01:39 PM March 22, 2022
A couple who have taken over a pottery cafe on the North Norfolk coast hope to retain the family atmosphere of the place.
Simon and Jeni Hawkins are the new managers of Sticky Earth Cafe on Church Street in Cromer.
The cafe-studio, where customers can enjoy tea or coffee and paint their own dishes, opened in December 2001 and was run by Sue Mears until her retirement earlier this year.
The Hawkins family took over the business on March 2.
Mr Hawkins, 49, who works in car sales at Crawford and Abbs in Bodham, said his hobby is pottery and his wife Jeni, also 49, has been a chef for years and has worked for the past few years as a teaching assistant.
Their eldest daughter Poppy, 17, has been working weekends at Sticky Earth for three years.
“When Sue was talking about retirement, it grew from there. It seemed like a perfect fit with our combined skill set,” Hawkins said.
Mr. Hawkins will assist in the kiln room, glazing and ceramic firing, while Mrs. Hawkins will initially work in the front of the house.
Their second daughter, Jessie, 14, will also work weekends.
“It’s a real family business. We try to keep the family feel of the place,” Hawkins said.
There will also be a rebrand, with “a little more gallery feel inside”, he added.
The couple will invite artists to hang works on a wall on a rotating monthly basis and in the coming months, as they settle into the new routine, they will also add more food options to the menu.
At Easter, the cafe will offer freshly baked sponge cakes, pastries and pancakes, 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 gourmet twist,” Hawkins said.
The venue, currently best known for children’s parties, will also host more parties for adults wanting to learn more about pottery, as well as corporate events, including team building sessions.
Visitors choose a piece of pottery, paint it, then it is glazed and fired.
For more information, visit Sticky Earth Café Facebook page.