A business owner is celebrating after the doors opened on his latest food and drink venture in Hartlepool.
James Stoker - manger of Chilli Cake - has launched the third shop in his growing empire in Upper Church Street.
I’ve always wanted to run a business like thisJames Stoker
It is a move the 36-year-old never dreamed would happen when he opened his first coffee shop in Middlesbrough almost three years ago.
Now, he is looking forward to the challenge of expanding his business -which currently employs four people - and making it a success.
Mr Stoker, from Billingham said: “I’ve always wanted to run a business like this.
“I used to be part of a world rally car team and travelled all over the world. But when my partner became pregnant, we thought it was time to stop travelling and to focus on what we can do here.
“It was all a bit of fun at first but now we have just opened our third shop things are a lot different now.
“It is nerve-racking as this is a bigger premises but we’ve already had a lot of good feedback from customers who have been in.”
The coffee shop sells a range of sandwiches and paninis and healthy food options. It also has a licensed bar selling cocktails and other alcohol.
Mr Stoker added: “Everything is going really well and we are trialling Saturday night openings for the next four weeks.
“We don’t have a specific clientele, I think we have something for everyone.”
In the future Mr Stoker hopes to open up the first floor of the building to be used for business meetings or private functions.