Q&A: Owner of the Old Rock Shop Bistro discusses Cromer’s heroes of past and present

PUBLISHED: 16:14 09 November 2017 | UPDATED: 08:56 16 November 2017

Staff of the Old Rock Shop bistro in Cromer pictured from left Chef David Nockels and owner Sam Grout. 


Staff of the Old Rock Shop bistro in Cromer pictured from left Chef David Nockels and owner Sam Grout. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Archant Norfolk 2015

Sam Grout, owner of the Old Rock Shop Bistro

1) How would you best describe what you do in Cromer?

I have run The Old Rock Shop Bistro, on Hamilton Road since 2005 together with my sister. In more recent years we have added an outside catering service, catering for many of the towns local organisations and events plus private celebrations. We have provided the Hospitality Catering to Cromer Carnival for several years now.

2) Where is home?

Geographically Northrepps. Emotionally, Cromer.

3) What’s your earliest Cromer memory?

Watching the Red Arrows’ display from the Lighthouse Hills. One of the town’s annual highlights, drawing crowds for miles!

4) What is your favourite Cromer pub?

In the summer, The Welly for cold lager and live music in the beer garden! For the rest of the year, Real Ale in The Red Lion.

5) Which shops do you rely on?

We pride ourselves on using local suppliers. Most of which are less than 300m from our front door! Icarus Hines Butchers, Lizzie’s Fruit & Veg Shop, Davies Fishmongers and Dudley’s Bakery are definitely the top four that we couldn’t do without!

6) What’s the best meal you’ve had in Cromer?

Our ‘usual’ from Bann Thai at the bottom of the Norwich Road. We’ll keep on retuning again and again.

7) If you could buy any building in Cromer, what would it be?

The Bath House Hotel! Without question. And assuming money is no object return it back to a licensed premises with good food, real ale and a view!

8) What would you do if you were mayor for the day?

Try and increase awareness of the need for better bus services from surrounding villages into Cromer. Making it easier for those more cut off, especially the elderly to access the doctors surgery, hospital, Post Office as well of course Cromer’s independent shops and cafes!

9) Who’s your hero?

Early lifeboat crews. When you hear the stories such as the night of the Fernebo rescue you can’t help but admire their sheer determination to save life, all done without any of today’s technology or more advanced equipment.

10) What do you most love about Cromer?

This is going to sound so cliché! But the community. We’re lucky enough to live and work in a town that still care and look after their own! It’s staggering what Cromer’s voluntary groups achieve for no other reward than the love of doing it! Something increasingly lacking in today’s world.

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