East Durham family food business has found the recipe for success

A fledgling business that serves up tasty grub on Peterlee Business Park has recorded a period of significant growth through its use of the park’s networking platforms.

Family-run Charltons opened its Peterlee-based breakfast and lunch takeaway in February and has since gone from strength to strength. Growth plans for the firm include taking on a new apprentice and relocating its food trailer from Wingate to Seaham in order to forge further business relationships with more East Durham businesses.

Since moving to Peterlee Business Park, the Charltons team have been regular attendees at the park’s monthly networking event and have also provided the catering on numerous occasions. The firm has also appeared in the park’s frequent print and email newsletters.

Orders for corporate, community and private events have streamed steadily in, whilst visits to the permanent takeaway food hatch on Peterlee’s North West Industrial Estate are growing week on week.

The increase in business saw co-owner Michael Charlton, who runs the business with his brother Steven and wife Alison, take on an apprentice.

Nicola Croft, 19, from Peterlee, started four weeks ago.

Michael said: “We’ve been delighted with the response to our food and service from customers, which has seen us grow at a very healthy rate since we moved here in February.

“We were getting busier and busier all the time and decided to take on Nicola, who is doing an apprenticeship in hospitality and catering – she’s doing great so far.”

The Charltons approach to daytime cuisine for local workers has seen its freshly-made bread and locally-sourced handmade burgers and sausages become a regular feature on the daily menus of businesses across Peterlee.

Michael and his team also provide outside catering for business meetings as well as offering a local delivery service.

He added: “We’re doing more corporate work, more deliveries, and we have more people at the hatch too. We also recently did the Revive and Recover Festival in Gateshead, and we’re doing a craft and food fair at Shotton Hall on Sunday, and also the Peterlee Show three weeks from now.

“Things are going from strength to strength.”

Joanne Urquhart-Arnold, who works for Durham County Council’s Business Durham division and sits on Peterlee Business Park steering group, said: “It’s fantastic to see a business like Charltons come to the park, brand new and not knowing anyone, to be able to grow so rapidly here.

“Our aim is to provide companies with the tools to network and do business with each other, and we’re delighted to have played a part in the success story for Michael, Steven, Alison and their growing team.”

Charltons can be found on Lister Road, North West Industrial Estate on Peterlee Business Park.