This Ridgefield business received backlash over a Pride-themed ice cream. Now it’s raised enough money to support Pride in the Park.

RIDGEFIELD — A Pride-themed ice cream flavor at Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe was meant to be an innocent offering to help raise money for a local organization while showing support for the LGBTQ+ community. Then came complaints from customers.

“I figured we’d sell a couple tubs and raise a little money for them, then we got this call from (someone) who was not happy about it,” she said. “It bugged me all day — I didn’t expect that in our town.”

The store began selling the limited edition flavor — a vanilla base with gummy Skittles and mini rainbow candy-coated chocolate chips — on June 1 as part of a promotion to raise money for Pride in the Park, an upcoming pro-LGBTQ+ event organized by Ridgefield CT Pride.

Earlier this year, students from the organization approached store owner Deborah Backes to ask if she’d be interested in devising a sweet treat for the cause. For every scoop sold, Deborah Ann’s committed to donating a portion of the proceeds towards the event.

On June 11, the store received a call from someone who was critical of the offering, telling the shop not to promote the “lifestyle.” That same day, Backes took to Facebook to express her disappointment and explain the store’s reasoning in offering the specialty flavor.

“We have now decided to donate 100 percent of the profits from our Pride ice cream to Ridgefield CT Pride,” the post read. “We are proud of these students who seek to celebrate, educate, promote acceptance and provide support.”

As of Tuesday, the post has garnered thousands of likes, hundreds of comments and more than 300 shares. And that support has been reflected within the store, as well.

Because of the post, “We’re selling a lot more Pride ice cream than we otherwise would have,” Backes said. “People are coming from all over the place — one customer drove two and half hours out of their way. … (Some) were buying their ice cream with a $50 (bill) and leaving the change.

Backes said the promotion has raised a “fair amount of money” — enough to support Pride in the Park this year and next.

Deborah Ann’s is at 381 Main St. in Ridgefield. For more information about the event, visit