Logo search icon

Venus Cafe at Blackpool Sands to close

SA Updated
Venus Cafe at Blackpool Sands to close

Venus Cafe at Blackpool Sands is set to close in January 2023. 

The Venus Company, which has four beach cafe locations across the South Hams and Paignton, has announced that from January 2023, the Venus Beach Cafe at Blackpool Sands will close for good after "commercial terms to continue could not be agreed to mutual advantage".

In 1995, Michael Smith and his wife Louisa Newman, together with Lee Porter, opened the doors of its first Venus Café at Blackpool Sands. They set up a beach café, take-away, and shop on the site of the original ‘The Venus Tea Hut’, a small wooden hut selling tea and ice-creams that Louisa’s pioneering mother, Lady Newman started in 1958.

Michael Smith and his wife Louisa Newman, together with Lee Porter

The beach and the land surrounding it is still owned by Louisa's family, ever since Richard Newman bought the estate in 1797, with the current owner being Sir Geoffrey Newman, Louisa's brother. The estate has been leasing the beach site to The Venus Company for nearly thirty years. 

In November 2022, Sir Geoffrey has plans to set up a new Limited Company business venture on Blackpool Sands, which he will operate under the Blackpool Sands brand.

Louisa Newman reminisces: “My father Sir Ralph Newman ran a wine merchant on St James’ Street, London, and Blackpool Sands was our family’s summer holiday residence. When I was three-years-old, we moved to Blackpool Sands permanently, where I grew up. I have so many fond memories – it was an idyllic childhood.

"My mother was inspirational and ahead of her time, setting up the new café and shop business in an old wooden shed on the beach, where I loved to help her serve the customers and sell our fresh home-grown vegetables and homemade marmalade and Ann’s handmade crafts.”

She adds: “Michael, Lee, and I work so well together. We wanted to set up the Venus Cafe in 1995 with the same philosophy as that of my parents keeping the beach unspoiled, serving the best, locally sourced high-quality ingredients with many of our dishes coming from the nearby land or sea, making it more sustainable.”

Michael Smith, MD of The Venus Company, said: “It’s a sad time, particularly as Blackpool Sands is the birthplace of The Venus Company brand and where Louisa grew up.” He adds: “Circumstances have changed substantially since 1995, and although we were offered the opportunity to work with Geoffrey’s new limited company, we felt his proposed business model did not allow our brand to flourish and develop and, therefore, made the decision not to go forward based on commercial viability; it simply was just not for us.”

Venus says it is "constantly striving to improve its environmental performance" and banned plastic straws 20 years ago in a bid to reduce plastics on the beach and in the oceans. It was the first company to use fully home compostable cups and lids, (zero plastic) and to ban single-use plastic drinks bottles and water.

The latest innovation is the introduction of fully home compostable and biodegradable palm plates, rubbish bags, cake wrapping film, and cling film at all of their beach cafes, reducing single-use plastic dramatically. Venus works with like-minded sustainable companies, such as Two Farmers crisps – the only UK crisp company to use home compostable bags.

Michael explains: “Our mission is to be the greenest café, and It’s fundamental that we stay true to the ethos and values of our established Venus trademark, loving the beach®. Our brand is all about sustainability and we gave up plastic straws in 2000, and straws altogether in 2002. We love the beach and water as a habitat, so taking care of it is integral to our business philosophy.

"Our business remains in a healthy strong position to weather the upcoming economic and supply storm and will continue to grow and expand the Venus company with like-minded landlords.”

Louisa comments: “I am very sad to be leaving my family beach. Hopefully, we are leaving a firm environmental footprint for others to follow. This is where it all started, and we still have our three other popular Venus beach cafes to run at Bigbury-on-Sea, East Portlemouth, and newly acquired Broadsands in Paignton with more in the pipeline.

"All our full-time staff, many of whom have been with us for over 20 years, will remain under the Venus brand and although it’s the end of an era, I’m really excited about the future of the Venus Company.

“Blackpool is moving in a different direction to Venus but will remain in our hearts as our birthplace. I wish my brother and nephew every success with their new business plans.”

Venus operates its beach café business across Devon all year round including recently acquired dog-friendly Broadsands, Paignton, Bigbury-on-Sea located opposite the iconic Burgh Island, and East Portlemouth, which opens throughout the summer season.



