What town/city are you based in?
Number of generations
Number of employees
Tell us about your family business (What you do, how you started, who’s involved etc)
Sweetdreams Ltd is a family-run confectionery manufacturer that has maintained its North East base since 1985. Established from the legacy of F&M Dobsons, Ponteland; Sweetdreams located in Cramlington and employing just four people, launched its first product, Choc Nibbles. The Stephenson family bought the company in 2007 and now Sweetdreams dispatches over 15 tonnes of product on a weekly basis across the UK. Sweetdreams’ best-known brand is Choc Nibbles – a quirky and unique chocolate product, made using best quality ingredients and sold at a value price point. Husband and wife team, Matt & Cath Stephenson head up the operation.
What’s your proudest moment/biggest achievement as a family business?
Winning ‘Small Business of the Year’ award for Northumberland, February 2017. This award represented real recognition for the hard work and dedication of our team! We pride ourselves on being a small family business with a wonderfully unique product that we have great pleasure in bringing to market.
What do you love about being a family business?
Being part of a family business is a real adventure, challenged with risks and issues daily, but then balanced by the feelings of accomplishment on finding a solution. It’s all about the high and the lows … ultimately being responsible for the success, but also the failures!
It’s pretty much on our minds 24/7 and the lines between being a married couple and work are often blurred, but the benefits outweigh and we enjoy more freedom and flexibility around watching our sons growing up and taking part in their many sporting activities.
But enjoying what we do is key. We’re having a bit of fun and enjoying ourselves, because we’re building up a core business which is sustainable and growing. When looking to the future it’s all about what do we want to do next. Whatever that will be, will be fantastic and fun. We’ll go out, try it and if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. If it does work, we’ll carry on and we’ll do it well!