Hidden down a Bolton town centre backstreet is an unassuming but admirable business, providing Boltonians with one of their favourite foods: pasties. H.M.Pasties came about in 2018 when ex-offender Lee Wakeham became determined to ‘bring out the good inside’ by employing other ex-offenders to make and sell delicious handmade Cornish-style pasties, and has since opened ‘The Hatch‘ – the in-person pasty hatch where you can get your pies in Bolton.
Last year, H.M.Pasties won a whopping four awards at the British Pie Awards, including the top prize in the Vegan class for their Chickpea Curry Pasty (yum), so what’s it all about?
Inspired by the success of Bad Boys Bakery, The Barker Baker and the Clink Charity, who now boast a 41% reduction in re-offending for people involved in the bakery, H.M.Pasties wants to stop talent and lives from being wasted. They are passionate about helping those who feel left behind to find fulfilling work in order to enhance their wellbeing and help them feel part of a thriving local community. The now stand alone limited company believes that dignity, self-respect and a stable income are crucial to preventing reoffending, and that securing employment is the key to achieving those goals.
H.M.Pasties has huge competition in the Greater Manchester town, as well-established Bolton brands flood the high street. Some opt for a cheap and cheerful deal at Pound Bakery, where most hold Carr’s Pasties close to their heart, having also come from Bolton, not to mention regional and nationwide names such as Greenalgh’s and Greggs.
But H.M.Pasties brings a freshness to this pasty-loving town, supplying high quality, handmade traditional pasties and other baked goods by sourcing ingredients from the Prison Estate, and of course there’s the addition of a real social benefit.
Their mouthwatering menu consists of a some banging choices, with new fillings popping up every now and again. Take your pick from Steak and Stout Pie, Jerk Chicken Pie, Cheese and Onion Pie, Leek and Mushroom Pie, the traditional Cornish-style Pasty, the highly decorated Chickpea Curry Pasty, quiches, sausage rolls and even more!
H.M.Pasties also often take their baked goods on tour, often popping up at restaurants on the University of Manchester campus, as well as their van outside Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, meaning students and football fans alike can tuck into one of their gorgeous pasties when they need it most – in between lectures or before they brave the bitter cold of the stands.
They also have a stall at Levenshulme Market, as well as offering nationwide delivery, so you can enjoy a H.M.Pasty pretty much wherever you are!
There’s truly so much going for this place, and it’s always great to see a business trying to restore some good into the community, and in this case, into their employees. Check out any updates on their Facebook page here, and be sure to make a beeline for the pasty shop next time you’re near Bolton.
Find H.M.Pasties at Norris St, Bolton, BL3 6HQ.