User comments

There are no user comments for this listing.

You might also be interested in

Police practice search and rescue at Mothercombe
Category: General News
On Saturday, Devon & Cornwall Police led a multi-agency search and rescue exercise designed to train the next generation of officers to find missing...
Coronation event is cancelled, committee announces
Category: General News
The Kingsbridge Celebrates Christmas Committee has announced that their plans for a Kings Coronation event have been cancelled. 
Increasing number of farm-based thefts, police urge vigilance
Category: General News
Police are urging vigilance after an "increasing number" of thefts of high value agricultural equipment. 
FareCar launched in Ivybridge following withdrawal of Friday bus service
Category: General News
Following the withdrawal of the Friday-only bus service 875, the F7 Fare Car Service has been launched to serve the community around Ivybridge. ...
Crash causes traffic chaos
Category: General News
A collision between two cars caused traffic chaos between West Alvington and Malborough. 
'Fittest Farmer' qualifiers to take place at Devon County Show
Category: Events News
Devon County Show is to play host to the qualifying rounds to find ‘Britain’s Fittest Farmer of 2023’. 

Featured Members

BBH Chartered Architects Ltd
0.0 (0)
BBH Chartered Architects Ltd is one of the South Hams' leading architectural practices with...
Stoke Lodge Hotel and Garden Restaurant
0.0 (0)
Stoke Lodge is a family run Hotel idyllically situated on the South West Coast...
The Regal -  Pub and Club Kingsbridge
5.0 (1)
Category: Pubs, Clubs & Bars
The Regal, an independently run pub in Kingsbridge. We serve locally sourced home cooked...
Holidays Please - Gretchen Kibbler - Bespoke Luxury Travel Agent
5.0 (4)
Bespoke luxury holidays tailor-made Holidays and Honeymoons to suit your requirements designed for you...
Pittman Trees - Tree Surgeons & Forestry Contractors
5.0 (5)
Pittman Trees are specialist tree surgery and forestry contractors working within the South Hams...
Burrows Removals & Storage
5.0 (1)
Category: Storage & Removals
Burrows Removals & Storage - Professional removals company specialists in pianos and fine art....
Fine Shine Ltd - Cleaning and Valeting Kingsbridge
5.0 (2)
Fine Shine Ltd - Professional Carpet , Rug and Cleaning Services in the South...
Totnes and Dartington Self Storage
5.0 (4)
Category: Storage & Removals
Our storage rooms are indoor, clean and bright, like a hotel for your goods!...
Coast to Coast Water Safety
0.0 (0)
Elite, committed, professionals delivering lifesaving courses, event water safety and guided swims in the...
Batson Creek Marine
0.0 (0)
We are a family run business, based in island street in the fabulous coastal...
B LEE Plumbing and Heating
5.0 (1)
B. LEE Plumbing & Heating is a trusted local business based in Kingsbridge, covering...
The Kings Arms and Boatswains Brassarie - Pub and Restaurant - Salcombe
5.0 (1)
Category: Pubs, Clubs & Bars
The Kings Arms Pub and the Boatswains Brasserie Restaurant bringing fresh fish and local...
Parkland Caravan & Camping Site Kingsbridge
5.0 (1)
Parkland Caravan & Camping Site Kingsbridge - AA five gold pennant touring camping and...
Churchstow MOT Centre
5.0 (1)
Churchstow MOT Centre is an established garage that offers vehicle servicing & MOT testing...
Ultimate Fabrics - Fabric Warehouse
4.9 (3)
Category: Home & Lifestyle
Ultimate Fabrics - Fabric warehouse with a fantastic range of quality, discounted designer fabrics....
Staycation Eco Cleans
0.0 (0)
Offering a fully insured property management service for your holiday home or second home...
Nicholas Rowell Haulage
0.0 (0)
NR Haulage located in the heart of the South Hams, Devon. Specialising in UK...
Martyn Norsworthy - Norsworthy Photography
0.0 (0)
Multi International Award Winning Portrait & Wedding Photographer, we offer you the very best...
Superior Housekeeping
0.0 (0)
Orchard Cleaning and Laundry Limited – Changeover and Domestic cleaning, Laundry services in Kingsbridge,...
Couch Joinery
0.0 (0)
Couch Joinery is a thriving business with an outstanding reputation for excellence based in...
David May Motor Services
5.0 (3)
Car and Van Sales - Van and Minibus Hire - MoT’s - Car and...
A F Agricultural Engineering - Andrew Frampton
0.0 (0)
A F Agricultural Engineering specialises in Massey Ferguson and Kubota and has over 35...
The Bosko Bus - Gut Conscious Food Truck
5.0 (1)
Category: Takeaways
Gut conscious food truck based in Totnes and cover weddings and events all over...
Dog and Soap - Kingsbridge
5.0 (4)
Category: Dog Groomers
A fabulous professional dog groomers, DIY washing spa & boutique just for dogs! ...
Sally Potter Solution Focused Hypnotherapy - Ivybridge
0.0 (0)
Category: Mental Health
Using Solution Focused Hypnotherapy to break the negative cycle of depression and anxiety. It...
Meadow Barn Farm - Off Grid Farm Holidays
0.0 (0)
Meadow Barn Farm offers a mixture of low-impact and off-grid farm holiday accommodation in...
WHK services
5.0 (1)
WHK provide domestic and commercial cleaning services, holiday home management, carpet, oven and window...
Image Three Sixty - Commercial Property Images & Virtual Tours - Kingsbridge
0.0 (0)
A South Hams based company offering unique marketing solutions. Specialising in commercial property images,...
Collaton Trailer Servicing - Blackawton, Totnes
0.0 (0)
Trailer Servicing and Trailer Repairs based in Blackawton covering Kingsbridge, Totnes, Dartmouth and surrounding...
Oceans Restaurant
5.0 (2)
Category: Restaurants
Locally sourced food served in a contemporary restaurant overlooking the ocean. Great views, fabulous...

