After 14 years at the helm of Molly’s Bistro Bakery, owner Molly McInerney is making a change.

The popular Minden eatery will no longer be a sit-down restaurant for breakfast and lunch. However, McInerney’s food will still be available as take-out or to carry home.

The space is now devoid of tables and will instead be filled with refrigerators for fresh foods and freezers for frozen items. There will also be take-away breakfast and lunch options as well as fresh baking.

McInerney plans to open the newly-named Molly’s Market Bakery on May 5.

The business is still up for sale, and McInerney ultimately would like someone to purchase it. But, until that happens, the 68-year-old proprietor is looking to make things somewhat easier, especially since she has been largely under-staffed.

“I thought let’s just change it up a little bit,” she said last week.

During the first wave of COVID, she expanded the frozen food offerings and started doing date nights once a week. “I really enjoyed that. It was fun. You get to be creative,” she recalled.

During the pandemic’s second wave, amid lockdowns, they closed the restaurant completely as breakfast isn’t conducive to take-away. However, she made preserves. When Molly’s re-opened, she did not have time for preserves, but felt guilty when there was no jam or chili sauce on the shelf.

And while she loves the restaurant, she knows summers can be brutally busy with no opportunity to cater. That coupled with a staff shortage has resulted in the pivot.

“This has been in the back of my head for several months.”

While regulars will miss gathering at her bistro, McInerney said, “I’ll have fresh cuisine as well as carry home and dinner solutions, and frozen. I’m going to expand the bakery. I’m going to start selling bread again.” She’s dreaming about cupcakes, “bigger, badder, better” cookies and cream puffs.

Warming up to the topic of food, she adds, “there’s going to be a huge selection of things to choose from. I will have grab-andgo sandwiches and soup and salads, maybe add croissants, something a little more fun… I’ll have some breakfast offerings. I was thinking of doing some mini pastry-less quiches and making a bunch of savoury ham pies with sausage, mushroom, broccoli, Cornish pasties, meatballs with sauce, wings and ribs that are partially cooked and can be finished at home, along with homemade sauces to go with them. It’s 20 minutes to half-hour to finish at home.”

There are favourite foods she will still offer, such as her Tuscan crepes and eggs benny. People can take the ingredients home and just add an egg. “So, you can have your own classy brunch at home on a Sunday.” She’s also planning smaller portions for seniors or those who live alone.

She admits it’s joyful envisioning the new space and its offerings. “I am enjoying it and I like when people taste my food and like it.” As for regular customers, she said they understand why the change is occurring, as “they don’t want me to kill myself. Not gonna’ die on the grill,” she says with a laugh.

Meanwhile, the restaurant remains for sale. “It’s still a restaurant if someone wants to buy it and start the restaurant up, then it’s all there. If someone wants to take it over like this (market), then it will be successful for them as well. If they want to change back into a restaurant, they’ll be heroes.”

In her dream world, she hopes a long-time customer or customers miss the sit-down breakfast so much they’ll make an offer.

“I’ll be 69 this year. I’d like to sit on my back deck and read a book. Dig in the garden again.”

Molly’s Market Bakery reopens May 5, Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., so working people can purchase dinners to take home.