National News

Community mourns the loss of Ann's Bakery as midtown Tulsa store prepares to close after 80 years

Posted May 11, 2018 6:00 p.m. EDT

— A friendly face and a reliable family recipe bring some customers to remember the exact moment they stepped through the door of Ann's Bakery for the first time.

For Louis Mass, that was September of 1968.

"Things like that just sticks in your head, sticks in your mind. No matter how long it's been," Mass said.

Ann and her husband first opened doors in 1938, and passed it through the generations. Their granddaughter Shannon Harris is in charge now, and says that comes with challenges.

"Traffic and the construction has been really hard on us here. A lot of the businesses around here have had a hard time dealing with construction. For the last five years we've always had the expressway or our street worked on," Harris said.

Although family run, the small business struggles are driving this family to change gears and give them more time together. Plus Harris said baking is a tough profession. But for birthdays and weddings, customers plan to help this business until the final days.

"I want to be here. I want it to be open. But bakery's can't survive anymore, they can't. Little family businesses can't survive," long time customer Mary Pringle said.

Harris tells us the model may just be changing. After workings with every member of her family, it's the little moments she'll remember.

"I used to run around here barefoot, like after hours. My mom would bring me down to work. I would just run around here barefoot... and sugar and flour does not go well on bare feet," Harris said.

Customers expect the legacy to carry forward.

"Just the established name of Ann's Bakery. I would always say "if you want a really good cake, just go to Ann's Bakery," Pringle said.

The store won't officially close until July 31st. At that point, the owners say they may move some of the business online.