'I felt the entire pie category really needed rejuvenation. It was really blokey,' she says. But it took a while for others to come around to the idea of posh pies, and in 2004 the business was losing money hand over fist - to the tune of about £4,000 a week. It wasn't until Higgidy became one of the first suppliers on Sainsbury's Supply Something New scheme that its pies and quiches started to soar in popularity. Its East Sussex factory now produces 100,000 pies a week, and sales hit £10m last year.
Stephens remains hands-on at Higgidy while being a mum to Kate, three, and Jack, two. She and husband James (who also works full-time at Higgidy) manage with the help of a nanny and a nightly babysitter - so they can go back to the factory after bedtime to work on strategy and new recipes. Stephens is a self-confessed workaholic.'I had Kate on Saturday morning and I was at my laptop on Monday morning,' she confesses.