A FORMER taxi driver has fulfilled his lifetime ambition by opening his very own bakery in Darlington.

The new Bank Top Bakery, in Victoria Road, has been opened by 57-year-old Colin Jepson, from Hemlington in Middlesbrough, and fellow baker Paul Hope, 30, from Darlington.

The pair sell a range of fresh food goods, including pies, cakes, bread, quiches and breakfast buns.

They also cater for parties and celebrations.

The bakery opened last week, allowing Mr Jepson, a father of three, to finally realise his dream, after he had trained to become a baker in his younger days.

“We have been really pleased with how things have gone in our first week,” said Mr Jepson.

“Paul and I are in the shop every morning from 4am baking and getting everything prepared.

“I think that it makes a big difference because people know when they’re eating food that has been made that day,” he added.

The pair’s new venture has already made quite an impression, with one customer even buying a batch of chicken and mushroom pies to take to Spain for family members.

“Lots of the customers have been saying how lovely and fresh our food is,” said Mr Jepson.

“We’ve had some wonderful comments on our Facebook page as well.

“One woman even bought a number of pies to send to her family back in Spain after they had seen us on Facebook, so I’m hoping we are doing something right,” he added.

Mr Jepson left school to start training to be a baker at the age of 16, whilst Mr Hope started baking when he was 18.

He too said he had always wanted to have his own bakery.

“I am from Darlington and it is great to have been able to open a place in my hometown,” said Mr Hope, who is a former pupil of Longfield Academy.

“We have had a lot of help and support from our families and friends and we hope people really enjoy what we are producing at the bakery,” he added.

  • For more information on Bank Top Bakery, contact the shop on Facebook or call 07949 256 886