Couple who lost jobs during pandemic launch their own deli business

A couple from County Durham have launched their own deli business after they were made redundant as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Saturday, 10th July 2021, 7:00 am
John and Denise Woodall have launched their deli business after losing their jobs during the pandemic.
John and Denise Woodall have launched their deli business after losing their jobs during the pandemic.

John, 57 and Denise, 49 Woodall from Haswell have launched Seventeen Seven Deli on Front Street East after losing their jobs during the pandemic.

The couple, who have been married for 28 years, were left wondering what to do next after the were both made redundant.

John, who worked as a shift manager at an engineering company for 25 years said he was ‘devastated’ when he received the news.

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See inside John and Denise's new business, Seventeen Seven Deli in Haswell, County Durham.

He said: “I still get choked up talking about it because I was with the company so long, but I can see why they had to reduce numbers because the pandemic made things uncertain for on them – There are people all over the country who lost their job during Covid, it’s been a really terrible time.

"I was absolutely devastated, and I didn’t have a clue what we were going to do, but that’s when we decided to better ourselves and launch the business.”

Denise was also told she was being made redundant at her job in a call centre shortly before John.

Following the bad news, John and Denise began to plan their new business, which now opens on Saturday, July 10.

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Seventeen Seven Deli, which is named after the day and month they married, will serve free hog roast sandwiches for their customers to celebrate their launch day.

John said: “I bought a hog roast machine and planned to cook at weddings before I lost my job and we thought that there aren’t many sandwich and deli shops in the village so why not launch our own.

"We’ve had help from all over the place, the community and local businesses have been fantastic and I’ve got the mindset that I won’t be beaten and I won’t give up!”

The couple, who have three children, plan to run the deli seven days a week from 7am until 5pm.

John added: “I know we can do it and we have plans for expansions in the future – I just can’t wait to get started.”

Seventeen Seven Deli opens its doors on Saturday, July 10 from 1pm and can be found at 56 Front Street East, Haswell, DH6 2BL.

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