FOUR generations of family are set to take a bigger bite of business.
G Nicholson (Engineers) Ltd has traded as a fabrication company and petrol filling station in Blue House Lane since 1954.
But now the business has expended into fast food, selling Subway sandwiches.
The new Subway shop will employ 10 part-time staff as well as the 20 staff already at Nicholsons.
The family has poured about £120,000 into opening the new franchise and director Fiona, 42, said she is glad to see the business moving in a different direction.
“It’s good to see the business change in keeping with the times,” she said.
“The fourth generation of the family is working at the business now, and it would be nice to see things keep moving forward and the next generation work there.”
Fiona started working for the company 26 years ago at the same time as cousin Paul Nicholson, 42, whose father John Nicholson, 66, and son Jordi Nicholson, 17, also work alongside them.
“We have kept trading continually since my grandad, George Nicholson, started the business in 1954,” said Fiona.
“And we have always been on the same site.
“We have tried to change with the times to keep things going.
“About 15 years ago we expanded the shop, and became 24-hour about 20 years ago.
“Petrol is quite a difficult business to be in at the moment so we keep trying to move forward and adapt.”
She added: “It’s good that in the current climate, we can offer more people jobs.
“And most of the people are very local – from say Concord and Albany.
“It’s going to be an all-female staff unusually.
“There are only women working in the filling station too as it works out, although we never planned it that way.”
The Nicholsons are hoping the new business will attract customers from nearby Washington School and Usworth College, and the Lambton Lions Juniors under-12s Football Club, which the Subway shop will sponsor.
“We are hoping the shop will encourage people to make a healthier meal choice rather than fast food,” said Fiona.
“The focus is very much on the salad aspect of the sandwiches, and it is nice to offer the petrol station customers something a little bit different like fresh sandwiches and nicer coffee.”