A HOMEGROWN business born out of family tragedy is celebrating sweet success after rapidly being embraced by the people of Bolton.

Martin Bayliss can see the spire of the town hall from his property at Asmus Farm Cottage in Harwood where the former chef, along with wife Jane, raise between 80 and 100 pigs at any one time.

Martin is a former chef who turned to farming after suffering a catastrophic car accident and losing his first wife to cancer.

With Jane, he started his business in 2016 with just three pigs and a small farm shop but their work has come to be lauded by many regular customers.

They create a range of pork products including sausages, steaks, joints and bacon, which are reared and butchered on site.

Business peaked at this year’s Bolton Food Festival when the couple sold more than 500 sausage rolls, 600 sausage barms and received a visit from celebrity chef Michael Caines.

“It was really fantastic - better than what we expected - and the feedback from the people of Bolton was great,” said the 45-year-old.

“It was great because people were really pleased that we are a Bolton farm with pigs born and bred in Bolton.

“We’re doing farmers' markets now. At the start we had a massive uplift but we were keeping it quiet and it was just word of mouth but we then went off and took some samples out and now we do Ashton-under-Lyne Farmers' Market and we’ve great feedback from there.

“We also started doing the Abberley Market which was voted farmers' market of the year.”

Mr Bayliss has always dreamt of raising pigs since he was a young boy and the 16th century farm, at the top of Brook Fold Lane, is now home to between 80 and 100 animals at any one time - a mixture of Gloucestershire Old Spots and British Saddlebacks.

The business is a labour of love for the couple and their four children and the farm has also recently become home to a number of geese as the family prepare for the busy Christmas period. From now up until Christmas is our best time. From now into the winter months people want bangers and mash and lots of comfort food like that,” Mr Bayliss said.

Despite their success, the business grew from tragedy.

“I was a chef all of my working life and I was driving home from work one night when I was nearly killed and lost my leg,” Mr Bayliss said. Following the crash he lost his wife to cancer in 2012 and met Jane, now aged 41, through the charity Widowed and Young, after she had also lost her spouse. The two have now been married for almost six years.

They test their food against the opinions of their children and pride themselves on quality.

“The biggest thing is that our kids eat the food,” Mr Bayliss added. “There’s some absolutely garbage sausages out there. What we do is about providing the best food for us and our family. When we started our friends loved what we were doing and they wanted to know if they could buy it.

“The way things are going these days people want to know the pigs have had a good life and space to run around and they want good quality.”

To take a look at the food on offer, visit: www.facebook.com/asmusfarmcottage/.