Mayor Visits Successful Tees Valley Family Opticians

Mayor Ben Houchen has applauded the good work of an award-winning eyecare firm run by two brothers.

At Mellis Eyecare in Thornaby, Mayor Houchen met Iain Mellis, who owns the business along with his brother Robert.

Both were born in Stockton and left the region to attend university but then returned to the area they love, with Iain working as an optometrist at another independent firm. In 2012, the opportunity to purchase the two practices of a local optical chain arose, and the pair jumped at the chance.

Iain now leads the work at the company’s sites in Thornaby and North Ormesby and is the clinical lead for low vision work on the Teesside Local Optical Committee. The Committee is the official, statutory organisation representing opticians in the area, which works with local NHS commissioners to make eye care services accessible for patients and cost-effective for the NHS.

The firm has been a two-time previous finalist in the industry’s Optician Awards and last year won the Enhanced Optical Services Award 2018, with the judges impressed with the range of services on offer. Mellis Eyecare has now been shortlisted for the Low Vision Award at this year’s ceremony.

Mayor Houchen said: “Top-quality small and medium-sized businesses like Mellis Eyecare are the lifeblood of our local economy, and it’s always a pleasure to hear about their needs, concerns, achievements and plans.

“Iain and Robert have shown a passion and dedication for their work, going above and beyond for our residents, as shown by Iain’s commitment to the Teesside Local Optical Committee. The company has rightly been recognised for the efforts of the pair and all of their staff, and I wish them the best of luck for this year’s awards. I can’t wait to hear of their latest success.”

Iain Mellis said: “We’re proud to be from the Tees Valley and to serve the people we’ve grown up with – that’s why Robert and I decided to move back and build the best business we could, with a brilliant team to match.

“It was an amazing feeling to win our Optician Award and great that we got a chance to highlight our success and work to the Mayor. We very much enjoyed hosting him and outlining our plans for the future.”