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Get that bread Irish pub in New York sells over $1m worth of soda bread scones in community fundraiser

Mary began to sell limited-edition traditional soda bread scones with homemade blackberry jam online as a way to keep the business afloat

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Mary O'Halloran

Mary O'Halloran

Mary O'Halloran

An Irish pub in New York City has sold more than $1 million worth of soda bread scones after fighting to keep the business afloat during the pandemic.

Mary O’s in East Village, Lower Manhattan has been open for over a decade but was almost forced to close its doors due to Covid-19.

However, a community fundraising effort helped to save the Irish pub after the owner, Mary O’Halloran appeared in an Instagram post by the popular Humans of New York account.

Speaking to Humans of New York founder Brandon Stanton, Mary explained how the bar was shut down just two days before St Patrick’s Day in 2020, which resulted in her taking odd jobs “catering dinners for emergency workers at a nearby hotel” while homeschooling six children.

Mary began to sell limited-edition traditional soda bread scones with homemade blackberry jam online as a way to keep the business afloat and when Stanton shared a link to buy the treats to his 20 million combined social media followers, the restaurant received more than 25,000 orders for the baked goods amounting to $1 million in sales.

Stanton posted an update on Mary’s story after she accepted the orders, writing: “She allowed herself a brief, joyful cry. Then she asked: 'I can do this, right?' I told her: 'Of course.' Because every one of those orders came from people who want the best for her.

“And I felt confident that we'd all be patient while she figured out a new process for making scones. Mary has a great team around her. She refers to them as ‘The Regulars’ as if they’re a squad of superheroes, but they’re actually longtime customers who transform into volunteers at a moment’s notice.

“With this support group, and her own business experience, Mary has all she needs to deliver 25,000 boxes of delicious, blackberry-jam-smothered, blessing-infused scones.

“It's just going to take some planning. And some time. Our goal was always to help with Mary's burdens, not add to them.

"She will deliver the scones as fast as she can. And things may fall into place rather quickly.”

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