Frayne’s Bakery & Coffee Shop on Mount Street is a household name for many families in and around the Mullingar area. Frayne’s Bakery was, and still is the bakery of choice for many, whether it’s birthday cakes, wedding cakes, anniversary cakes or everyday brown bread … once you’ve tasted their produce, you won’t want to have anything else from anywhere else.
As the 50th anniversary of the opening of Frayne’s Bakery is being celebrated this week, Topic takes the opportunity to have a chat with the friendly and welcoming Bernie Frayne and spark off the celebrations with memories of her wonderful parents, Tommy (Snr) and Teresa, who bought the business and built it up to what it is today.
The beginning – Frayne’s Bakery “& Hairdressers”
Many will remember popping into Frayne’s bakery for bread and cakes and popping in next door to have a hairdo! That’s because Frayne’s was previously known as Frayne’s Bakery & Hairdressers. Back in the sixties and up to 1971, Frayne’s Bakery was previously Nally’s Bakery, run by a local Nally family. Bernie tells us that when the Nally family decided to retire from the business, they offered first refusal of the bakery to her parents, Tommy and Teresa. Tommy, a local Mullingar man was working in Kelly’s Bakery in Kilkock at the time but decided to snap up the offer and within a few weeks, they opened Frayne’s Bakery on one side of the building, managed by Tommy and Frayne’s Hairdressers in the other side of the building, managed by Teresa, who was from Cavan.
“It was a great street to grow up on and still is a great place to have a business. All the families here really looked out for each other and took great care of each other” Bernie tells us. That statement carries a-lot of passion and almost suggests that a film should be made about Mount Street in Mullingar, as to this day, it is a unique street in that it houses mostly businesses now but shops of every type and has the courthouse and the Arts Centre at the end of the street.
Frayne’s Bakery Life
Bernie went on to say that growing up in Frayne’s Bakery was a great life and one where many opportunities to learn were always on offer, whether it was dealing with customers from an early age or watching her father lovingly bake special cakes for birthdays or weddings. Bernie tells us that their special “cheesecake buns” were always “a great favourite of anyone who ever tried them and that’s the reason we still sell these today – they are still so popular”. The same goes for their simple “hundreds and thousands” sponge cake which Bernie says “people still order these cakes for their birthdays, year after year – which is great. Only a few weeks ago someone shared a series of pictures of their birthday cakes through the years and they were all from our bakery, which was lovely to see”.
Bernie’s mother Teresa worked in the hairdressers until she felt it was time to retire, after which the family thought it a good idea to open a coffee shop on the premises. Bernie’s father Tommy worked in the bakery and shop right up to and including the day he passed away, on 04 January 2014. “He was 80 years old and loved the bakery and he loved meeting customers and having a chat and lending an ear when it was needed. His death was a big shock to all of us but we know he had a happy life doing what he loved best and that was a great comfort” Bernie reminisces.
Bernie and her brother Tommy then took over the business and keep it going to this day, although Bernie jokes that she “leaves the early bakery start to Tommy as he does all the baking!”.
Great Customers and Staff
Bernie and her brother Tommy are touched and very thankful for the loyalty of customers through the years and are happy and proud to have customers who stick with them for every occasion. They are also thankful for the great staff they have had through the years. “The lockdown wasn’t easy for anyone and we were no exception, but we managed to stay open for most of the time and were delighted to see the take-away and outdoor dining service, which is still in place, take off so well. This is all due to the support of our great customers” Bernie tells us.
Make Frayne’s Bakery your bakery for all occasions
Frayne’s bakery caters to all tastes and offers a gluten free range of cakes and breads products on request. Their wedding cakes, sponge cakes, cheesecake buns, red-velvet cakes, Christmas cakes, mince pies and brown breads are firm favourites of all generations, while the mouth-watering slices and traybakes are favourites with students, as well as their hearty sandwiches and rolls. Frayne’s make cakes to order, so do call in and plan the design and tastes of your next special occasion cake with Frayne’s Bakery.
Frayne’s Bakery and Coffee Shop is open Tuesday to Saturday from 07.30am to 5pm, one of the few places in town where you can have a full hearty breakfast so early in the morning in such a homely environment.
On behalf of all the patrons, Topic wishes Frayne’s Bakery continued success and thanks, for providing the town with our daily bread … and cakes, through the years.