Monks’ Bread and Monks’ Specialty Bakery are works of the Trappist monks of The Abbey of the Genesee in Western New York. Manual work is an integral part of Trappist life. Each monastic community must support itself by the work of its hands. The bakery supports the monastery's primary mission, which is to pray for the world.
The monks of the Abbey of the Genesee have been baking Monks' Bread since 1953, soon after the first monks arrived in the Genesee Valley from the Abbey of Gethsemani, in Kentucky.
One of Genesee’s first monks, Br Sylvester, served as a cook in the navy, baking as many as 400 loaves at a time for his shipmates. He continued to bake bread for his brothers at Genesee.
The first Monks’ loaves were shared with guests and the many local tradesmen who volunteered time and expertise to construct the Abbey’s first buildings. Everyone loved the bread and requests to buy loaves to take home began pouring in. Soon, monks were selling bread at local parishes on Sunday mornings, and neighborhood stores were asking if they could sell the famous bread.
Over the years, Monks’ grew exponentially. What started in the kitchen at the monastery soon became a state-of-the-art bakery. Monks’ Bread has been a favorite in the Northeast for decades.
In 2015, Monks’ expanded their offerings with the Specialty Bakery, initially featuring Biscotti, then growing to include Cheese Crisps, and Fruit & Nut Bars. The Monks’ Specialty Bakery offers those older monks who can no longer serve in the physically demanding traditional bread bakery an opportunity to continue to provide service in a fraternal, slower-paced bakery alongside their brother monks.
For more information on the Abbey of the Genesee, visit www.GeneseeAbbey.org