THIS time last year, John and Trish Dyson were living in semi-retirement, enjoying the expat lifestyle in Spain.
Mr Dyson, a builder by trade, came back to the Yorkshire region temporarily earlier this year, intending to work for a few months to secure a decent pension. But a business opportunity to run a frozen fish shop in Leeds drew them back to the UK for good.
Mr Dyson went into business with his friend Charlie Roach, of long-established Hull firm Seasider Seafoods, which turns over around £250,000 a year.
Now Mr and Mrs Dyson are the owners of frozen fish shop Seasider Seafoods in Leeds, after having lived in Spain for three years.
Mr Roach supplies the fish to the Leeds shop, which is run as a franchise by Mr and Mrs Dyson, who are commuting each day from their home in Hull.
“We believe in the product, and we know we’re great value for money, so fingers crossed we can make this business a huge success,” said Mr Dyson.
Mr Dyson said: “I can’t believe it myself sometimes. I used to walk up to the Spanish sunshine, and now we leave home in the dark, drive up the M62, and get home in the dark, working Monday to Saturday. It’s hard graft, but we believe in the business and we want it to work.”
The shop, in Roundhay Road, Oakwood, Leeds, opened 10 weeks ago.
Mr Dyson said: “We’ve been well-received, from the elderly lady that likes fish on a Friday, to the busy mums who want to feed their children healthily without busting the budget, to supplying large quantities to trade customers.”
Mrs Dyson, who comes from a retail background and previously worked as a manager for supermarket Tesco, said she particularly enjoys the face-to-face contact with customers. But she also posts recipes and information on the shop’s Facebook page.
Mrs Dyson said the move back to the UK has been “a big upheaval”, but she added: “We’re enjoying the change of pace and meeting new customers.
“I sometimes miss the sunshine, particularly driving up the M62 in the pitch black at 6.30am, but making a success of this business will make it all worthwhile.”
Seasider Foods in Leeds currently employs two part-time staff.
Mr and Mrs Dyson continue to use their home in Spain for holidays.