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Meet The Team: Deborah

Debs is our longest serving employee and has worked at the store for 28 years!

Debs joined the ‘The Beehive’ (as the store was originally known, when privately owned) as a general assistant, for one morning per week. Her hours soon crept up to every weekday and the occasional day on the Post Office. After the store became a community venture in 2004, she worked with several managers before being asked by the committee to step up as manager in the late noughties.

Fast-forward to 2021, she now works full time as the manager, but spends most of her time in the back office surrounded by mountains of paperwork, cans of empty Sanpellegrino Arancita Rossa and boxes of stock! Despite being chained to her desk, Debs has good knowledge of most areas of the business. When asked what her favourite thing about working in the shop was, she barely paused for breath before replying ‘the volunteers and community’

Debs was raised in the nearby village of Grateley, but attended a boarding school in Bournemouth from the age of 9. It was here that her love for rabbits and guinea pigs was born, adopting unwanted and misbehaving pets.

In the nineties and early noughties Debs competed in dog agility, with some notable wins. Unfortunately, due to an injury Debs made the hard decision to give up her much loved sport and made the move to rabbit exhibition to fill her spare time. She now exhibits and breeds lionhead, miniature lion lop and miniature lop rabbits and has well established and successful lines in each. She has also recently begun a Teddy cavy-breeding programme. Check out her website on

Debs likes to chill out by watching Marvel movies, often whilst glugging on a long glass of gin and has an interest in gem stones and geology.

Debs was asked to select her favourite store product, but after several minutes of procrastinating, we decided to let her recommend her top 4!

- Freshly baked (in store) cheese and bacon turnovers - Debs’ desk is only a few steps from the oven, honestly who could resist that smell?

- Sanpellegrino Aranciata Rossa (sparkling orange and blood orange) chilled canned drink, because it’s refreshing and sweet but 30% less sugar than similar products.

- Peter’s Yard Sourdough crackers with Mere Trout Smoked Trout Terrine - it’s an easy snack when busy and has the perfect balance of crunch and flavour.

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