TWO independent businesses have had a successful opening weekend as the new Wokingham town centre continues to take shape.

Blue Orchid Bakery offered up dozens of fresh cakes, pastries and savoury snacks across its opening weekend, which started on Saturday May 18.

The towns new gin bar The Leafy Elephant also opened its doors with over 600 people attending a series of opening nights.

Councillor Chris Bowring, deputy executive member for regeneration, said: “Independent businesses are at the heart of our vision for Wokingham town centre and it’s been great to offer local businesses such as this the opportunity to open up at Peach Place. I hope local residents will join me in welcoming them to the town. “

The Leafy Elephant is a family run business, who serve 215 different gins and their signature cocktail called a leafy elephant sees £2 go towards the Save the Elephants charity.

Duncan Scott, co-owner at Leafy Elephant, said: “The weekend was a great success and the team did a wonderful job. We are looking forward to opening properly to the public this week and showcasing our full range of drinks.”

Elena Jenkins, the founder of Blue Orchid Bakery is very proud and excited to be opening the shop in Wokingham.

She said: “It’s always been my dream to open my own bakery having made my first wedding cake at 13.

“I dropped out of school at 17 to start saving and patiently waited for the right location to come about.

"Luckily the new units in Peach Place did, I really like the square, I think it’s brilliant. Wokingham was always the place that I wanted this to happen and I’m very excited to have my own shop in the centre of town.”

The two businesses are the latest establishments to open their doors in Peach Place square. They join a selection of other shops and bars including a craft beer bar Sit and Sip and vinyl record shop Beyond the Download, which both launched earlier this month.