Taste of Kent Awards logo

Kent Café of the Year Finalist: The Bears Trading Company

The Bears, as it is fondly known locally, is a tea room, gift shop and ice cream parlour in Tankerton-onSea. Established in 2016 by Darren and Peter Simpson after returning from a trip to Yosemite National Park, we welcome you to our slice of Beartopia.

237125112 1777195242466060 6897161117704981246 n

The Bears, as it is fondly known locally, is a tea room, gift shop and ice cream parlour in Tankerton-on-Sea. Established in 2016 by Darren and Peter Simpson after returning from a trip to Yosemite National Park, we welcome you to our slice of Beartopia.

From the moment you step inside you are greeted by the warm surroundings of timber-clad walls, log burners and unique antler chandeliers, where we transport you back to an old frontier trading post.

As you move through the shop you will find a variety of unique gifts and bears, all available to purchase.

Serving a fresh seasonal menu using local produce, including home-made scones and cakes and beautifully made drinks, we guarantee you a wonderful experience.

Move on outside to our south-facing suntrap garden for some lazy sunny days while enjoying the fare we have on offer.

We believe strongly in working in partnership with our fellow traders and the wider community here in Tankerton-on-Sea.

Our local butchers, Surmans, who are just nine doors away, supply us with all our cold meats and pies, and we use and sell a wide range of Kent produce including chutneys and marmalades from the Wooden Spoon Company. We source our Kent Crisps and Kingsdown Water from our local wholesaler Lansdell, and sell apple juice from Bardsley Farm.

We hope to transform our log cabin into ‘The Outpost’ later in 2022, selling more Kent produce and gifts as we really have run out of space internally now!

Since opening we have become leading members of The Talk of Tankerton, a business group working within the community to raise awareness of Tankerton as a destination and to provide improvement projects and events for everyone.

We continue to work hard to seek funding for improvements to the area and rally the other businesses to get involved.

Working with Julie, one of the founders of The Talk of Tankerton, we have secured new planters for the high street, seasonal decorations including an amazing Christmas lights display, new street signage in the form of map notice boards and soon-to-be-installed directional fingerposts.

Events include our popular Christmas markets and free community events such as our Safe Trick 'O' Treat night, scarecrow festival and Easter egg hunts. New for 2022 will be our regular Sunday Street Market selling the best of what Kent has to offer, from producers, to artisans, gifts and local services, Tankerton-on-Sea will be the place to visit on the last Sunday of the month from May onwards.

Always wanting to do bigger and better, Darren is just setting up the new Tankerton Fest to happen for September this year, showcasing everything Tankerton[1]on-Sea has to offer.

This couldn’t be done without the support and generosity of our wonderful local volunteers group we set up in 2021.