A LONG running bakery has undergone a £100,000 revamp.

Blackberry Bakery in Stanway has existed for 70 years but has now expanded the shop area to include a cafe.

It comes after baking for the business moved off the Blackberry Road site last year to Whitehall Industrial Estate in Colchester.

Lukas Smolka, wholesale manager, said the creation of the cafe followed feedback from customers that they would like somewhere to sit down to enjoy the food.

He added: "We used to bake in the bakery next to the shop.

"It was getting too crowded for us so last year we moved the bakery to Whitehall Industrial Estate.

"Where we left an empty space we decided to refurbish the shop and create a small cafe as well.

"We started in mid-October and it took us six weeks to finish everything.

"It has been up and running for a week and a half now - the customers seemed very happy and impressed."

Mr Smolka said the refurbishment had involved completely redecorating as well as buying new equipment.

The shop and cafe have extended their opening hours too.

For a trial period they are open on Sundays, although fresh bread is not available as baking does not take place on this day.

Close by in Peartree Road, Stanway, will be a new branch of the bakery chain Greggs, set to open by Christmas.

Mr Smolka admitted it had been a slight concern.

"We were trying to finish our bakery before them. But I think we have slightly different customers to them so hopefully people will respect our bakery."

The business was bought by Ziggy Gazda in 2011 after it has been run by the same family for decades.

There are now five bakers, four packers and three drivers involved in the bakery operation, with the wholesale side making up around 80 per cent of the business.

Mr Smolka said there are around 100 wholesale customers.