Barry the Baker in Taunton closes doors as brothers retire after fifty years

A family bakery in Taunton has closed its doors today for the final time after nearly 50 years of business.

Barry the Baker, located on South Street, started trading in 1977. Barry had been the manager at the previously named Tarrs Bakery.

But once Barry took over the premises, he quickly enlisted the help of his sons James and Jason.

After decades of hard work and early alarms, Jason and James have decided to retire.

Over the years, Barry the Baker has been a staple for many living in Taunton. In the 1990s, the brothers started a sandwich delivery service to homes and offices. This proved particularly useful during the pandemic.

Commenting on today's closure (March 31) they said: "It's been our life. It's our way of life really - the end of an era. A lot of customers have come in this morning just to say goodbye. So that's been very nice."

Barry Simmons opened the bakery in 1977 Credit: Simmons family photo

One loyal customer who stopped by to say goodbye to James and Jason said: "I started here when I did my work experience at school and then I went on to a Saturday job. It means a lot to me.

"It's a sad day to be fair because you don't expect something that you know for so long to just close."

Granddaughter Faith Ley said she will really miss helping out in the family business. She has many fond memories of working at the bakery since she was 14 years old.

Faith said: "Every morning I'd come in and they'd ask for a tea. Everybody said 'yes please'. So that's what I'd do first thing - it was quite nice.

"I don't know how they [James and Jason] did it. Getting up at 4am every morning. I couldn't do it. But yes, I'm very proud of them."

Today marks the end of nearly 50 years of business, with brothers Jason and James leaving a legacy their father Barry would be proud of.