The Croft Tearoom is a Catering Social Enterprise consisting of a community based Tearoom, Local Foods and artisan gifts Shop, Outside Catering Service and community Focal Point for local information, events, history and heritage.
We are based in old St Mary Cray High Street and we specialise in traditional home-cooked foods & delicious home-baking prepared in our small open-plan kitchen using locally sourced produce from over 20 small producers & farms in Kent and surrounding counties.
The Croft was set up as a social enterprise by Circa Ltd, a business established in Bromley since 1983, delivering recruitment & training services to unemployed young people. Circa bought the building which was derelict and gained planning consent to demolish and rebuild a brand new, architecturally designed, ECO building made of wood, using local builders & recycled materials and which mirrored the style of the 18th century buildings opposite.
This not only created a lovely new building but also a new business which now brings income into St Mary Cray and is helping to kick start the regeneration of the southern end of the High Street. We created 4 new jobs (including a young person from the government’s ’Future Jobs Fund’) and 8 new volunteering opportunities for local people as well as work experience placements from local schools. We also offer space to local artists to display & sell their art work, pottery, jewellery, food produce, plants and other crafts.
We offer a real alternative to the larger chains which dominate most High Streets and a return to the traditional values of good quality food, personal service and customer care. We have a large number of regular customers who are welcomed by name as friends and who appreciate the quality of the food & service we give.
We have created a new amenity which is attracting more local people back to this old High Street and is helping to restore civic pride in this historic and unique part of Bromley. Our interior is homely and celebrates the heritage of William Morris who designed a fabric and wallpaper called ‘Cray’ after the Cray River which runs through the village parallel to the High Street. We have white tablecloths, fresh flowers and a little courtyard garden in the sun which customers love.
The Croft offers a delightful venue for people of all ages to meet together and relax whilst being served great quality coffee, leaf teas and home-made foods by a friendly team who genuinely care about giving great customer service.
The Croft would not be out of place in central London or Greenwich but we have chosen to locate this little ‘gem’ (as one customer described us) in an area which needs us more and where we can offer real benefits to our community.