A husband and wife team who have been keeping the people of the North East fully stocked with their favourite sausages and pies are retiring after 25 years service within the Dicksons team.
Ellen and Graham Hunter from Hebburn, have been working within the region’s food industry for nearly half a century and have spent the last 25 years with Dicksons.
Ellen is leaving first having trained a colleague to cover her desk. She was honoured at a ceremony at the family firm’s South Shields production facility, attended by co-workers.
Graham’s retirement plans have had to be put on hold until later this year to allow him to bring to a conclusion several exciting projects aimed at readying the factory for further growth.
Dicksons Managing Director, Michael Dickson, was on hand to thank them both for their faithful service to the business.
Ellen said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my years with Dicksons and it has been a pleasure coming to work everyday with such committed, loyal and caring colleagues. Graham and I have worked together throughout our professional careers in the industry and are now looking forward to our retirement together but in honesty, I’m excited by the prospect of the slight head start I’ll have while Graham finishes off what he has started in the factory.”
Ellen and Graham began their careers with the Hilkert family in the early 1970’s and together ran the Morpeth factory for that family, producing mainly hams and sausage. After Dicksons acquired the business in 1990, luckily Ellen and Graham came as part of the package, bringing with them a wealth of experience and expertise in food production.
Michael Dickson said: “It’s a sad day when you say goodbye to one member of staff and get ready to bid farewell to another who, together, have played such an important role in the success of our business for so long.
“When Ellen and Graham began working for Dicksons we had half a dozen shops and just over 100 staff. Today, Dicksons manages a network of 30 shops and employs more than 300 staff throughout the region – a remarkable achievement which has been made possible thanks to the loyalty and hard work of valued colleagues such as Ellen and Graham.
“We will greatly miss the ever optimistic and hard-working Ellen who’s sunny disposition and kindness made her great to have around but as a small consolation to her leaving, we’re hanging on to Graham for just a little while longer so he can see through the current factory projects in the way only he knows how.
“We hope Ellen, and in time Graham, enjoy their well-deserved retirement and would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their enormous contribution to the Dicksons business and the region’s food industry.”