O’Connor’s Bakery was established in Ennis in 1961 by Pat & Mary O’Connor. Pat was a pastry chef in Shannon Airport at the time and both he and Mary trained as confectioners in a small coffee shop/bakery in Kilkee. For the first few years Pat commenced working in the Bakery at 3.00 am, left for work in Shannon at 7.00am and then did a few more hours in the bakery when he came home at 6.00pm. After working in the Bakery in the morning, Mary would then work in the shop during the day. Mary and Pat are now still working six days a week in the Bakery.
The first bakery was situated behind the first shop in Parnell Street, Ennis. Obviously like most successful family business it has evolved and changed over the past 45 years. Seven more shops have been added and a large modern bakery was first built on a green field site in 1981, this was doubled in size in 1998. The shops are in Ennis, Shannon, Limerick, Gort and Galway. All are serviced from the Bakery in Ennis.
Three of their children are actively involved in the bakery, one of them, Ann Marie, is an award winning confectioner and all of their 11 grandchildren have worked in the Bakery and Shops on Saturdays and School Holidays
The company now gives employment to around 145 people. Some of whom are with the Bakery for over 40 years. The majority of the Breads and Confectionery are still hand crafted, just like they were in 1961.
In 2001 the company was the first Bakery to apply for and achieve certification by the National Standards Authority of Ireland in Food Safety Management.