A small business owner who refused to give an influencer a free birthday cake was outraged when Instagram removed her post branding it “fake and boring.”
Reshmi Bennett, 39, is a children’s author, baker and baker from London who runs Anges de Sucre, a luxury cake business.
Last month, the mother received an email from London-based influencer Anna Kurtglian (243,000 Instagram followers), offering her a birthday cake for a friend in exchange for social media coverage. I asked if I could have one.
In response, Lesmi told her, “Don’t be so pissed off, just buy a cake from somewhere,” but accused her post of violating the community guideline of “showing respect” to other users. has been removed from Instagram.
Reshmi Bennett from London (pictured in 2021) runs her luxury cake business, Anges de Sucre
A screenshot of Anna’s email posted by Lesi on Instagram reads, “I’ve been a huge fan of your brand for quite some time now. I am always happy to support you guys xx
“I wanted to reach out and see if you would like to cooperate? It’s my best friend’s birthday soon. My friend is a big fan too, so it’s great to order a cake from Anges de Sucre. This will be a perfect surprise!”
She then ends the email by offering to “create content in exchange for cake.”
Later that day, Reshmi replied to Anna, accusing the influencer of “begging for freebies” after declining her offer.
She wrote, “Thanks for writing! It’s always nice to hear from real fans. You say you’ve been a big fan for quite some time.”
Influencer Anna Kurtglian asked Reshmi if she would make a free cake for her friend’s birthday in exchange for coverage on social media.Photo: Influencers in London
Left: Anna’s email requesting a free cake from Reshmi in exchange for social media coverage.Right: Reshmi’s response to asking influencers to stop “begging for freebies” later in the day
“But I just noticed you aren’t following my page, and I don’t know or care about your best friend.
Don’t get too fed up with just buying a cake from somewhere else.
‘Your friends will adore your faux-baked efforts instead of begging for freebies. Merry Christmas! ‘
Alongside her bespoke cakes, Reshmi has an Instagram following of 56,000 thanks to her ‘fake bakes’ series.
Anna replied to Reshmi’s post, telling her she made a “cooler cake” for Alina.
Left: Alina, whose birthday was that day, detailed her perspective on her Instagram story.Right: Anna asked her followers to participate in a poll, with 78% siding with Reshmi
After Reshmi shared the email exchange on Instagram, Anna’s influencer friend Alina Rafikova (on her 25th birthday) jumped to defend her friend in a comment on the now-deleted post. rice field.
“You don’t have to be disrespectful. After being published in a major magazine, many people start thinking they’re the best in the field, but your cake is no better than Peggy Porchen’s.”
“I just want to say that it is not very professional to answer this way from your side. Luxury companies would never allow this behavior to a potential customer.
Reshmi (pictured) accused influencers of leaving multiple one-star reviews on Google.
Left: Arinal labeled Reshmi “rude” in a comment on the original Instagram post.Right: Reshmi was upset to find some 1-star reviews of her new girlfriend left on her Google page for her own business
Additionally, Anna said the pair made an “even cooler cake” to celebrate Alina’s birthday, which was featured on the reels on her page.
“By the way, we’re Chanel fans, but we’re not following the page, so aren’t we real fans?!”
In the wake of the controversy, Anna created a poll asking her followers if they thought Reshmi’s behavior was “rude and offensive”.
While 22% sided with influencers, the majority believed Reshmi was right.
With her posts repeatedly removed from the page, Reshmi wrote in her story:
Left: One of Reshmi’s recent birthday cake orders. Right: Reshmi’s 10lb Crunchy Nut “Fake Bake”
In a follow-up post, Reshmi later claimed that Anna and Alina began creating fake Google accounts to leave multiple one-star reviews online, calling the two “qualified, fake, petty. pathetic” label. Since then, Anna has denied she leaves a one-star review.
She claims that
Then they tried to drag my name through the mud of Insta and TikTok, but they didn’t like me biting. Then they beat me up by scoring some epic own goals in polls for their story, then created fake Google profiles and left reviews for me to stay up late at night.
‘Grifters – Your 250k+ followers doesn’t impress me. Get a real job and stop having companies fund your fake lifestyle. Society’s absolute bottom-eating cretin.
Instagram has removed the post several times since it was uploaded this morning after it was repeatedly reported for “violating our community guidelines.”
In her Story, Reshmi likened it to a “yo-yo” and said, “Instagram, the irony of you deleting my post and being met by two trolls is haunting to me.”
Anna Kurtoglyan’s response:
It all started when I reached out to Reshmi for a collaboration. It was my friend’s birthday, and I sent her a polite suggestion to see if she’d be interested in making something fun together (not necessarily a gift cake, maybe a personalized cake. ). Of course, I wasn’t “begging for cake” as Reshmi and her followers had mentioned it many times. I didn’t reply.
Almost a month later she started posting behind us stories about me and my friends after hiding the stories. We didn’t want to post anything, but there was so much hate and bullying about us and our personal lives that I felt compelled to repost her story. We started creating polls about whether influencers are sick of it and discussing my friend’s ‘guests with no cake on her bluffer’s birthday’. Posting on Stories and then posting without closing any personal information was also shocking.
Both my friend and I have received many abusive messages from her followers. Her posts have continued despite being deleted due to Instagram violation rules and we are concerned for our safety as the messages seem to be disturbing us. Sadly this scandal The reason is not about the free cake, so the truth is flipped (I didn’t ask for a free cake, I just wanted to promote my business and choose a personalized cake design. ). But it’s about disrespectful attitude towards us or people who sent us simple polite business inquiries. bottom. She then blocked us and some of her followers.
Thankfully, we’ve had some positive responses from us and her followers as well. Perhaps some of them left negative Google reviews for her and some customers, I was surprised to hear the accusation that I left these reviews. Personally, it saddens me that people are ignorant and personally attacking this situation and Reshmi’s business in general. I believe that harassment and bullying should not be tolerated and that people should be polite and kind to each other regardless of the reason for their anger, so I hope this doesn’t happen to anyone with mental health issues or disabilities. It is heartbreaking that it could have happened.
Reshmi’s followers quickly flocked around the bakery in the comments.
“My New Year’s resolution is not to buy from companies that give gifts to influencers,” said one respondent.
“The days of influencers (freeloaders/ponce) will come to an end,” added another. “But a great cake will live on!”
A third wrote: We work hard as a small business and nothing comes for free.
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