Latest Listings

Latest Reviews

Martin Pears Engineering Ltd - Agricultural Sales, Engineering, Supplies and Feed
MP Michael Pearey
"This is just the sort of honest, no frills engineering workshops that any farmer or landowner would want. We..."
Your Devon Escape
D& Debbie & Chris
"Since buying our property in Devon at the beginning of the year, we knew it was important to find the..."
Otters spotted in the South Hams
JL Jonathan Liddle
"My wife saw an otter with two kitts playing by the bridge near Diptford today. We’ve seen one there before...."
Martin Pears Engineering Ltd - Agricultural Sales, Engineering, Supplies and Feed
MH Matthew Howells
"Fantastic shop, helpful and informed staff, great engineers - highly recommended. I've bought posts, wire, paint, hay, dog food, seed,..."
Nash & Co Solicitors
RB Robyn Bowler
"We recently used Nash and Co. Solicitors to draw up an agreement when we made a member of our staff..."
Guitar & Ukulele Lessons with Toby Morgan - Kingsbridge
TA Tom and Dougie
"My son has been receiving guitar lessons from Toby for several years now. Toby’s incredibly patient, has a wealth of..."
South Hams Mole Catcher - Kingsbridge
RM Roger McCorriston
"Gren did a fantastic job ridding our lawn of a very persistent and annoying mole which had done a lot..."
Nash & Co Solicitors
"We found Nash & Co. Very Professional, and above all, helpful and understanding. What was a very stressful time for..."
B LEE Plumbing and Heating
J Jane
"Ben did a great job replacing all the towel rails and basin taps in our bathrooms throughout our property. He..."
Nash & Co Solicitors
AD Andy Dunkerley
"Nash & Co have been excellent over the years, providing Private and Commercial property conveyancing, Shareholders agreements, Wills, Powers..."
Martin Pears Engineering Ltd - Agricultural Sales, Engineering, Supplies and Feed
"Recently overhauled our quad after two local companies had 'fixed' it and failed. Absolutely brilliant. Really helpful on..."
Merrifield House Devon
R Richard
"Excellent all round great location, beautifully kept rooms and facilities, and run by exceptionally nice and friendly people. Lovely attention..."

Our Sponsors

* The information contained on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge, if you notice anything that you know to be incorrect or misleading, please contact us. Long Light logo

© 2012 - 2023 South Hams Online Ltd - All Rights Reserved. Legal & Privacy | Sitemap