Over 3,600 shoppers and fans flocked to our stunning new Stockton store yesterday as baking doyenne Mary Berry cut the cake to mark its official opening.

Design inspiration taken from stores in New York and Paris has contributed to the dramatic architecture of the three-floor, £4.5 million, Teesside Retail Park store.

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The new store marks a return to our company’s roots – our first store was opened in Stockton in 1946. We marked this with a special in-store exhibition that includes adverts, photos and the scrambling motorbike of Managing Director James Barker’s grandfather.

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Shoppers queued patiently to look around the iconic 48,270 sq. ft. building and were treated to a series of Q&A’s with Mary, who shared her top baking tips and dished advice on home styling – she’s a big fan of cushions and throws and thinks you can never underestimate good lighting.

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James 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 also has great green credentials – it the only ‘living wall’ in Teesside, as well as a planted roof, and specially-designed lighting and heat recovery systems which reduce its carbon footprint by 46%.

The shopping experience is even more impressive. Shoppers can browse on two floors, enjoy an outdoor terrace and sample high-quality food by local restaurateur Daryl Chadwick.

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James said: “We wanted to create a beautiful store to take retail in the region into a completely new league, and we feel we’re achieved all that and more.

“To see so many people here on our opening day was a real testament to our passion for creating an outstanding experience for our customers, and we’re grateful to all of our visitors for helping us to mark a very special day.”

Mary Berry said she was delighted to cut the cake to declare the store open, and was happy to meet so many visitors.

After our Very Berry Celebration, we look forward to welcoming more visitors through the doors of our new Teesside store.

Photo credit: Bec Hughes from The House of Hues