With the recent onslaught of bad news continually making the rounds, it’s nice to be reminded of the heart and humanity of our fellow Hamiltonians.
On Wednesday morning, the Barton Street community was shocked to find obscene graffiti heartbreakingly spray-painted on the beautiful pastel-coloured mural that decorates the outside of Hello Baked, a popular bakery and candy shop nestled in Barton Village.
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We apologize for the language in this image – we know it's not what our followers want to see – but we want to be straightforward about the challenges small business owners often have to deal with. This graffiti showed up overnight, and it breaks our hearts to see something that @hellobaked worked so hard on thoughtlessly defaced in this way. Hello Baked owner Jess has been an incredible community member in Barton Village, collaborating with other business owners, actively supporting environmental initiatives (stay tuned for more on the depaving we hope to implement in Barton Village!), and putting her money where her mouth is in support of this great neighbourhood and the city as a whole. Please take some time to visit @hellobaked and show them your support! They're open 12-6 today through Friday and 11-4 on the weekend, with so many sweets and treats to bring a smile to your face! . . . #Bartonvillage #bartonstreet #bartonvillagebia #hamiltonbia #barton #bartoneats #hamont #hamiltonontario #hamiltonishome #bartonevent #shoplocalhamilton #spendithere
An image of the mystery vandal’s work was shared via the Barton Village BIA’s Instagram account, garnering mass amounts of support and solidarity from local businesses and individuals.
Thankfully, this upsetting story has a beautiful ending.
On Wednesday evening, Hamilton resident and local saint J. Everett Biggar dropped by the shop overnight and took it upon himself to painstakingly wash the black spray paint off of Hello Baked’s mural using acetone, a toothbrush, and a rag. He documented the stages of his work on his Instagram account.
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Yesterday, I arrived at the store to find more vandalism (with some not-so-nice words) on our mural. This morning, I arrived to see it freshly painted + restored. I’ve always said this city is incredibly kind and supportive of small business – but am completely blown away with just how supportive our community is in times of duress. THANK YOU to every single person who has offered their help, stopped by to support, or even just reached out in solidarity 💛 And last but certainly not least, a BIG and heartfelt thanks to @newforeinc for cleaning up our mural. We love you, Hamilton. (And #sorrynotsorry to the vandals, but we’re not going anywhere ✊🏼). **UPDATE** I just learned that @everettbiggar also helped with our wall – at midnight, with a toothbrush, a rag and some acetone. I’m not crying, you’re crying. Thank You so much Everett!!
Local contracting company Newfore Inc. arrived independent of Biggar the next morning to do a fresh paint job on the mural, only to discover a major amount of grunt work in removing the spray paint had already been completed.
The community came together and, just like that, Hello Baked’s mural has been restored.
Hello Baked posted about the act of community kindness on their Instagram on Thursday morning, moved by the efforts and endless support from local residents. The saga is an affirming reminder of just how wonderful Hamiltonians can be.