A FATHER has dedicated his new sweetshop to his children by naming it after them.

The 29-year-old Patrick Brannigan 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.

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.

The Brannigan family's range includes sugar and gluten free sweets and sweets for vegans, and all their stock is halal friendly.

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Mr Brannigan 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.

Mr Brannigan said: “I want a business for my family and to provide for my family. I want a future for my kids.

“By the time I’m 40, if all goes well, I’ll have a couple under my belt for my kids.”

“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.

Mr Brannigan added: “You get competition everywhere.”

“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.”

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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.

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: “People have different reasons for starting a business.”

“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.”

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