Bakehouse 22, the previous Tracey’s Bakery is now refurbished and renamed on Nicolas Street. Sheelagh Tracey and Denise Moloney are pictured at the Bakehouse 22. Picture: Baoyan Zhang/ilovelimerick
Refurbished Bakehouse 22 continues the Tracey family’s business of serving amazing pastries
Known as the Tracey’s Bakery before, Bakehouse 22, located at the heart of Medieval Quarter, across from King John’s Castle on Nicolas Street has now been refurbished and reopened for the public.
With passion and love about baking and catering, the Tracey family has been running their bakery business for over 50 years on the historic street in Limerick. In the earlier years, The Bakehouse was a Daybreak shop, selling newspaper, snacks and homemade pastries.
The brand new cafe now serves fresh meals, great coffee and still, incredible baked goods. Their storefront has changed, though, the passion for food and love of baking still holds the same value in the heart of the Tracey family, who continue to run their business in Limerick.
Talking about the motivation behind transforming the newsagent into a cafe, Sheelagh Tracey, co-owner of the Bakehouse said: “As a grocery shop we are not able to compare with Aldis and Lidls. We had done a lot with food and then we decided to reopen it but still in a way retain half of the shop. However, if we continue running the newsagent, this could not have been a great brand.
“Now we are known as Bakehouse 22, since the rebranding, we’ve gotten so busy on the catering side.”
Sheelagh and her family have been proud and delighted to carry on the legacy of their family business.
“The food is good, the interior environment is perfect and we have lovely staff here. We are happy to have these good elements coming together at the Bakehouse,” said Sheelagh, with a proud smile on her face, “food should be the very first thing that prides us here because all the food we serve is fresh and great.”
Sheelagh’s sister came up with the name, Bakehouse 22 after the family had spent plenty of time thinking of a proper name for the newly refurbished business. They intended to build it up as a catering brand in Limerick city. As said by Mrs Tracey, their decision of continuing to go on with the bakery business was motivated by the Brennan Brother’s visit.
BakeHouse 22 featured on the famous RTE TV show ‘At Your Service’ hosted by The Brennan Brothers in October this year.
“They were going to advertise us and help us promote,” said Sheelagh.
Recalling the visit from the TV hosts, Sheelagh laughed: “The Brennan Brothers’ visit was great! But I was nervous because it was like an interview to me. Everyone was watching and I just kept talking and talking.”
The TV crew’s visit was a great opportunity for the cafe to receive fame and reputation, however, the preparation stressed Traceys’ family since there was an intensive deadline for them to get ready for the TV show.
“We had around six weeks to get everything done. It was quite difficult for me to set it up on in such a short time. Our family came to help us at 4 o’clock in the morning, to clean and furnish the place and made everything tidy and perfect before the Brennan Brothers’ visit. I cried so many time but I knew I had to get it done.” recalled Sheelagh.
However, the biggest challenge for the Tracey family business would be the financial difficulty: “We are not able to get money from the bank and we don’t have a loan, so we borrowed money from our family,” Mrs Tracey said.
Their kind and supportive family has always been a support and source of power for the Traceys especially for them to continue their business. Therefore, their future plan is to “earn money and payback to the family.”
There are currently thirteen full-time and part-time staff members employed at the Bake House 22 and as Sheelagh said, their wish for Christmas is to get busy and serve their best food and service to the customer for building up a good reputation for the business in this city.
It is estimated that the repainting of Nicolas Street could bring with more tourists during the new year tourism seasons which would be beneficial for the Bakehouse.
“The food is good so people will come in, we have a wide range of desserts for everyone who would like dessert and coffee rather than a full meal,” Sheelagh Tracey said, the Bakehouse 22 co-owner loves her business and her busy life.
For more information on Bakehouse 22, go here
For more stories on the Tracey’s Bakery, go here