A FAMILY bakery in Bolton took centre stage in a prime-time TV slot on last night, Thursday, as it showcased one of its homemade delights.

Hunters The Bakers on Church Road starred on ITV’s Inside Britain’s Food Factories and focussed on one of the company’s popular goods – its Eccles cakes.

The episode followed bakery owner Nigel Hunter, from Breightmet, into the kitchen to show how the firm makes the treats to perfection – which it has been selling since it was established in 1968.

And after seeing the delicious process in which they were made and presented, viewers responded with a hoard of order requests overnight.

The Bolton News:

Inside the bakery

Nigel, 46, who took over the business from his parents Brian and Miriam, was “proud” to see the bakery feature on TV.

He said: “We have had 200 emails from people across the country asking for Eccles cakes orders.

“People want to know where their food is being produced and our food is made from scratch.

“Not many people make their own puff pastry like we do.”

As well as the Eccles cake, the bakery’s steak and cow heel pie and its range of artisan breads are snapped up by customers.

The firm also supplies its goods to restaurants, delis and cafes in Bolton.

After working the odd Saturday in the bakery aged 12, Brian showed Nigel the ropes when he turned 19 and worked there full-time.

The Bolton News:

A selection of the bakery's artisan bread

Nigel, of Turton Road, Bromley Cross, who had hoped to become a professional golfer, said: “It was hard at first but now I cannot imagine doing anything else – there is nothing better.

“I love getting up in the early hours – it is the best part of the day.

“We are open six days a week and start at 2am-3am in the morning from Monday to Friday, and midnight before Saturday as that is a busy day for the restaurants.”

Nigel’s wife, Kate, 48, a former nurse at The Christie in Manchester, started working with him five years ago to manage the accounting and admin of the bakery.

The family also had a bakery on Bury Road, which was sold to Brian's apprentice Neil Dutson. Neil has since sold the shop and moved to Portugal.