July 3, 2018

Worcester bakery closes after 89 years

Photo | Grant Welker
Mrs. Mack's Baker & Restaurant closed last week.

Mrs. Mack's Bakery & Restaurant, a landmark on Worcester's Grafton Street for nearly nine decades, has closed.

Known for its breakfast and offerings of cakes and pastries, Mrs. Mack's announced it would be closing last month, and closed its doors for good on Sunday. Grainne McAvey, the operator for 32 years, decided to retire, and no younger generations of the family were interested in continuing on with the business.

McAvey was the third generation of the family — all Worcester-born — to run the business.

"We have enjoyed being part of your lives over the years and feel many of you are extended family and not just customers," the restaurant wrote on Facebook. "We hope we have enhanced your life in some small way as you have ours."

Mrs. Mack's got its start in 1929 by William Francis and Gertrude Agnes McAvey, according to a history of the business on its website. It opened first on Prescott Street, before later moving to Park Avenue, then to Shrewsbury, and later to Grafton Street. For most of its history, it was located at 1393 Grafton St.

The business survived the Great Depression and, according to the restaurant's history, the formation from some of its workers of Table Talk Pies, which remains an iconic Worcester business. Mrs. Mack's catered to factory workers in the city until World War II, when William McAvey died.

One of the McAveys' sons, Donald, took over in 1943, and later bought the business in 1951. When he and his wife, Frances, retired in 1986, they passed the business along to four of their children: Grainne, Shawn, Mike and Murdoch. Grainne McAvey then took over running the business herself and had been operating the bakery for 32 years.

"It's time!" Mrs. Mack's said in announcing the closure.


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