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Charleston Restaurateur Exposes Himself at Event Celebrating Female Artisans

The industry reacts to Mike Ray’s indecent incident

One Broad
Brian Stansberry

This past Friday, October 26, Normandy Farm Bakery and One Broad co-owner Mike Ray thought it would be funny to drop his pants at an event celebrating female artisans. As first reported by the Post and Courier, this case of indecent exposure led to a call to the police and Ray scrambling to make amends.

The event held in the space above One Broad showcased works from artist Britt Bates, fashion houses State the Label and Alabama Chanin, and home goods purveyor The Shelter Collection. The incident occurred when Ray stepped into a photo-taking area of the space and revealed his genitalia.

Ray sent the following statement to Eater:

It boils down to me having a horrible lapse in judgement. I’ve always been a ‘life of the party’ person who used irreverence as a way to get a laugh. This attempt at humor was not only ‘not funny’ but it made people uncomfortable. I’ll be the first to admit when I’ve made a mistake and that’s the case here. I will issue apologies privately and would like to use your forum to issue one publicly.

While Ray says he has received support from some food and beverage veterans around town, others have taken to social media to condemn him, like James Beard-nominated chef Cynthia Wong. She writes on Instagram:

Let’s be crystal clear on this: if we, as a food community have a single shred of integrity, we can’t buy another crumb from Mike Ray. I’m sorry for the collateral damage to people at his businesses, but whether you are buying a pastry at one of the bakeries or if you are a chef ordering his bread for your restaurants, supporting this man with your money is saying that it’s ok for women to endure this garbage and enabling it to continue. No more.

View this post on Instagram

If you haven’t read this article by @hanna_raskin in the @postandcourier, please do so. Thank you, Hanna, for reporting on this and not letting it get swept into the bin of messed up industry gossip. Thank you, too, for letting the women here stay the focus of their own narrative. Ok Charleston F&Bers, here’s a no-shades-of-gray whatsoever case of what we cannot give a pass on. Unless all the talk last year of bettering our industry was just a bunch of handwringing and lip service, it’s time to put our foot down. This is not a Had too much to drink at the holiday party and made some dirty jokes situation, it’s not a Kept asking an uninterested person out and not reading signals thing, it’s not even sending dick shaped baguettes to a chef who’s made you mad, it’s Indecent Fucking Exposure at a professional women’s event for Christ’s damn sake. Let that sink in for a minute. Everything about this is so awful it veers into the surreal. I can’t figure out which is worse: the behavior or the bullshit utter Let’s Call The Husband/ Oh My Bad, Everyone Usually Loves My Creepy Criminal Party Stunts non-apology for it. Enough is enough is enough. Let’s be crystal clear on this: if we, as a food community have a single shred of integrity, we can’t buy another crumb from Mike Ray. I’m sorry for the collateral damage to people at his businesses, but whether you are buying a pastry at one of the bakeries or if you are a chef ordering his bread for your restaurants, supporting this man with your money is saying that it’s ok for women to endure this garbage and enabling it to continue. No more.

A post shared by Cynthia Wong (@cynthiawongster) on

While there are many other parties involved with Normandy Farm Bakery and One Broad, Ray has been the public face of the businesses for some time.

Charleston Police Called to One Broad After Owner Exposes Himself at Private Party [P&C]

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