Bake-Off star Mary Berry helps launch new Barker and Stonehouse store in Stockton

New shop is return to its roots for Barker and Stonehouse, which started in Stockton in 1946

One of the region’s best known family businesses welcomed a TV legend as it opened its newest store at the weekend.

More than 3,000 shoppers and fans visited Barker and Stonehouse’s new Stockton store on Saturday as Great British Bake-Off star Mary Berry cut the cake to mark its official opening.

The £4.5m store has revitalised an derelict site, with its nine-month construction involving a number of North East firms.

The new store marks a return to Barker and Stonehouse’s roots as it opened its first store in Stockton in 1946.

Managing Director James Barker said: “The opening of our new store and head office is truly exciting for us, and we were delighted to welcome along so many people to our day of celebration.

“Having Mary Berry to perform our official opening really put the icing on the cake – so to speak! – and added to the enjoyment of everyone who paid us a visit.

“On a serious note, the opening of the store is the culmination of years of planning and months of building – and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”

The store has a number of green credentials, including a living wall and specially-designed lighting and heat recovery systems which reduce its carbon footprint by 46%.

Mr Barker said: “Although we now have nine stores across the UK including one in London, we have an enormous commitment to the North East and took great care to use suppliers and skills as close to home as possible.”

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