Former Cromer carnival queen takes over town café in new venture with husband

PUBLISHED: 11:00 19 April 2012 | UPDATED: 13:14 19 April 2012

New owners of Cafe Main in Cromer, Mark and Maxine Bright.

New owners of Cafe Main in Cromer, Mark and Maxine Bright. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY


A couple with business backgrounds in crabs and mushrooms have teamed up to tackle a tasty new venture as café owners.

Childhood sweethearts Mark and Maxine Bright who met at high school 33 years ago are well-known in the Cromer area.

During 30 years at the local crab factory Mark worked his way up from the production line to operations director.

Maxine was the town’s carnival queen in 1986, worked at the North Norfolk Mushrooms factory run by her family the Osbornes, and had a five-year spell in the Cromer Boots branch, but more recently has been a special needs classroom assistant at Cromer then North Walsham high schools.

Now they have bought Café Main in Cromer’s Church Street from Laura Broughton and plan to develop the business.

Mark, who had a year running a shellfish factory in Holland after leaving the crab factory in 2010, said they were looking for a new challenge, heard the café was for sale and thought “we can do this.”

He will be at the café seven days a week in summer, with Maxine helping at weekends and holidays, while the staff has been expanded to four.

Maxine added: “We are used to people skills through our businesses. We hope people will enjoy the friendly atmosphere, the home-made cakes and scones and the locally-sourced food.”

The couple, both 48, who met as Cromer High School students and have been married 23 years, have two sons, Greg 22 who works at Morrison’s petrol station, and Charlie, 20, a scratch golfer who plays for Norfolk and is seeking to make a career in the sport.

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