’” shop owner Ta’Nisha Kimbrough said with a laugh. “Now we’re just trying to pick up the pieces.”
Support of community members and some humor has helped Kimbrough process the overwhelming situation that unraveled Monday morning when she discovered the break-in at her bakery, Ta’Nisha Monique Cupcakes LLC.
Video surveillance from the business shows a man breaking into the business, at 1318 N. Liberty Street, around 4 a.m., she said. He forced his way through the wall of the repurposed garage-turned-bakery to get out.
Kimbrough said she is still working on figuring out everything that is missing.
An iPhone was among the items taken, but the cash, about $200, was left behind.
“There’s significant damage. He messed up more than he took,” said Kimbrough, who opened the bakery in September 2018. “I had to throw a lot of stuff away because of the blood and stuff.”
Police said they are investigating the incident, but they have no suspects.
A forensics team was on the scene Monday morning.
According to the police report, the incident, which is being investigating as breaking and entering with force, was reported about 6 a.m. Monday and an iPhoneX was listed as one of the missing items.
In a twist, the phone was returned to Kimbrough on Monday after her cousin received a text from the stolen phone, which was kept at the bakery to take orders and had a few personal numbers, she said.
The text said that he had purchased the stolen phone and realized it belonged to Kimbrough, whom he knew from the bakery, she said.
After hearing from her cousin, Kimbrough arranged to meet the man at a gas station across from the bakery and her phone was returned, she said.
Kimbrough — who has two full-time employees and partners with the Urban League — said the whole incident has left her shaken.
“I felt really violated. I’m a firm believer of helping my community, they’re like my family,” said Kimbrough, whose father is retired from the Winston-Salem Police Department. “It’s a big bummer.”
In light of the break-in, Kimbrough’s friends are orchestrating a “Buy out the bakery” movement, encouraging community members to go buy cupcakes in a show of support this week.
Because the back of the store, including the baking area, was destroyed, Kimbrough will be baking out of the community kitchen at the Enterprise Center in the interim.
She will be selling items from her storefront, which was untouched in the incident, this week from noon until 7 p.m.
The bakery will be closed completely for repairs next week, she said, and she’s unsure how long it will take to make it operable again.
Social media posts urge people to buy items from the bakery or order online.
“I wanted to open this week because I could use the support,” said Kimbrough, a mother of two. “It was not a good Monday, but it’s been amazing to see how the community comes together.”