Business Environment Awards

The Croft Tea Room - 2010 green business and overall winner

The Croft Tea Room is the inspiration of Carole and Norman Wells who wanted to create a distinctive, sustainable tea room and a focal point for the community in St Mary Cray.  The architect-designed tea room  replaced a Victorian seed shop (originally the Rosecroft Nursery) and is surrounded by 17th century buildings in the St Mary Cray conservation area. 

Watch the Croft Tea Room video

Video description: This video features Carole and Norman Wells who set up The Croft Tea Room in St Mary Cray. The tea room is housed in an environmentally friendly building, offers locally sourced menus and produce and hosts local art and history displays. ( 2 minutes)

More about the Tea Room

The tea room has been set up as a Community Interest Company so all profits after expenditure must be reinvested in the business or in other projects that benefit the community. To date, two jobs have been created and there are currently 10 volunteers. Local community engagement is encouraged with displays of local art work and history. Appealing to both young and old, the tea room attracts local residents, walkers and cyclists and is supported by all sections of the community.

Carole is passionate about providing good, local produce and uses 20 small, local suppliers for the tea room and food shop 'Croft Essentials'. She sells traditionally made bread, Kentish cheeses, rapeseed oil, jams and chutneys, honey and free-range eggs. Vegetables are sourced from local farms. The tea room is part of the local food initiative, encouraging people to eat healthier, more nutritious food that is sourced locally. The menus include many home-made dishes including soups and cakes.

The building was designed to reduce its carbon footprint as much as possible. Materials and labour were sourced locally, with many reclaimed or recycled fixtures and fittings. An air source heat pump, which runs off a 13amp plug, provides heating, hot water and ventilation. All equipment is 'A' rated and some purchased second hand to reduce costs. All organic waste is composted and other materials recycled where possible.