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Middlebury Baker Catching Flak for AR-15 Cake

Local artistic baker under fire for baking gun cake so soon after Newtown shooting tragedy.

 

Middlebury baker and artistic cake designer Jennifer Montalto, owner of Jenny-Lu’s, has suddenly found the semi-professional bakery she runs out of her home kitchen is garnering a lot of attention — though not all good.

The sudden interest in Montalto’s baking stems from a life-like AR-15 gun cake she made for a 51st birthday party held at the annual Friends of NRA dinner. While many have praised the cake for its detail and design, others are calling it “insensitive,” as the weapon was used in the brutal shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14.

“Finding a cake sculptor was not an easy task,” Elizabeth Mais, who ordered the cake for her husband Bill, wrote to NRAblog.com. “Saddened and frustrated I was determined to find a pro 2nd amendment baker. Thankfully, my employer’s wife referred me to Jennifer Montalto.”

Montalto, who said she has been an avid baker since she was a child and has designed specialty cakes for the last three years, said she was not thinking about the political aspects as she baked and designed this one.

“I don’t think about politics when I’m doing my cakes,” she said Tuesday. “A friend contacted me about it because they couldn’t find anyone to make it… It was a challenge.”

While politics did not go into her decision on whether to make the cake, Montalto said she is “definitely pro-2nd Amendment.”

“I believe in rights,” she said, adding that she grew up around guns and believes the right to bear arms should be protected, “As long as you’re safe.”

In her letter to the NRAblog, Mais explained why she wanted the AR-15 and Gadsden “Don’t Tread On Me” flag specifically:

A few reasons why I wanted a rifle shaped cake. 1. We both love ARs. 2. I could not find the real thing! 3. In light of the ridiculous gun bans proposed here in CT, I thought an AR cake with the Gadsden flag draped over the rifle case was fitting. Both Bill & I strongly oppose any ban that restricts Americans from enjoying the best sporting rifle created. Bill has even testified at the state capital fighting against such restrictions.

Online, Montalto’s cake has brought on some derision, including a Yelp.com review calling it “Insensitive,” and suggesting that the design is “ridiculing the tragedy in Newtown.”

Montalto agreed that public perception of guns, particularly the AR-15, has been low since Dec. 14, especially in Connecticut and so close to where the shooting took place.

“I cried for three days straight when everything happened,” Montalto said. “But in my mind, it wasn’t the gun that killed people, it was a very sick individual.”

She also said she could understand how some could be put off by the cake design, but that it was made for a specific audience.

“To each their own — if someone enjoys it, that doesn’t make them an evil person,” she said. “Don’t make someone out to be evil over a cake.”

Steven Jones April 08, 2013 at 03:55 PM
Great piece of artwork. Controversial? Yes to an extent. Good for her business? Probably yes. I'd love to get a Walking Dead or Game of Thrones cake from her if I lived closer. Insensitive? If it were being served to victims or relatives of victims of gun violence, of course. The only way I'd consider it insensitive is if the base had Sandy Hook colors. If anything that base coloring could be very symbolic to the grey shades that cover much of the debate and the opinions of the silent majority. The only critical point I'd have is arguing that ARs are a sporting gun. No self-respecting hunter goes out to hunt game with an AR. Not unless you're a wannabe or have no ability to of aim and need more than two hits to take down larger game. The only sport an AR is meant for is humans, full-sized rabid bears, and zombies (so people).
John April 09, 2013 at 09:32 PM
I know that the biggest issue here is the whole gun cake itself, but I am curious why neither Jen or Jenny-Lu's are not listed by the State of Ct as a Licensed Bakery?
Craig Zac April 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Im more curious that if she baked that cake today, would she NOT be able to deliver it to the customer under Malloy's new gun bill? It is after all, one of those Scary Black guns that half our state seem to be scared s***less of these days.
Craig Zac April 10, 2013 at 12:25 PM
Ar's are a sporting gun, that doesn't mean you couldn't use them to hunt. And I think it would take a few hits to take down a good sized deer with one. Comparing the Bullet size used in Newtown, .223 (or 5.56MM) to that of a .308 (or 7.62MM) round used for deer and bigger game, usually in a rifle chambered for 30.06. (checkout pic in link below) http://tajmahal250.blogspot.com/2011/01/m-16-reason-us-lost-vietnam-war.html you'll see the .223 round (like used in Newtown) on the right, .308 (Like used for hunting deer and other big game) on the Left. so you see, Hunting anything other than rabbit, squirrel and small varmint like fox or Coyote, a gun like the AR would be great. Hunting Big game with it, you'd better be a seriously great shooter or have a few 30 round mags with ya! Target shooting, varmint shooting, and property protection is what its most useful for.. that said, they are just really nice guns and really fun to shoot and you know, it could have been a .17 or .22 that Lanza used to kill those kids, we are talking 5 to 7 year olds, it wouldn't take much.
Jordan Rivers April 10, 2013 at 04:42 PM
Wow they come out of the woodwork dont they? The hate the anger and the venom of expression prove Edmund Burke is still right when he wrote “Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites. ... Society cannot exist unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.”

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