A Darlington bakery plans to make a £500,000 investment to double its retail outlets after expanding into a new production site.

Olivia’s Artisan Bakery and Café will be moving into a 3,000 square feet bakery, to increase its production capacity fivefold and increase its wholesale arm, as well as its retail offering.

The bakery currently has five shops, but hopes to reach 10 over the next few years.

It will be investing in more equipment, and says it could expand its workforce by more than 40.

Olivia’s currently has sites in Northallerton, Stokesley and Thirsk, and will be looking to grow further within the regions between Newcastle and York.

It currently produces up to 2,000 bakery products a day for its retail stores, as well as orders for wholesale customers.

The company want to capitalise on the demand from hotels, restaurants and pubs and, at some point, may look to expand into supermarkets should it gain the capacity.

Rick McCordall, managing director, said: “We are developing a new infrastructure within the organisation. We know our brand is popular, but we really want to develop it within the wider geographical area and get our name out there.”

The bakery produces a range of artisan breads, as well as cakes, pastries and lunch offerings.

It uses organic flour and sustainable ingredients. It also donates a proportion of its profits to the Clervaux Trust to support young people with learning difficulties.