Bakery reunites high school friends
Several years ago, Terry Garrett won a jackpot at a casino and put all her winnings into opening a bakery in Joplin, Missouri
At the same time, Cathy Ross, a newspaper photographer, was working at The Madison County Record in Huntsville, Ark.
"I was at the paper doing research when her name just popped into my head," Ross said. "I looked her up on the Internet, and saw in the Joplin Globe that she had won a jackpot in a casino, and put it all into her bakery. I thought, 'That's my friend.'"
Ross and Garrett met their junior year at Jasper High School in Jasper, Mo., and also attended Missouri Southern State University together, then both married and went their separate ways. Now they are back together at TLC Country Bakery, next to Hart's Family Center grocery store, a business that Ross foresaw for her friend.
"When she was in high school, she was always baking cinnamon rolls for my family," Ross said. "I told her, 'One of these days you need to start selling this stuff because you're good.'"
Garrett moved to Eureka Springs two years ago and started a wholesale specialty cake business called TLC, and had been selling cakes to Hart's. Ross, who commutes from Hunstville, moved there seven years ago after working at The Lamar Democrat in Lamar, Mo. She and Garrett had been praying a long time about opening a bakery in Eureka Springs when Jay Galyen of Hart's asked if they were interested in taking over the space.
"He and his family helped us fix this up to be a full-line bakery," Garrett said. "It's been overwhelming, the support they have given us."
As the baker, Garrett goes to work early to start the cinnamon rolls and get the biscuits and gravy ready by the time the doors open at 6 a.m. Customers start arriving by 6:30 a.m., Ross said, and a serving window in the wall of Hart's also opens for people who want to pick up breakfast. Toni Deeg, a hostess at the Pancake Family Restaurant during the season, is one of the locals who have discovered the bakery.
"This is the place to be," Deeg said as she sat at a table last week. "Start off your morning off with a fresh apple turnover and coffee."
The coffee is free, something Garrett hopes to continue to offer the community. The turnovers -- apple, peach, strawberry or cherry cheese -- are 99 cents, as are the giant cinnamon rolls, muffins, creme horns and creme puffs. Biscuits and gravy are available to go for $1.99. When the bakery opened on Nov. 10, the response from the community was awesome, Garrett said.
"They totally swept out our cases," she said, "and we had lots of pie and dinner roll orders."
Thirty years ago, the space was a bakery, Galyen told them -- he remembers the big ovens and display cases. It's also been Bill's Pharmacy -- the sign was still over the door -- and Smith's. When Garrett moved to Eureka Springs, she turned her first bakery over to her daughter, Laura.
"That bakery was opened on jackpot money," Ross said. "This one we opened on faith. And it's been a ride."
TLC Bakery is located at 137 E. Van Buren, next to Hart's. Hours are 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. For more information, call 479-253-2000.