A woman who achieved her “dream” of opening her own café has celebrated a year in business and has praised her "brilliant" team who "carried the shop" when she was in hospital. 

Sas Hardman, 42, from Ramsbottom, opened Sasilicious on Bury Road in Tottington last April and says the first 12 months of having her own business has been a “whirlwind".

The mum-of-three took the plunge to set up the café after contacting a friend who looking to sell her business.

She now has two locations, including a space at Walshaw Cricket Club.

While Sas had never owned her own businesses before, she has previously worked at Entwistles Deli in Ramsbottom, and even had a stint as a tapas chef in Granada, Spain. 

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Bury Times: Sasilicious in TottingtonSasilicious in Tottington (Image: Sas Hardman)

She makes all the food she serves at her locations homemade, or sources it from local suppliers.

She said: “It's been a dream of mine since I was younger.

“I didn’t feel nervous because I knew in my head what it was going to be like, I got the keys and I was open two weeks later.”

Sas says her first year has been “amazing but tiring".

“It’s actually been a bit of a whirlwind,” she added.

“I can’t believe it’s mine.”

Despite a successful year, Sas says she faced an unexpected challenge after her appendix burst and she was admitted to hospital in September, leaving her staff in charge while she recovered for just over two weeks.

She said: “Everybody just supported me and carried the shop, I wouldn’t even be here without my staff, they are all brilliant.”

In March, Sasilicious expanded to take over the kitchen at Walshaw Sports Club which she says has been “crazy".

She added that the best part of owning her own business is creating a welcoming community space for people to meet in.

Bury Times: Ssa Hardman with her staff members Elisha, Lucy & GraceSsa Hardman with her staff members Elisha, Lucy & Grace (Image: Sas Hardman)

She said: “I like meeting all the different people that come in every day and my regular customers. Having relationships with people, people come in and speak to you every day I like that kind of thing.

“It's like a bit of a hub for people to come and talk to each other, and people meet up in there.

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“If people are feeling a bit down, I’d hope people would come down and have a butty.

"The shop cheers you up, it's bright, it's got funny things on the wall, it’s a happy place.

“We’re always laughing, we’ve always got the music on, it’s a nice place to come."

In the future, Sas would like to keep the business going and might consider taking on another premises if the opportunity arose and is working on.

She added: “If I get other premises in the future, that would be great, but at the minute, I’m happy as it is.”