Former NHS workes launches dream business

Hard working mum-of-four Abby Smith hopes her old patients become her new customers as she launches her first business venture.

The 30-year-old from Middlesbrough has just opened her sandwich shop – Ted’s Tasty Treats – in the town’s historic Dundas Indoor Market after working in the NHS for more than 10 years.

Abby provided health care for patients in the community and at The James Cook University Hospital where she was a housekeeper, preparing and serving food for patients.

She worked throughout COVID and – although like other essential workers found it tough and emotional – said “You just had to get on with things.”

Abby loved her time at the NHS but had always wanted to have her own business: “I worked in Fasto’s when I was 18 – just making sandwiches – but I thought it was great. At the time I thought I would love a little shop but I never thought it would happen when I had young kids,” she said.

She now has four children, aged 12, nine, seven and four.  Ted’s Tasty Treats is named after Teddy, her youngest.

The step from working from the NHS to opening her shop has been rapid.  “I’d obviously been thinking about doing it for a while but I saw there was a unit for rent and I thought if I don’t go for it now I never will.”

She sells hot and cold sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes, salads and – amongst her sweet treats – delicious homemade cakes and bakes.

Abby gets up around 5.30, makes breakfast for her children, takes them to school and comes to her shop.

“It’s very hectic,” she said. “I bake everything from scratch – all the cakes, pies, quiches, scones. When I get home I still haven’t stopped because I’ve got to prep for the next day so I make my curries, cook the beef and decorate my cakes. It’s tough but definitely worth it.”

The popularity of Ted’s Tasty Treats has already exceeded Abby’s expectations and she has been thrilled to see her former NHS colleagues and patients pop by to see how she is doing.

“That’s been great and I would love to see them come back as customers,” she said.

Market Manager David Harris said Ted’s Tasty Treats is a welcome addition to Dundas’ food offer. “Abby provides the ideal choice for town centre workers and shoppers who want to grab a quick lunch.”

David is always keen to hear from people like Abby who are serious about starting their own business.  He provides support, advice and attractive terms.

All Dundas market traders benefit from an all-inclusive deal meaning their rent – which can be as low as £75 per week – crucially covers the cost of their energy as well as business rates and fibre broadband.

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