Teesside dad aims to hit the sweet spot for his children

Family’s all-important for Teesside dad Patrick Brannigan – even down to the name of his new shop.

The 29-year-old from Middlesbrough always wanted his own business and it has finally happened, thanks to the encouragement of his partner Charlotte and the inspiration of their children Scarlett-Mae and Joseph Oliver.

Patrick Brannigan, Joseph Oliver and Charlotte Hines

Patrick Brannigan, Joseph Oliver and Charlotte Hines

The S & J Sugar Cave sweet shop, which has just opened at the Dundas Indoor Market, is a throwback to the childhood pleasures of fizzy cola bottles, white chocolate mice, strawberry pencils and sour snakes.

Nobody is excluded. Patrick and Charlotte’s range includes sugar and gluten free sweets and sweets for vegans, and all their stock is halal friendly.

Patrick began his working life collecting glasses in a nightclub. He then worked behind the bar, became a supervisor and bar manager and then ran his own pub in Thornaby. He has also been a doorman, a bailiff and worked for the council.

But from age of 16 his ambition was to be self-employed and that determination grew as Scarlett-Mae, who is four, and one-year-old Joseph Oliver arrived on the scene. “I want a business for my family and to provide for my family. I want a future for my kids,” he said.

He hopes the sweet shop will be the start of several businesses. “By the time I’m 40, if all goes well, I’ll have a couple under my belt for my kids,” said Patrick. “When I finally do retire my businesses will go to my kids and they’ll be set up for life.  They won’t have to work for anyone else.”

In the meantime he has exciting short-term plans for the S & J Sugar Cave and is not concerned about being the new kid on the block. “You get competition everywhere,” said Patrick. “You’ve got to be the best at what you do. Know your products and know how to sell them.

“We’re in the perfect location. We’re next to Jean’s Kitchen, where somebody might fancy some sweets after their dinner and opposite the toy shop where we’re bound to attract children and their mums and dads.”

The toy shop – PM Toys and Collectables – is also a family affair. It is run by brothers Paul and Michael Johnson and is one of a number of new businesses which have opened in the Dundas Market in recent months.

Market manager David Harris (left) with the new traders

Market manager David Harris (left) with the new traders

Simply Babywear offers a range of clothing for tiny three-pound premature babies to three-year-old toddlers and at the other side of the market Inspired Photography Services provides studio portraits, framed photographs and a framing service.

Market manager David Harris said that it was a pleasure to welcome the new traders. “People have different reasons for starting a business and perhaps in lockdown there was time to really focus on what they wanted to do in the future.”

He added: “We are able to support new traders in a variety of ways through our Enterprise Scheme. That offers discounts on rent, for example, in the early weeks when cash flow can be an issue. I am always keen to hear from people who are interested in taking one of our units.”

For more information contact David Harris on 07557 669606 or david.harris@dundasindoormarket.co.uk


Northern Echo 25 October 2021

Northern Echo 25 October 2021