Bowman's Bakery operated in Salem for 70 years before owner Richie Bowman closed it to retire in 2002. Since 1954, it operated at 266 Essex Street downtown Salem.
The original store, O.L. Bowman & Son, launched as a meat market in 1929. They operated at two other storefronts on Essex Street, then moved to 266 in 1954. For years, meat was sold in one half of the store, and bakery goods in the other. Bowman's became exclusively a bakery in the 1960's. Richard Bowman went to work in the family business after graduating from University of New Hampshire in 1962.
They were well known for their cakes, muffins and pastries as well as hot coffee and tea.
After closing the store, Richie Bowman will restore the 1761 building, the former home of Salem merchant Timothy Orne, and convert the top two floors to apartments and the ground floor will be leased as commercial space.
In 2004, the building was renovated and now the retail pet supply store, the Barking Cat rents out the bottom floor.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Orne-Hodges House
"Preserving Salem's Past; former Bowman's bakery could help mold bright future for Salem" Salem Evening News, June 13, 2002, p. C9
"Bowman's Bakery, a Salem 'icon' closing after 70 years of business" Salem Evening News, Apr. 26, 2002, p. A1
Salem Through Time Curley and Dionne, p. 11
Then & Now Tasty Memories Jerome Curley Salem Patch