Our Story

A fresh innovation on traditional breads, the first Penny Loaves were created in November 2012 by 3rd Generation, Mayo man and Master Baker Cathal O’Donohue of O’Donohues Bakery.

Jack O'Donohue (2ng Generation)

O’Donohues Bakery is a family run business that was re-established in Tullamore, Co. Offaly by Husband and Wife team, Cathal and Frances O’Donohue in 1989.  Now in its 4th Generation, O’Donohues continue to manufacture and supply premium quality yeast and soda bread products to the retail sector with key customers including the main multiples and independent stores.  With its team of highly motivated staff as its lynchpin, O’Donohues Bakery prides itself in guaranteeing quality and consistency while bringing refreshing new ideas quickly to market.


Cathal came up with the idea of baking and freezing a mini soda bread after attending a “Meet the Buyer” exhibition in Dublin’s Convention Centre in early 2012. It was here that he learned how frozen bread was in demand by many buyers in Ireland and abroad.

Launched in October 2013, the Penny Loaves as a “thaw & serve” product are a great alternative to the common bread roll. Its unique portion size offers versatility for many aspects of the foodservice sector such as:

  • Soup / Salad / Stew Accompaniment
  • Stews and Casseroles - Great for Dunking!
  • Morning Goods Offering
  • Restaurant Bread Basket
  • Mini Sandwiches / Scones for Afternoon Teas
  • Canapés & Hors d’oeuvres
  • Ingredient in a dish

Trends are continuously monitored and the Penny Loaf Co. is committed to the development of new products. It has the flexibility to try any new flavours or combinations that may be requested by Chefs or Buyers.

Cathal O’Donohue is a 3rd generation master baker About Cathal

Cathal O’Donohue is a 3rd generation master baker from Co. Mayo who came to Tullamore back in 1989 with his wife Frances and 4 children to pursue his dream of opening his own bakery. Having sold his house and other possessions to pursue this dream, the bakery wouldn’t be here today without the help and good nature of the late Mr. Oliver McGlinchey. It was the end of the last recession and the banks were closed! The bakery that was for sale was McGlinchy’s bakery at the top of William St.

1st April 1989, O’Donohues started to manufacture and supply O’Donohues Bread with a total of 3 staff: Cathal O’Donohue, his wife Frances and 1 other baker. Today, the bakery is located in a 20,000 sq.ft manufacturing facility in Kilcruttin Centre and employs a hardworking dedicated team of 27 staff. Cathal continues to work on NPD and finding new ways to diversify with the ever changing consumer trends and lifestyles. This in itself has resulted in the establishment of The Penny Loaf Co.

  • Cathal Says: “There are no short cuts taken when it comes to producing our products. We continuously dedicate the required amount of “TIME” it takes to achieve each products full flavour” – Cathal O’Donohue, Managing Director