Barron's Bakery & Coffee Shop, Cappoquin, Waterford, Ireland.
Tel: 058 54045    Email:

About Barron's Bakery

John Barron - founder of Barron's Bakery and his son Joe John Barron (1858 - 1930) was the son of a business man James Barron (born 1821) publican, baker and grocer of Main Street, Cappoquin. He decided to train as a baker. At this time his father paid £50 for his apprenticeship which he took up at O'Keeffes of Touraneena. It took him five years to complete his apprenticeship.

Each morning he walked from Cappoquin to Touraneena to do his work. During this time he met his future wife Norah Collender, while walking through the fields on his way home in the evenings.

In 1885 they decided to get married and her father who had a lot of property in Cappoquin gave them a home on the square. At this time John Barron decided he did not want to continue his career as a baker, he wished to go to America. Norah had relatives in New York who had a billiard table company known as, "The Brunswick Baulke Collender Billiard Company", This company is still in existence to this day. It was decided that he would go out first and get settled before Norah would join him.

John was settled in New York about six months when their first child Mary Rose was born, John longed to see his new born baby. By this time Norah got cold feet and decided that she would not leave her native shore. So John returned within the year.

They started the bakery on the square in Cappoquin where it is still in existence. Norah and John had twelve children and they were always joked about going for the bakers dozen! The bakery was passed on their eldest son Jack Barron, who went through bad times and he passed it on to one of his younger brothers Joe.

Joe born 1904 worked and ran the bakery with his wife Joan up until 1980, when he died. Joe took over the Bakery in bad times and when it its credit rating was very poor. Over the years he built up the bakery to a thriving business through hard work, committment and his skill as a Master Baker. He started work each morning at 3.00am, finished baking at lunch time and in the afternoon he went out to the local countryside delivering the bread.

Esther and Joe at the local farmers market at Dungarvan He covered the areas of Dromana, Ballyhane, Knockalara, Glennafallia, Salterbridge, Cooldelane, Dyrick, Ballinamult and Modeligo. He was held in high esteem by all who knew him and to this day people fondly remember his afternoon calls. He regarded this as the social aspect of his work and being a man with a social conscience he never refused bread to a needy fanily. As well as being a Master Baker, Joe Barron was a progressive man for his time. He was the first baker in 1reland to introduce a high speed mixer to his bakery.

1n those days, all bakeries had Brick ovens. He commissioned the building of two large Scotch Brick ovens, which are working to the present day. These ovens give the bread a unique taste,fiavour and crust. Barrons Bakery is one of the last bakeries in Ireland that still uses ovens like these. Despite his long hours, he found time to participate in the local drama group, choir and brass band.

In 1943, Joe married Joan Hickey of Lismore. As well as rearing a family of five daughters, Joan helped in the running of the business. She was from a business background herself and was alwavs a great support to Joe in all his endeavours. Joe's sister Hesther ran the shop all her life until she died in 1967. People remember Hess as being a woman of acute husiness acumen.

Over the years many people worked in the bakery. In the early years up to the 1960s these included Pat McCarthy, Tommy Meskill junior, Seamus Roche, Tommy Meskill senior - who had worked in Maddens Bakery in Lismore before it closed, John Crow1ey and Willie McGrath. These men were all from Cappoquin except Seamus Roche who was from Fermoy. Paddy Murray from Tourin worked as a baker for over twenty years and became known as "Baker".

His brother Milo worked as a van salesman for an equally long period, while their younger brother Denis worked in the bakery over the years at busy times. The same Paddy and Milo are the famous rowers.

One of Joe's daughters, Margo worked in the bakery before going on to train in Dublin as a Confectioner. For a number of years another daughter, Siobhan looked after the wholesale end of the business. Next to make her contribution was Deirdre, who for a nuuber of years replaced Siobhan.

Before Joe Barron died he handed the business over to his youngest daughter Esther. When she took it over, the business consisted of the Bakery and a Grocery shop. Her first project was to develop a confectionery business. Then in 1980 she bought an adjoining premises and opened the Saddlers teashop. It was the first of it's kind in Cappoquin. Within a period of three years staff had increased from two to ten people. Over the years the distribution of bread has expanded to Tallow and Dungarvan. Esther was joined in the business in 1993 by her husband Joe Prendergast.

The last thirty years has seen the closure of hundreds of small bakeries. Fortunately Barrons Bakery has survived this difficult time and this is due to the loyal support of local customers and good employees and management working together to produce a consistently top quality product. As Barrons Bakery faces into it's third century in business the greatest threat that it faces is from the aggressive trading practices of the large retail outlets. More than ever before Barrons Bakery will depend on the support of it's loyal customers in the years ahead. Finally, Barrons Bakery wishes to take this opportunity to thank all of their customers for their great support over the years.

Barron's Bakery & Coffee Shop, Cappoquin, Waterford, Ireland.
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