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Weymouth Family Runs Popular Restaurant Through Tragic Times

Vinnie and Marie Jankord are using Bob's Muffin Shop as an escape and a way to give back to Weymouth after the death of their 15-year-old son, Jonathan, last year.

Vinnie Jankord always said if Bob's Muffin Shop was ever for sale, he'd buy it. And in September 2007, tired of the hustle and bustle of his downtown Boston franchise of Brigham's Ice Cream, Vinnie and his wife Marie became the third owners of Bob's. 

Popular with neighborhood locals, like the Jankords who live just a mile away, seniors and families on the weekend, Bob's Muffin Shop is a longtime institution in Columbian Square.

Bob Duggan opened the shop in 1956. He eventually sold it to Charles Fallon after 30 years, and following a 24-year stint, Fallon sold the restaurant to the Jankords. 

"This is my retirement," Vinnie said. "This is where I'll be until I retire."

When they bought the restaurant the Jankords did some sprucing up and painting while adding a few items to the menu, but the name and legacy of the neighborhood breakfast and lunch spot remains.

In their fourth year of serving up breakfast staples and over 25 varieties of muffins, the Jankords' world changed forever.

On March 13, 2012, Jonathan "J.J."Jankord, the 15-year-old son of Vinnie and Marie took his own life.

Marie, who now wears a photo of her son on a necklace, and Vinnie, who has Jonathan's portrait tattooed on his forearm, were unaware the popular, busy teenager  who played hockey and lacrosse and worked for his parents was suffering from depression.

The restaurant was closed for just three days after Jonathan died, and the weekend of his wake and funeral. 

"It was hard to come back to work because you just couldn't get away from it," Vinnie said. "The support was great. The whole town was unbelievable."

Vinnie said he missed a couple weeks of work, returning a few hours a day at first, while Marie said she was out about a month. The return was made bearable  understanding staff and customers.

"It was like coming back to your family members when we came back here," said Marie.

For the couple, running the restaurant has become a bit of therapy. 

"Actually, working here has become therapeutic because if I had to get out of bed everyday and go to a regular job I don't think I could do it," Marie said.

Operating Bob's means a lot of hours for the couple, who have tried to take one day a week off after Jonathan's death.

On a regular day, Vinnie bakes the muffins and does the main order cooking, while Marie makes the soups, does the book keeping and chips in on cooking. Both do the dishes when needed.

Bob's Muffin Shop also have 10 employees.

The business also gives back to the community, contributing to the soup pantry, the Taste of Weymouth and the Weymouth Police Academy.

"We sponsor a lot at the high school," said Vinnie, whose oldest son Joseph is a senior at WHS. "We feel it's important to give back to them because those are our future customers."

The family had previously offered Bob's Muffin Shop scholarships to Weymouth High graduates, but this year, the scholarships will be in Jonathan's name.

On the wall in Bob's, under a photo of Jonathan, are advertisements for local businesses. Vinnie said those businesses will remain on the wall for one year and 100 percent of the proceeds will be given out as scholarships.

"Right now, we're going to do four $500 scholarships," said Vinnie. "We're trying to build it up for Jonathan's graduating class, 2015."

To learn more about Bob's Muffin Shop visit bobsmuffinshop.com.

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