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Brookside bagel shop pays it forward, spreads kindness to customers

Pay it forward wall at New York Bagel Cafe
Posted at 2:00 PM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 19:23:41-05

TULSA, Okla. — For more than a baker's dozen years, a Brookside bagel shop has been cooking up fresh, hot New York bagels.

While New York Bagel Café, which recently returned to its original name, is known for toasting, slicing, and piling its sandwiches high. The Tulsa shop is famous for spreading kindness too.

"We've had accolades from the New York Times. I remember getting a phone call from a newspaper in Brazil. So this story has traveled the world, it remains here, and it is something we're very proud of," says Co-Owner Aaron Quinton.

That something is reflected in the shop's "Pay It Forward" wall. The "Pay it Forward" principle is a simple one: if someone does a good deed for you, you pass it on by doing good for someone else.

The bagel shop's wall features a rainbow of sticky notes and guest checks for anyone who needs help buying a meal. Each paper is handwritten with a donated dollar amount; some share words of encouragement too.

"Any customer can come in and pay it forward for $5, or whatever you want to do. If somebody either forgot their wallet, or someone from the street comes in, that's what it's there for," says Quinton.

A customer started the bagel shop's "Pay it Forward" movement in the drive-thru in 2010. She's a regular who still comes by. That person is adamant about staying anonymous, but here's what we can tell you.

"That particular person started that as an everyday favor. Just as a good citizen, a good Samaritan, and she'd ‘Pay it Forward’ for the person behind her. It had a trickle effect, so it went to the next car and the next car, and pretty soon it was ten cars deep from that car paying it forward," says Quinton.

What happened in the drive-thru led to the "Pay It Forward" wall inside. New York Bagel Café tells us it has seen more people use the wall since the start of the pandemic. "This is an opportunity for people not to feel embarrassed; go ahead and use it. That's what it's there for. It's just a good deed," says Quinton.

New York Bagel Café, where the Oklahoma standard is helping feed a need.

"We love our community and love being we are a part of this community," says Quinton.

For more on the shop’s hours and location click here.

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