Camaraderie Built Through Bakery Helps 2 Tulsans Navigate Life’s Challenges

Wednesday, August 26th 2020, 5:25 pm
By: Sawyer Buccy


Two women at a Tulsa bakery have built a lifelong friendship over coffee and scones. The pandemic and a breast cancer diagnosis only made their friendship stronger.

Near the corner of Reconciliation Way and Main Street in Downtown Tulsa, the work day starts before the sun comes up. It is a place where the decadence of a croissant fresh out of the oven, can turn a bad day into a manageable one.

"Even the caramel, the buttercream," said Deborah Mulford.

"Everything," said Nancy Thompson.

"Everything is from scratch," said Mulford.

Where employees not only know your name, but also remember your order.

"We are the grandmas!” said Mulford.

"We have little pins that say Grandma Squad," said Thompson.

This is Antoinette's Baking Company.

"My daughter and her best friend are the owners," said Thompson.

If you're lucky enough, you will run into best friends Nancy and Deb.

"We have known each other since the old bakery," said Mulford.

Their friendship has only grown over the years. They are both obsessed with their kids, and they both love this job.

"It really is an honor. It sounds dumb," said Mulford.

"It sounds dumb to be at a bakery and that is an honor but it is," said Thompson.

Jobs that were put on hold when the pandemic hit and the bakery closed for weeks.

"We literally talked to each other every day," said Mulford.

And when Nancy’s breast cancer came back for a second time, they leaned on each other again. Nancy says she wanted to do everything in her power to prevent the cancer from coming back a third time, so she made the decision to have a double mastectomy.

"But she just always was very positive about it," said Mulford.

"I knew it was going to be okay," said Thompson.

"She worked up until literally the day before," said Mulford, "There just was never any doubt in either of our minds that she wasn't going to be back here with me"

These two best friends don’t want to dwell very long on the past.

"I am beyond fortunate to not have had to have any radiation or chemo, I feel fabulous. I feel so good, no side effects, nothing," said Thompson.

In fact, they will both tell you dwelling on the negatives makes it much harder to see the sweetness of life that might just be right in front of you.

"The sun will come out tomorrow,” said Mulford.

"I was just going to say, tomorrow is another day. It is a new adventure. You just don't know what is going to happen," said Thompson.

"You can make it fun," said Mulford.

"Some days it is not fun but for the most part, you can make it a good day," said Thompson.