Sunderland dad’s sweet shop is on the road to success

Mark McDowall with his sweet shop van
Mark McDowall with his sweet shop van
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A dad has bags of enthusiasm for his new job after ditching his shop for a sweeter life.

Mark McDowall thought he would fulfil his dream when he opened a corner shop in Silksworth, but found the business took over his time and left him little to spend with his family.

Mark McDowall with his sweet shop van

Mark McDowall with his sweet shop van

Now the 30-year-old has hit the road after transforming a burger van into a vehicle for bon bons, Black Jacks and more.

His mobile sweet shop is travelling across the region to events and markets as he satisfies people’s sugar cravings.

Mark, who lives in Doxford Park with wife Kirstine, 30, and their son Calum, eight, said: “I owned the Corner Shop on Blind Lane in Silskworth for about a year, but it was 15 hour days.

“It was long hours and I was neglecting my family.

One thing I had in the shop was traditional sweets and the older generation down to the young ones loved them.

Sweet van man Mark McDowall

“One thing I had in the shop was traditional sweets and the older generation down to the young ones loved them.

“I thought why not go mobile and do that?

“I work for myself, I’ve got no electricity bill or overheads other than the van.”

Mark had a 16-seater Fiat Ducato kitted out as his Let’s Go Retro shop and has already been to Chester-le-Street market and been signed up to appear at other events in coming weeks and months to serve up packets of treats from the lines of jars he has stocked up.