While the Molloys are now well established and highly regarded within the local community, one must go back as far as 1890 and County Mayo to understand just how the renowned family bakery became a mainstay on the local business landscape.
James Molloy was born on September 15th in 1890 in Facefield, Co. Mayo. He was still just a teenager in 1908 when he left the Emerald Isle on board the good ship Carmania for a new life in America, arriving in New York with just $10 in his pocket!
James spent a just over a decade in the United States before returning to Ireland to live in Roscommon in the early 1920s. In 1922, James and his brother William purchased a premises on Main Street, Roscommon from the Melia family, where they opened Molloy Bros & Bakery.
James settled in Ireland and married Ballyhaunis native, Rose Delaney, in June of 1926. Two of the couple’s sons, Barry and Noel (who sadly passed away in 2012), took over the running of the Main Street business prior to James’ death in 1965.
Molloy’s has certainly stood the test of time. During its first 40 years in business, the bakery was faced with a number of global crises including two World Wars and the resulting food rationing. Some of the ration books from those dark days of war will be on display at the bakery in Abbeytown over the coming few weeks. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has been another historical challenge, of course, but thankfully further food rationing has been avoided, so far!
During their early years in business, Molloy’s also acted as agents for the famous White Star shipping line, the route through which so many locals emigrated to the USA. A record of bookings will also be on show in the shop very soon.
Two World Wars, food rationing, and a global pandemic later in 2022, Molloy’s Bakery is now under the capable stewardship of the family’s fourth generation, and Declan, Mary T and their son Mark are still as proud as ever to carry on James’ and William’s wonderful legacy of serving their local community.
See next week’s edition for more on Roscommon’s 100-year-old family run bakery.