If you’ve ever wondered what the 17th century is like, just take a trip to Front Royal, Virginia. The town has recently been the battleground for the timeless battle between Christians and witches, warlocks, fortune tellers, and “gypsies.” The town, which has been embroiled in a fight over the repeal of a ban on mystic practitioners, is fighting the good fight on another front: scantily clad 50’s pinup girls — and they’re willing to harass a local teen’s business to show that they mean business!
The shop is decorated in bright pinks and reds with posters of Marilyn Monroe, Betty Page, and other popular 1950’s pinups. Aside from that, there is nothing naughty about the shop — besides the calorie count.
Overall, the shop is a hit. Commenters on Yelp regularly praise the delicious donuts baked by Tiana herself, as well as the amazing customer service. One person said that an employee chased him down when he showed up with his daughter just after closing time — simply to give them a free dozen donuts. “As we were walking away, the owner/manager sent a naughty girl out the door to chase us down and give is a dozen doughnuts on the house since my little girl looked so disappointed. That is great customer service !! And I certainly won’t forget it,” “Chris M.” wrote.
To many, 17-year-old Tiana Ramos would be considered inspirational. Ever since the teenager opened Naughty Girls Donut Shop, she has faced harassment from conservative groups in the town. Natalie Ramos, the young entrepreneur’s mother said that her daughter has faced harassment on numerous fronts — from phony complaints on Yelp, to someone actually throwing garbage at the store.
Within a week of the shop’s opening, Natalie Ramos was standing outside when someone drove by and threw garbage at the door — because apparently, conservatives are children. “They literally threw trash at the door and said, ‘Naughty Girls burn in hell,'” she said. “I started bawling, right there.”
The Ramoses did not report the incident because they did not want to make a big deal of it, but then the comments began to appear on Yelp.
“They were talking about how the girls look like hussies, they didn’t talk about the food or the service,” she said. “I asked them to please remove the posts, which they did.” Conservatives began flooding Facebook and Twitter with claims that the shop promotes a “negative message.”
“They were saying that the shop represents sluts and anyone who works there is promiscuous,” Natalie Ramos said. “It was a lot of negativity that didn’t need to be there.”
The Ramoses received a letter from a group of conservatives identifying themselves as “Local Catholics of Front Royal” claiming that they would boycott the shop if it continued to advertise in the local newspaper. However, the St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church said the parish did not sent the letter. A friend of Natalie Ramos’ was asked to participate in a boycott because the shop’s logo features a (gasp!) demon’s tail.
“I never even noticed the devil’s tail,” Natalie Ramos said. “I thought it was just a curve.”
some say that the shop attempts to attract exclusively male customers:
Tiana recently received a full scholarship to the Culinary Institutes of America. A press release from Naughty Girls says that she has contributed more than $28,000 to support local businesses, and that the teen spent $2,000 to purchase backpacks for local children, as well as given more than $1,000 to local churches. ” She also supports the local homeless shelter, 4-H club, local athletic associations, high schools, Elk lodges, hospitals and charities,” according to the release.
Tiana intended the store to be a refuge for those who are bullied at school, dress differently, or feel out of place in society. However, she simply finds herself bullied by local conservatives over something as petty as the name of her shop.
“I wish they would actually get to know me, because I’m not the person they think I am,” Tiana said. “Okay, I have tattoos, and I don’t dress like the good kid that goes to church every Sunday, but I’m a good person.”
Will she cave to the irrational pressure from area Christian bigots and allow herself to be run out of town? “Heck no,” she said. “They’re the reason we’re staying here.”
Keep up the good fight, Tiana!
Watch Tiana talk about her business, below: