Tea room wins top industry certificate

PUBLISHED: 13:50 25 March 2010 | UPDATED: 10:36 12 August 2010

A TEA room which is run as a social enterprise has won one of its industry s top awards.

A TEA room which is run as a social enterprise has won one of its industry's top awards.

The Croft Tea Room, in High Street, St Mary Cray, was presented the Joe Ellis Tea Room Guide Highly Recommended award by the Mayor of Bromley, Douglas Auld, last Thursday.

The author of the guide, Joe Ellis, joined regular customers of the café at the event.

He said: "The Croft Tea Room really deserves the guide's highest accolade.

"It uses local produce to provide excellent fayre. The Highly Recommended certificate is not one I award regularly, so it truly reflects how impressive The Croft Tea Room is."

The presentation came in the same week as the Croft team received a rare five-star Scores on the Doors hygiene rating from environmental health officials.

The tea rooms were set up as a not-for-profit company by Carole Wells and her husband Norman in November.

Mrs Wells said: "We all felt very proud that this had been achieved in St Mary Cray, which is not an area renown for community businesses like ours."

She set up the Community Interest Company when she took early retirement from the recruitment company she ran with her husband, Circa Ltd.

She added "When I told people my plans, they asked 'why are you putting a tea room in St Mary Cray?' But I thought, why not?"

The business sources all of its products from within the local area and has a small shop where it sells produce.

They have plans to develop further by turning the environmentally friendly building into a food hub by introducing a community box scheme that will deliver fresh vegetables to nearby homes.

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