Business start-up Full Circle North East which was launched earlier this year by cousins Leanne Knight and Kirsty Campbell has provided business support to entrepreneur fishmonger Joel Dodds in his quest to open up a fishmonger shop in County Durham.
J Dodds Fresh Fish & Seafood is the first of 100 businesses the organisation aims to help during 2016.
Full Circle North East offers community support and advice on everything from benefits, employment, training and business start-ups. Currently serving the Peterlee area and with ambitious plans to expand across the North East, the pair are already growing their business with support services for business start-ups and qualified domiciliary care training services.
“We first met Joel earlier in the year when he approached us for advice on setting up a business. We have supported Joel in helping to turn an idea into a business. We helped with business plans, funding applications and policy areas such as due diligence, health and safety, waste management along with research, design and marketing services.
“It is a very exciting time for Joel as he opens up his shop and for us as he is our first client we have supported with business start-up advice,” says Full Circle North East Director Leanne Knight.
Joel, who is 26 years and from Horden has been working in the industry for nearly 10 years. Starting as an apprentice deckhand on some of the most successful trawlers and potting boats in the country, he started his filleting career with M&J Seafood and then with Hodgson Fish Hartlepool. He was awarded first place last year at the Tesco Fish Craft Challenge. “It has always been a passion of mine to have my own business and to put all my knowledge and experience in sourcing the freshest top quality fish and seafood,” says Joel.
“Kirsty and Leanne from Full Circle have been fantastic and supported me all the way. They were able to assist with areas of business that I haven’t experience in so I could focus on sourcing products and arranging work that needed to be in the shop,” comments Joel.
The shop based on Horden Front Street, County Durham will supply a wide range of sea food for customers as well as selling prepared fish-based dishes such as sushi. Joel, who is also a keen cook is posting regular fish recipe dishes on his Facebook page J.Dodds Fresh Fish & Seafood.
“During the first week of opening, I am running special offers for customers including lobsters, salmon, king prawns, dressed crab and tuna. I’ve already had customers including restaurants asking to source seafood for them,” adds Joel.
Full Circle’s aim with its business support services is to boost entrepreneurship in the region, to encourage more people to launch their own business and increase the business start-up rate in the North East.
“We’d encourage anyone with an idea for a new business or an organisation with training requirements to get in touch. We offer wider services for the community also and can provide advice for people who need to know about childcare, housing, grants and employment, health and well-being too,” adds Leanne.