Poundbakery set to celebrate good fortune with 12ft long dragon for Chinese New Year

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A new Keighley bakery is marking its first month in business by celebrating the Chinese New Year with a 12ft long dragon.

Staff at the Poundbakery in the Airedale Shopping Centre have been joined by the huge puppet while they serve up a special range of tasty snacks.

Traditionally used to bring good fortune and drive out bad luck, the colourful creature will welcome customers to the bakery and hopefully bring booming business to the store in 2016, the Chinese Year of the Monkey.

Staff members are getting into the New Year spirit with themed costumes, said Poundbakery area support manager Peter Stamp.

Keighley Poundbakery store manager Peter Stamp, centre, celebrates the Chinese range with staff members Diana Campbell and Kyle Furness

Keighley Poundbakery store manager Peter Stamp, centre, celebrates the Chinese range with staff members Diana Campbell and Kyle Furness

He added: “The dragon is huge and hangs from the ceiling – no-one will be able to miss it in store, which is the idea really.

“We found that not many people were doing much to celebrate Chinese New Year, which for 2016 is on February 8. Everyone does Valentine’s Day and Easter and other traditional British occasions but the wider global celebrations are picking up in popularity so we thought we’d mark it in store.”

Having been with the company for 18 months and specialising in opening new branches, Peter held his first Chinese New Year celebration with Poundbakery last year and found it a massive success.

He said: “It was very well received at that store. We had several members of the Chinese community coming in and saying the food was great and that’s the ultimate compliment really.

“They seemed to really appreciate what we were doing so hopefully we’ll have the same response here.”

Airedale Shopping Centre manager Steve Seymour said: “This is a great way to celebrate Chinese New Year, and at the same time pick up a tasty snack.

“The dragon is very colourful and livens up the store, and has become an interesting talking point.”

From now until February 8, the Poundbakery will be selling a range of orientally-inspired bakes, all costing just one pound.

These will include Chinese chicken  curry pasties, sweet and sour pork pasties, hoi sin duck baguette, Chinese five spice baguette,  honey chicken wrap and chicken and sweetcorn soup.

The store, which only opened its doors at the Keighley mall in December, has brought with it 10 new jobs for the area.

Peter said: “We’ve only been open a month so far but it has been mad – in a good way! The shop has proved popular already and feedback has been excellent. We’ve got a great spot here at the Airedale and everyone knows we’re here now so hopefully the dragon will help bring us more good fortune as the year goes on.”

Airedale Shopping Centre is home to more than 80 stores, from fashion, health and beauty to services and food and drink and has more than 425 parking spaces. More details at airedaleshoppingcentre.co.uk

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