After 80 years, Johnson's Bakery is closing
Johnson's Bakery, which has satisfied Lawton's sweet tooth and whose creation have graced countless wedding tables for almost 80 years, will close at the end of business Sunday.
Amber West said the sudden decision to close was precipitated by the severe illness of her mother, Cindy Craft, who has operated the business for decades.
West said the decision was made quickly.
"We decided we're going to do it, so I was given permission by my dad to make the announcement today," she said Thursday.
West said business had been declining as competitors popped up around town, and operating a full-service bakery everything from wedding cakes to Magic Bars, brownies and cinnamon rolls requires almost a 24-hour operation.
"We've always been a full-service bakery," she said. "We don't just specialize in one thing; we specialize in everything."
West's announcement on Facebook brought in a steady stream of customers in person and by phone on Thursday. The bakery will be open today, Saturday and Sunday and will finally close at 3 p.m. New Year's Eve.
"This is very sad," Amy Romeros said as she waited to pick out some of the last goodies the bakery will produce. She's been a customer 40 years or so and planned to buy some gingerbread cookies and Christmas cookies.
"A lot of people were upset because they're out of town for the holidays and they won't be back in time" to enjoy any more treats from Johnson's.
Christina Huey recalled the ritual of buying cakes for birthdays and picking up Magic Bars. She's also chef and an owner of The White Buffalo restaurant in Central Mall, and she was placing a final order for buns for the restaurant.
"We're going to have to figure out something else" after that order runs out. "Nothing is going to compare," she said.