0.7 min readBy Published On: June 3rd, 2022Categories: Features36 Comments on Old School: Southie Bakeries

In honor of National Donut Day,  we take a trip down memory lane to the old school bakeries of South Boston.  There was Hayden’s (later Mother Hubbard’s) at the corner of N and Fourth. Klem’s at H and Broadway.  And we can’t forget Argus’ Bakery on East Eighth Street.  They had the most delicious coffee rolls and Irish Bread.  My nana would go after Mass on Sundays, wait in line, and bring back a little bit of heaven!  It was a good day if you had an Argus’ coffee roll!

There were many more also – Alice’s Bakery also on East Eighth.  Mae’s  – known for their doughnuts. Another favorite we were reminded of – Green Freedmans!

Over 50 years in business, Joseph’s Bakery at the corner of K and Fourth announced it was closing this year. 

Which ones do you miss?


  1. colleen happas November 7, 2021 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    Klems had the best half moons !!

  2. Laura Lydon November 8, 2021 at 7:32 pm - Reply


    • M. Murphy November 13, 2023 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      Didn’t Klem’s used to be Helen’s?

  3. Bob Washburn November 11, 2021 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    We’d get donuts at Hayden’s after Sunday mass.

  4. Esther Comeau December 6, 2021 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    I grew up in Southie in the 40s and 50s. I remember going to Alice’s to buy donuts after Mass on Sunday. Do you happen to have a photo of Alice’s? I’m writing my stories in “Storyworth” and it would be greatly appreciated.


    Esther Trifiro Comeau

    • David DiPiero November 7, 2022 at 3:32 pm - Reply

      If you should ever get a picture, can you pass it on. That bakery was owed by my grandparents. My mom grew up working there. Thanks

  5. Gregory Diatchenko January 27, 2022 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    Was it Alice’s Bakery that made the best Polish Rye Bread back in the 70’s? My dad used to buy about 8-10 loaves every Sunday morning from a German delicatessen in Hyde Square in Jamaica Plain. The loaves were fresh! Where can I find this bread today?

  6. Peggy doyle February 10, 2022 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    klemns use to be Helens till the fire. There also was green freemen’s on old colony ave were the gas station is d street and old colony. We were so lucky to have them all. Thanks Maureen. Peggy doyle

  7. Richard Kosack April 7, 2022 at 7:58 pm - Reply

    Alice bakery baked best Lithuanian rye.
    In Chicagoland I just found Grandmothers bread that is similar rye!

  8. Tom nee June 3, 2022 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Lets not ever forget green freedman’s best bread and Half moons 👍

  9. John Walsh June 3, 2022 at 10:25 am - Reply

    Mae’s had the best Persians (cinnamon roll pastry) and Argus had fabulous hermits.😋

  10. Stephen Rusteika June 3, 2022 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Green Freedman’s. They had the best bread. Every Sunday after Mass.

  11. Rich dahill Pa June 4, 2022 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Mae’s had the best jelly’s and honey dipped

  12. Susan Barrett June 9, 2022 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    I lived down the lower end on West Ninth St. I remember a bakery on East 8th Street, near E St. They had the best danishes and cupcakes for 5 cents. We would wait outside with our mouths watering for them to finish baking. I don’t remember the name, but my mouth is watering right now, thinking of those delicious pastries!

  13. Corinne R. Stiles June 9, 2022 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    the best Persians were at Mae’s and the donuts were out of this world! Argus’s had the best Irish bread that i have ever had. A friend’s husband used to go there every St. Patricks parade day and get 10 loaves to have after the parade….we were all in our glory!!!!!!!

  14. Beverly (Logan) Welch June 10, 2022 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Anyone remember the name of the bakery at H St and 7th (circa early 50’s) that sold Cat pies.?

  15. Marie Keefe June 10, 2022 at 11:11 pm - Reply

    does anyone remember the name of the bakery on “H”st that made cat pies?

  16. Margaret June 17, 2022 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    Susan B – it was called (by neighborhood kids) ‘The Danish’ on West 8th. It was not a bakery per say but a place where they baked and then distributed to local bakeries and restaurants. If you stood by the back door off the loading dock and waited they would sell you a danish right out of the over for 5 cents. The delicious smell permiated the neighborhood.

    I worked at Green-Freedmans when I was 15. My first job. Even got to use the bread slicer – remember that? I think I made around 50 cents an hour and all the cheesecake and freshly baked bread you could carry home.

    • Susan Berry November 14, 2022 at 8:16 pm - Reply

      Hi, what years did you work at Green Freedmans? My Father worked there for 20 years.

      • Margaret December 20, 2022 at 3:48 pm - Reply

        Worked there around 1968 for about a year. There were 2 brothers who owned the place and police officers sitting at the counter that looked out the large front window onto the front lot were always welcomed – coffee and a bag of pastries to go – NO Charge! (which I learned the first time I tried to)

  17. Lori Comeau Lynch June 20, 2022 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    Helen’s Bakery on East Broadway near “H” Street had good donuts but, they had the best crimp (cream) bread. It was made in a can and so good toasted. My dad owned the butcher shop next door.

    • Susan Berry November 14, 2022 at 8:17 pm - Reply

      Hi, what years did you work at Green Freedmans? My Father worked there for 20 years.

  18. Cathy OFlaherty July 27, 2022 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    Mother Hubbard’s Donuts

    • Katie Burkett March 3, 2023 at 7:19 am - Reply

      I worked at mother Hubbards Bakery.
      everyone loved his cream bread Donuts were the best and his pies sold out on holidays. on St paddy’s day he had pizza and all kinds of different stuff. I would love to find my boss the owner Steven Hubbard.

  19. Lee P. July 28, 2022 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    If I am remembering correctly, Cliff Robertson worked at Argus bakery in the movie Charlie from the ’60s. Or at least it was partially filmed there.

  20. Curtis Carroll July 28, 2022 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Mae’s before school at the Hart or Gatey! Always warm and fresh!

  21. Kerry September 17, 2022 at 11:01 pm - Reply

    Mother Hubbard’s round bread! Literal circle slices. The best!

  22. Robert Blinn November 24, 2022 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Chickie in Argus Bakery was one of the sweetest people in town.

    • Edward November 23, 2023 at 12:47 pm - Reply


  23. Sheila December 2, 2022 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Argus brownies!!!! Wish I had the recipe ❤️

  24. Tricia February 27, 2023 at 11:58 am - Reply

    Would anyone know the name of the bakery in the 1920s on 2nd street (I think). They served brown bread along with beans and franks on a Saturday night? My great grandfather, Patrick Heirty, from Ireland owned it.

  25. Tricia July 6, 2023 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Correction to my post on Feb 27. The Bakery was located on 189 West Ninth Street.

  26. Debbie August 17, 2023 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    I would love to get Argus bakery Irish bread . Everything they made was so good .

    • Edward November 23, 2023 at 1:29 pm - Reply

      Everything Argus made was beyond anything I can find today. I think the owner and Chickie passed on around 2003.

  27. Patsy nee October 20, 2023 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    does any bakery make the irish bread like Argus bakery on east 8th street

  28. Ron Casey January 24, 2024 at 2:08 pm - Reply

    Argus ‘ Irish bread was unique ..more like a cake awesome icing it was nothing like Irish soda bread I’d kill for a coffee roll 😂☘️

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