A POPULAR bakery has been named the best in the North in its category at the prestigious baking industry awards.

Owner of Grants Bakery in Corbridge, Andrew Cotterell, said it was a proud moment when the team found out it had the award.

At the Baking Industry Awards, it received the Craft Bakery Business Award for best retail bakery in the North.

He said: “We got down to the last seven and had to go down to London.

“We missed out on the overall prize, but we got best in the North. That means we are in the top seven in the country, which is amazing.”

As part of judging for the award, which Andrew described as "the Oscars of the baking industry”, judges came to visit the shop in Market Place in Corbridge.

They tasted samples and reviewed their whole experience including the service provided, and they also visited the shop’s production area at Vallum Farm to get an idea of the process from start to finish.

“I was told it’s not just down to the products, but it’s the whole package,” Andrew explained.

Andrew has been in the baking industry for more than 40 years and opened Grants around 10 years ago.

It has become a firm favourite with locals and visitors, and has built up a strong reputation over the years.

But Andrew said he rarely thought about entering awards. “I have previously won an award for a patisserie business I had, but that was a few years ago.

“Other than that, I never really think to enter in to anything.

“I thought it was about time I entered so to come out in the top seven in the country was unexpected but we were really pleased.

“I am very proud of the amount of work that goes in from all of the staff who are very loyal and keen and the hard work on the manufacturing side too.

“I feel more pleased for them in a way, as it shows the work they put in has paid off.”