The future of a family-owned South Tyneside business is looking bright as a third generation takes on a primary role.
Mike Dickson Jnr has returned to his North East roots to take his place within Dicksons Pork Butchers.
The 35-year-old has been working in Manchester for the last 12 years.
But now hopes to use his expertise to help manage the firm’s 28-strong retail estate.
Working with managing director Chris Hayman, he aims to grow shop numbers to 40 by 2020.
Mike, a third generation family member will be joining sister Elena who as marketing director has worked for the food manufacturer since 2004.
I always knew one day I’d return to the North East.Mike Dickson Jnr
“My father has been a long-term fixture as the head of the Dicksons, but despite his commitment and passion for the business he didn’t pressure my siblings or I to follow his lead into the family firm.
“In fact, Elena joined Dicksons after first working for United Biscuits in London,” said Mr Dickson Jnr.
“We all followed different career paths, which in my case was as a pharmacist in the North West, managing various successful retail outlets for both national companies and independents.
“I always knew one day I’d return to the North East, and from as early as 2008, when serving on our business’s Family Council, I was quietly mulling over what I could bring to the firm.
“My father has been making plans to move to become chairman and reduce his operational role in the past three years, and with Chris Hayman’s appointment as managing director earlier this year, this was made a reality.
“It was Chris who saw where I could really add value to the business in a retail role, and he is - like my father - very aware of the importance in keeping family members involved in the business.
“It’s a very exciting time both for me personally and the business.
“I hope to be able to focus my energies on helping the business grow sustainably by maintaining high standards, contributing to innovation and helping identify new sites and opportunities, once I’m fully trained of course.”
Family-run Dicksons has been serving pork products, including the famous saveloy for the past 60 years.