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
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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.
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.”
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.
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.
HISTORY OF COLMAN’S MUSTARD AND COLMAN’S MUSTARD SHOP
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.