Colman’s Mustard Shop to close and reopen in a new Norwich site later in the year

PUBLISHED: 08:15 18 April 2017 | UPDATED: 13:56 18 April 2017

Colman's Mustard Shop in the Royal Arcade in Norwich.

 Photo: Nick Butcher.

Colman's Mustard Shop in the Royal Arcade in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Archant © 2008

The iconic shop in Norwich’s Royal Arcade celebrating Colman’s Mustard is set to close before moving to a different location later this year.

Colman's Mustard Shop in the Royal Arcade in Norwich.

 Photo: Nick Butcher.Colman's Mustard Shop in the Royal Arcade in Norwich. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Davina Tanner, chief executive of the social enterprise Guildhall Enterprises, which took over Colman’s Mustard Shop from Norwich HEART in 2015, confirmed that the shop would close in its current home within the next six weeks but that it would reopen in a new city centre site before Christmas.

She said: “Within the next six weeks it will be shutting, but there is no definite date.

“We are hoping to be open [in the new site] in September or October time, before Christmas. We are not talking about being shut for a long, long time.”

MORE: 10 things you need to know about Colman’s mustard

Davina Tanner, chief executive of Guildhall Enterprises. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYDavina Tanner, chief executive of Guildhall Enterprises. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

She added: “We have got a permanent site for it, but there will be a period when there won’t be a Mustard Shop.”

Mrs Tanner said ever since Guildhall Enterprises took over the shop, it had always been the intention to move to the new site where the rent would be cheaper.

“It [the shop] does make money but it doesn’t cover the overheads to be in an expensive location,” she said.

“We were being asked to sign another lease for 18 months to two years and we weren’t prepared to do that...It’s expensive rent to be in the Royal Arcade and we did not want to commit to that. We have always known where we wanted to go.”

She said all of the Colman’s Mustard artefacts currently on display in the existing shop would be moved to the new site which would still be in the city centre.

However she said she could not say exactly where the new site would be at the moment because the organisation currently occupying it had not yet told their own staff.

MORE: How mustard became a kitchen icon

Colman’s Mustard Shop currently employs one full-time member of staff and a couple of part-time members of staff, and Mrs Tanner said they had been informed of the plans to close the shop in the Royal Arcade.

She said it was an unfortunate situation that it wasn’t possible for the shop to move to the new site as soon as the current shop closes.

“We are having to go through the redundancy process because we haven’t got a definite date [when the new shop will open] but at that point, if they haven’t found a job, we will go back to them and talk to them,” she said.


For more than 200 years Colman’s has been making mustard and it is known as one of Norfolk’s most successful and long-running businesses.

It was founded by Jeremiah Colman, a flour miller, in 1814 at Stoke Holy Cross, near Norwich. In 1823, Jeremiah and his adopted nephew James established J&J Colman. As well as mustard, the company made flour, starch, laundry blue and cornflour. In 1858, Jeremiah Colman’s great nephew, Jeremiah James Colman, established the production factory in Norwich. The company was purchased by Unilever in 1995.

The Colman’s Mustard Shop and Museum was orginally opened in 1973 to commemorate 150 years of J&J Colman’s making mustard. It has been in the Royal Arcade since 1999 after moving from Bridewell Alley. Heritage organisation Norwich HEART took over the running of the shop, and when the organisation closed in 2015 the shop was then taken over by the newly-formed Guildhall Enterprises which also took over the cafe at The Guildhall.

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