TWO twenty-six-year-olds from York have returned to the city to open up a shop specialising in paper-based products.

Paperpod has opened its doors in Walmgate after business partners Jonathan Penny and Alex O'Malley launched their venture off the back of a passion for design.

The shop, which sells everything from Banana Silk Paper Sheets to personalised “This is Your Life…” wire-bound books, aims to make more than 2,500 books each year by hand using traditional methods.

Mr Penny, who graduated in graphic design at York St John University, learnt the craft of book binding as part of his degree.

He left York for Newcastle and continued to design and create in a workshop near the City’s centre, which was where he met business partner Alex O’Malley, a fellow former York College art student.

Mr Penny said: "We both wanted to start up a paper and book shop in York.

"As art students, we remembered visiting the Paper Mill Shop and we wanted to start up something similar.”

Since opening in Walmgate, the young entrepreneurs have welcomed not only artists, but customers with a wide variety of other interests.

Mr Penny said: “We’ve had young couples who want to design their own wedding invitations and chefs who want special card for their menus. Of course, we also have younger clients who need paper and card for their school projects.”

As the PaperPod range grows, the duo aims to stock more handmade and independently designed products.