A PIE maker said the home-made touch is behind the success that has seen her company make its 50 millionth pie.

Higgidy Pies of Shoreham is producing the milestone batch ahead of British Pie Week 2016, which starts on Monday and joint founder Camilla Stephens told The Argus the secret of its success.

She said: "When I started Higgidy 12 years ago, I felt there was a gap in the market for pies made using quality ingredients and creative flavour combinations.

"At Higgidy, we make pies, quiches and sausage rolls that are as close to homemade as possible; we only use ingredients that you’d use in your kitchen at home, bake in small batches and finish everything by hand. We try to make our pies as special as possible by adding a twist to classic combinations.

"Over half our range is vegetarian, which also sets us apart from other pies on the market."

Since starting out commercially in 2003, Higgidy has garnered fans including Miranda Hart and MasterChef aficionados Greg Wallace and John Torode.

British Pie Week is the biggest time of the year in the pie calendar.

Camilla added: “It is an exciting time of year for us and the height of our pie production.

"We’ve come a long way since I created the first Higgidy pie in my kitchen and we’re delighted to be making our 50 millionth pie this year.

"Higgidy has been able to capture the public’s constantly growing appetite for more interesting and unusual flavours and twists on a classic.”

The Higgidy range includes classics such as chicken pot pie with ham and leek and British beef Stilton and Sussex ale pie as well as more unusual variants such as sweet potato and feta pie with pumpkin seeds and steak ragu pie with crispy potatoes.

Every pie is hand finished by the Higgidy cooks at its factory in Shoreham.

The company was founded by Camilla Stephens, who saw a gap in the market for high-end pies using quality ingredients.

Higgidy Pies now employs 250 people and supplies pies to more than 2,500 supermarkets and stores across the country.