A POPULAR patisserie company in Dorset has been voted as the best bakery in the county as part of the National Bakery Awards 2019.

Patisserie Mark Bennett which has a chain of five shops specialising in artisan bread, croissants, patisseries and pastries will now go forward to the grand finals in London on June 4.

Founder Mark told Taste: “We are delighted and made up as there are some good bakeries in Dorset.

“In the next heat we will be up against other county winners and then the overall winner.”

In December 2011, along with his wife and their eldest son Jamie, he formed Patisserie Mark Bennett Ltd and opened his first patisserie in March at Penn Hill followed by the Lilliput patisserie in November 2012.

Mark added: “We have expanded from three to five shops in the last eight months with a new bakery in Fleetsbridge in Poole as the Lilliput bakery had become too small. We are going to make the Lilliput shop bigger ready for the winter.”

Mark is the third generation of bakers. His parents run the well-established Bennetts’ Family Bakers chain which was first established in 1951.

At the age of 14, he started helping at the family bakery on Saturdays and during school holidays before joining the business in 1983 and serving a three year apprenticeship.

In January 1986, he became British Champion for Wedding and Birthday Cakes and was chosen to decorate the wedding cake for the Duke and Duchess of York.

He won the title of Baker of the Year in the 2014 Baking Industry Awards and won both the regional and South of England heats in ITV’s Britain’s Best Bakery in 2012.

Mark has won hundreds of medals throughout his career including six Gold, eight Silver and eight Bronze for the past three years that he has entered the World Bread Awards

The secret of his success, he has always said, is having a strong team around him and quality products.

  • For more information, see artisanmark.com.