The owners of a much-loved town bakery, who've served the community for two decades, have told of the 'very difficult decision' they made to close. 

Leakers Bakery, on East Street, announced yesterday it is to shut.

The news was met with shock and sadness from the community.

The popular bakery, which often sees queues outside the door, is run by Caroline Parkins, partner Paul Barnett and daughter Jemima Giblin who took the business on in 2002.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: NQNQ (Image: NQ)

Caroline Parkins (right) of Leakers Bakery and her daughter Jemima receive the award for Best Artisan Baker from Rick Payne of Hall & Woodhouse.

Picture: Ian Sumner

They say the decision was 'very, very difficult' but 'unavoidable.'

Caroline said: "The energy costs are going through the roof. We have a lovely old oven but it takes four hours to come up - that, plus the cost of ingredients, make it unsustainable.

"We applied for solar panels but they were refused. You would not have been able to see them at the back of the bakery building and it would have made such a difference.

"I am perplexed that solar panels would be refused in this day and age. There's nothing we can do and it was such a hard decision to make.

"It is very sad and I am really sad for our customers who have been so loyal to us over the years.

"I would like to thank all our customers - we have always been very well supported by the town and by our wonderful town council."

The Leakers team, made up of three bakers and seven staff, will shut up shop for good on Friday, October 14.

Posting on social media yesterday, they said: "It is with regret that we have made the very difficult decision to close the bakery.

"Final orders will be taken over the coming days.

"Sadly the current climate of escalating costs puts us in a position of uncertainty. In tandem with rising costs of raw ingredients, our energy costs particularly are unsustainable – our plans for solar panels were not allowed (conservation) and any heat reclamation has been ruled out in our old building.

"As you may know, we first took over Leakers in 2002 and along with a wonderful team we have continued to bake and supply the local community throughout challenging times including the recent pandemic."

"We have so enjoyed serving you all over the past 20 years, giving our very best and making some good friends along the way. We thank you for your loyalty over those many years."

Leakers dates back to 1914 when it was taken over by master baker and wedding cake specialist G.S. Leaker.