Dicksons gets royal approval as Cleadon businessman behind some Sunderland's favourite foods gets MBE in King's Birthday Honours

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Submitted picture of Michael Dickson, who has been given an MBE in the King's Birthday Honours.Submitted picture of Michael Dickson, who has been given an MBE in the King's Birthday Honours.
Submitted picture of Michael Dickson, who has been given an MBE in the King's Birthday Honours. | Submitted picture of Michael Dickson, who has been given an MBE in the King's Birthday Honours.

The man behind some of the North East’s most iconic delicacies has been awarded an MBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.  

Michael Dickson chairman of Dicksons, the region’s largest family-owned food manufacturer and retailer, has gained the accolade for his Services to the Food Industry and to the Community in Tyne and Wear.  

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Michael, of Cleadon, who’ll be celebrating his 50th anniversary with wife Marisa next year whom he acknowledges has been his biggest supporter throughout his working life, was delighted to receive the award and keen to mention his sister’s huge contribution to the company’s growth.  

The father-of-four said: “It was a complete surprise to receive the letter and I was truly humbled to receive it because I’ve long accepted this family business of ours would never have survived and thrived without the dedication and loyalty of our staff. 

We do have a great team many of whom are long service and many related.”   

Despite his busy working life, Michael has always been keen to give back to local communities.  

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He’s currently a Trustee of Newcastle-based charity St Cuthbert’s Care, a Foundation Governor at St Peter and Paul’s Primary School and Chairman of St Gregory’s Finance Committee in South Shields.  

In recent years he’s also been involved with the South Tyneside Economic Regeneration Board, Bede’s World in Jarrow and Sursum Corda.   

The grandfather-of-10 added: “I’ve tried to share whatever experience and insight I may have acquired during a life in business with charitable organisations as a way to support the communities who support us and see any service as an extension of the essence of family business values.”   

Dicksons, based in South Shields, is famed for its pies, deli delights and, of course, saveloy dips.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The company was established by Michael’s parents, Irwin and Helen Dickson in 1953. 

By the early 1970s the business fell to teenage Michael and his late sister Christine. 

Dicksons is now into its third generation with Elena and Mike, two of Michael’s children, forming the Operational Board alongside non-family Managing Director, Chris Hayman.  

The two original shops established by the first generation now number 32, with plans to grow the Estate to 40 by 2030 .  

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dicksons supply all the national retailers across the region and employ some 330 local people.   

Mike, retail growth and development director, said: “Not a week goes by where dad doesn’t visit our retail and factory sites to chat with staff and ‘take the temperature'. 

“He’s as passionate as ever about his people and the business wouldn’t be here after all these years without his tenacity.”  

Elena, Marketing Director, said: “We were so proud to see our dad get recognition both for his work and commitment to the charity sector. 

“He truly deserves some recognition - maybe he’ll finally put his feet up and Chris, Mike and I will get some peace?”  

Related topics:

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.