Pat the Baker

Pat the Baker is an Irish bread-making company founded in 1953 by Pat Higgins. After acquiring the previously rival "Irish Pride" brand in 2015, the company became the second-largest bakery in Ireland. As of 2007, the company reportedly had over 400 employees.

Pat the Baker
TypePrivately held company
FounderPat Higgins
ProductsBaked goods
Number of employees
400 (2007)[2]


Pat the Baker was founded in 1953 by Pat Higgins, a Mayo native who married a woman from Granard in County Longford and settled in the town.[3] In 1977, the company expanded its business from a local bakery with a view to becoming a "nationwide brand".[4] Pat the Baker opened its first depot in Dublin in 1984,[5] and by 1992 was providing 80% of the own brand bread sold in Quinnsworth.[3] A "high profile trade union recognition case" in the mid-1990s,[6] involving the company, was one of several cases cited in debates on the proposed introduction of union recognition legislation in Ireland.[3][7][8]

By the time of the death in 2007 of its founder, Pat Higgins, the company employed over 400 people.[2] Following Higgin's death, the company remained within the control of the Higgins family. One of Higgins' sons, also named Pat Higgins, subsequently adopted the title "Pat the Baker".[2]

In 2015, Pat the Baker bought Irish Pride, a rival bakery which was then in receivership, for €4.5 million.[9][10] The sale, which was approved by the Competition Authority,[11] followed a report that Irish Pride "could have been saved".[12] After the acquisition, the combined company became the country's second-largest bakery firm.[13] At the time of the sale, Pat the Baker had distribution centres in Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Kilkenny, Letterkenny, Castleisland, Galway, and Armagh.[14]

A television advert (which ran from 1980 to 2002) contributed to the "popularity of the brand throughout Ireland",[2] and it was one of the "top 20" retail brands in the country as of June 2021.[15] The company has sponsored a marathon in Longford,[16] and began sponsoring The Graham Norton Show on Virgin Media Television in 2021.[17]

In June 2022, the Workplace Relations Commission upheld an unfair dismissal claim by a former employee of the company.[18]


The company produces sliced pans, speciality bread, scones, white bread, brown bread and catering bread.[19] Its products have received the Master Bakers Association Award eight times.[5] During 2022, some of the company's products were subject to a precautionary recall by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.[20]


  1. ^ Wilson, Kate, ed. (2005). Major Companies of Europe, Volume 7. Graham & Trotman Limited. p. 63. ISBN 9781860995118.
  2. ^ a b c d Higgins Ni Chinneide, Brid (28 August 2007). "Pat Higgins, the original 'Pat the Baker', dies aged 84". The Irish Times.
  3. ^ a b c Clavin, Terry (June 2013). "Higgins, Patrick ('Pat')". Dictionary of Irish Biography. doi:10.3318/dib.009518.v. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Our Story". Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  5. ^ a b "Baker who made his brand famous". The Irish Times. 1 September 2007.
  6. ^ "Private Members' Business. - Trade Union Recognition Bill, 1998: Second Stage". Houses of the Oireachtas. 17 February 1998. Retrieved 28 September 2022.
  7. ^ Gibbons, Tish (2015). "Trade union recognition in late 20th century Ireland". Saothar. Irish Labour History Society. 40: 71–81. JSTOR 45408300.
  8. ^ Gunnigle, Patrick; McMahon, Gerard; Fitzgerald, Gerard (1999). Industrial Relations in Ireland: Theory and Practice. Gill & Macmillan. p. 294. ISBN 9780717128372.
  9. ^ Donohoe, Patrick (8 August 2015). "Pat the Baker buys Irish Pride". Irish Farmers Journal.
  10. ^ Mulligan, John (7 August 2015). "Majority of Irish Pride sold to Pat the Baker". Irish Independent.
  11. ^ "M/15/045 – Pat the Baker / Irish Pride". Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  12. ^ "Report shows that bakery Irish Pride could have been saved". Irish Times. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  13. ^ Horgan-Jones, Jack (27 December 2015). "Pat The Baker has big bread beast Brennans in its sights". Business Post.
  14. ^ Foottit, Lesley (18 August 2015). "Irish Pride 'sold' to Pat the Baker". British Baker.
  15. ^ "Brennans Bread, Avonmore and Tayto: Ireland's top 100 brands". Irish Times. 21 June 2021. Retrieved 24 September 2022.
  16. ^ "Pat the Baker Longford Marathon is the 'friendliest marathon in the country'". Longford Leader. 14 August 2015. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  17. ^ "Virgin Media Solutions announce Pat The Baker as the new sponsor of The Graham Norton Show". Irish Business Focus. 1 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Farmer accused of stealing waste flour from Pat the Baker wins €13,400 over unfair dismissal". Irish Times. 22 June 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.
  19. ^ "Pat the Baker". Bloomberg. Retrieved 9 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Pat the Baker and Irish Pride breadcrumbs recalled by FSAI". Journal Media Ltd. 10 June 2022. Retrieved 23 September 2022.

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