Business Heroes - Mumpreneur: Higgidy (highly commended)

Our runner-up in this fiercely fought category is a woman proving that it's possible to have your pie and eat it too.

by Hannah Prevett
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013
After a career in cuisine which included being assistant cookery editor on Good Housekeeping and head of food at Starbucks, Camilla Stephens decided she wanted to get back into the kitchen. So she donned her apron, scooped her hair into a hairnet and set to work making pies.

'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.

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