‘Dishonest’ pastry chef, ‘hurt’ by her pastries
RTE News Letter – 5 November 2015 – 6.00pm-8.00amPillsbury is known for its rich history of innovation, and that’s no surprise given its origins as a small bakery in the old town of Parnell in south Dublin.
It has been around for nearly three centuries and, as the name suggests, it’s one of the oldest in the country.
It opened in 1854, and has since been owned by a succession of family members who were members of the Parnells family, including the Earl of Puddington.
In the mid-1880s, when Puddie Pillsbury’s father died and the family was sold, it was taken over by the family of James Puddell, the first Earl of Wicklow, who ran the company until it was absorbed into Pillsborough in 1894.
Pillsboro is now one of Dublin’s largest and oldest pastry companies, with more than 40 outlets across the city.
Today, the business continues to flourish, with a number of new outlets opening in recent years.
A Pillsburys bakery is pictured in Wicklow in December last year.
When Pillsburgs opened in 1863, it offered a wide range of pastries and cakes, and the shop was a major supplier of bread to the burgeoning city.
It was owned by the Puddells for nearly a century and is still run by James Pudding.
When the Pillsburghs sold the company to James Pudgers family, his son Puddies was named to take over the business, and he took over the operation from his father.
In 1894, the Pudells were forced to close their bakery after the Great Depression, and in 1912 the Pudsons sold the business to James.
He had no choice but to sell the business and move it to the city centre.
James Pudsington, in his time as the Earl Puds, left a legacy of creating a brand that has remained in use to this day, and many of the bakery’s current pastry creations are named after him.
“He did the best job he could and he did it with the best people he could,” said Paul O’Brien, the managing director of the company.
“I think he was a fantastic baker, he was very talented.
He was an incredible person, and it’s a shame that his business went south in the way it did.”
The family’s other businesses were also in trouble in the early 1900s.
Puddies had a very different attitude to the business than James.
He wanted his customers to be satisfied, and to be rewarded for their service, and not for the way they look, he said.
“The family owned all the bakeries in Wickliffe and all the pastry shops in Wickford, so when I came to take the reins, I wanted to make sure that we were a family business.
I didn’t want to put any pressure on anybody, I just wanted to do it the way that I had always done it.”
Puddys bakery still survives, with an indoor and outdoor seating area, and a large, welcoming kitchen with a range of different pastries.
Puddys has been in the Wicklow area for almost 70 years, and is now a popular tourist attraction.
But it’s not all good news for the business.
In 2015, James Purdys son Michael, who is now the chairman of the family business, was found guilty of tax evasion.
James Pudings daughter Elizabeth was also found guilty and jailed for seven years.
The family were also charged with making a false declaration to the Irish Revenue Commissioners, which led to her being deported to Canada in 2016.