A Bolton-born baker who made it to the finals in Bake Off: The Professionals is fulfilling a childhood dream and opening a stall in a popular food hall.

Andrew Harwood, from Heaton, set up Harwoods Patisserie in Standish, Wigan,with his wife Sarah in 2020 after dreaming about it as a youngster.

And following a huge success with customers travelling from all over, including from Bolton, Andrew decided to open a new counter at the Provenance Food Hall, Café & Tea Rooms, in Westhoughton.

Andrew starred in the hit show last year with his friend Raf Perussi and made it to the final six.

The Bolton News: Andrew Harwood and Raf Perussi on Bake OffAndrew Harwood and Raf Perussi on Bake Off (Image: Channel 4)He says that they did “far better” than expected and that it was a really good experience.

He said: “We put our own money behind it, and luckily for us it worked out, and people liked what we were doing.

“So, we decided to expand the business in our local area.

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“We have a lot of customers coming from different areas, and it made sense for us to expand and move something closer to them.

“And Sarah talks to everyone in the shop, and realised people were travelling really far.”

Paul Rogers, who owns the food hall, thought of the couple when a counter became available due to them being a supplier to his restaurant,Home in Buckshaw Village.

The Bolton News: Andrew jumped at the opportunity after dreaming of owning a business in the local area where he grew up.

When he was a child, he recalls seeing Pat’s Bakery on Sofa Street, which first inspired him.

He added: “It’s very rare that people move back but I love the area and I think it’s great.

“The aim is to rebuild the food hall and give the people of Bolton and Westhoughton a place where they can get their meats, cheeses, and cakes, where you can also sit down for a coffee too.”

Andrew says that people often think that they are a huge company, but they are a proud, small family run business.

The Bolton News: He said: “When you come into our shop, it’s the personal touch that we offer.

“It’s super exciting and nerve-racking and gets us more customers and people who enjoy our products.”

Andrew worked in a number of hotels, and restaurants as well as doing some travelling before opening his business.

The French style patisserie specialise in handmade desserts, chocolates, as well as other products they stock on the shelves, including seasonal items like Easter eggs.

The patisserie will hopefully open at the food hall on Market Street at the end of February, if not early March.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.