Michael Reilly: preserving an iconic family business

A story by Biddeford Cultural & Heritage Center "Voices of Biddeford" project from 1910s to 2019

Voices of Biddeford interview with Michael Reilly on February 25, 2019

Michael S. Reilly grew up in Biddeford, the son of Edward M. Reilly and Rita Sullivan Reilly. His grandfather, Edward S. Reilly, was one of the founders of Reilly's Bakery, a 100+ year old family business which in 2022 was run by the fourth generation. Proud of his Irish heritage, Michael talked about what it was like growing up in the business over the years; memories of Main Street; school, family and home life. Retired after many years, he discussed his hopes and dreams for the future and the importance of small businesses. "… small businesses …are the backbone of the community and people in here are working very hard to make them happy."

Michael also shared what it was like to be Irish in Biddeford; the family "Bible" of original recipes still being used; the 1900s business Donut Club; travel to Ireland in search of his ancestors and the ongoing evolution of the current generation to meet customer needs.

Recorded on February 25, 2019

View a transcript of this interview, more pictures, and additional information.

For more stories from the "Voices for Biddeford" project, visit Voices of Biddeford.

Original Reilly and MacFarlane bakery started in 1910 by Michael Reilly's grandfather, Edward and his brother-in-law

Michael Reilly, 2019

Michael Reilly, 2019

Reilly's Bakery, Main Street Biddeford

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