Couple promise to keep 'family-run feel' of Cromer pottery cafe

Simon and Jeni Hawkins at Sticky Earth Cafe

Simon and Jeni Hawkins are the new managers of the Sticky Earth Cafe on Church Street in Cromer. - Credit: Supplied by Simon Hawkins

A couple who have taken over a pottery cafe on the north Norfolk coast are hoping to keep the venue's family-run feel.

Simon and Jeni Hawkins are the new managers of the Sticky Earth Cafe on Church Street in Cromer.

The cafe-cum-studio, where customers can enjoy a tea or coffee and paint their own crockery, first opened in December 2001 and was run by Sue Mears until her retirement earlier this year.

The Sticky Earth Cafe, on Church Street in Cromer

The Sticky Earth Cafe, on Church Street in Cromer, where customers can paint crockery while enjoying a warm drink. - Credit: Supplied by the Sticky Earth Cafe

The Hawkins family took over the business on March 2.

Mr Hawkins, 49, who works in car sales with Crayford and Abbs in Bodham, said that his hobby is pottery and that his wife Jeni, also 49, was a chef for years and in recent years has worked as a teaching assistant.

Their eldest daughter Poppy, 17, has worked weekends at Sticky Earth for the last three years.

"When Sue was talking about retirement, it grew from there. It seemed a perfect fit for our combined skill-sets," Mr Hawkins said.

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Mr Hawkins will be helping in the kiln room, glazing and firing ceramics, while Mrs Hawkins will initially work at the front of house.

Their second daughter, Jessie, 14, will also work at weekends.

"It's a proper family-run business. We're trying to keep the family-run feel about the place," Mr Hawkins said.

There will also be some rebranding, with "a bit more of a gallery feel inside", he added.

The Sticky Earth Cafe

New signage, installed by @influencedisplay, on the Sticky Earth Cafe in Cromer. - Credit: Supplied by the Sticky Earth Cafe

The couple will be inviting artists to hang work on one wall on a rotating monthly basis and in the coming months, as they settle into the new routine, they will also be adding more food options to the menu.

By Easter, the cafe will be offering freshly-baked sponge cakes, tray bakes and flapjacks, paninis, and maybe soups of the day.

"We want to keep it as close to the original Sticky Earth idea, but make it slightly more contemporary with a foodie twist," Mr Hawkins said.

The venue, currently best known for children's parties, will also host more evenings for adults hoping to learn more about pottery, as well as corporate events including team-building sessions.

Visitors choose a piece of pottery, paint it, and then it is glazed and fired.

For more information, visit Sticky Earth Cafe's Facebook page.