HEART took over the cherished Colman's Mustard Shop in Norwich August 2009, from its previous owners Unilever UK & Ireland.
Over the years, HEART has increased access, events and worked to promote the heritage of this 200-year old brand.
Stock has been broadened to include innovative products like locally produced Colman's Mustard soaps, foot soaks and bath salts; HEART's range of merchandise and publications; a larger range of gift boxes and gift trays; a range of mugs and tin plate signs depicting old advertising posters; a wider selection of mustards from other manufacturers; a larger selection of mustard pots and bowls; a range of locally produced chutneys, pickles, dressings and oils.
HEART developed new signage, a visitor leaflet and a website to reflect the new brand, and PR work has also generated local, national and international media coverage promoting the shop. Its inclusion in HEART's increased social media output has introduced a whole new audience to the shop.
HEART organized events at the shop, including: recipe competitions; celebrations to commemorate the anniversary of founder Jeremiah Colman's birthday featuring mustard-flavoured chocolate cake; exhibitions and themed days, such as Victorian & 1970s Christmasses. The shop has also taken part in Museums at Night, Heritage Open Days, Norwich Dragon Festival, the Norfolk Food Festival, the Royal Norfolk Show and Gressenhall History Fair; and given talks about the history of Colman's to a range of community groups.
The agreement with the previous owner's Unilever UK & Ireland means that HEART took over the ownership of the Mustard Shop as a retail operation and tourist attraction. As part of the deal, Unilever has made the Mustard Shop's museum and archive materials available on permanent loan to HEART, and its heritage archive will be made available to allow HEART to refresh the display when necessary.
The decision follows an extensive and thorough review of the future of the Shop and ensures that the world-famous Colman's Mustard Shop in Norwich will remain at the heart of the city's tourism and heritage attractions.
As champions of Norwich's heritage, HEART is delighted that we have been able to work with Unilever to retain one of the city's most famous tourism and heritage attractions. It is a very exciting move for HEART, giving us a new avenue to make local heritage more accessible whilst continuing and expanding on the shop's significant contribution to the local economy, showing how heritage can be an economic driver.
Colman's Mustard Shop is one of the great symbols of the city's industrial heritage, representing Colman's long association with Norwich and the important role it has played in the lives of so many people in the city. It is crucial that such iconic and world famous symbols of our heritage remain in the city, allowing our local distinctiveness to be celebrated - elements which have shaped Norwich over the years and made it so special.