Running two businesses is pretty full on, but massively rewarding - I do it because I love it. For me creating beautiful spaces and experiences for people to have a lovely time is what it’s all about. We’re lucky that we’re successful which is down to support from the local community - they’re the reason we survive and can now open all year round. I think it is really important that places do this during the horrible winter months as it is so depressing when everything shuts down off-season. We opened Bumble and Sea a year ago on April 1st and it’s created a real hub and a place to meet down that end of the beach. To me it is also important to be environmentally friendly - I couldn’t be there all day selling plastic stuff like straws whilst looking at the sea.
Award-winning tea room owners, Debs and Toby Quine are a major part of Exmouth life with their Bumble and Bee Tea Rooms in Manor Garden. Recently they’ve opened Bumble and Sea providing people with a welcome break after walking down the seafront to Orcombe Point. Debs managed to fit in time to tell us why she’s totally smitten by Exmouth…
“I’ve lived here all my life and had an idyllic childhood growing up beside the estuary. In my mid-twenties I joined the Forces and went away for 7 years, but I had to come back so I dragged my husband here kicking and screaming! I wanted to give my children a similar childhood to the one I’d had and even bought a house on the same road that I grew up in, (I dread to think what my dad would’ve thought about how much I paid for it though!). Luckily Toby fell for the town too and loves living here. When it comes to Exmouth I can only see the good side – I admit it, I’m really blinkered. We’ve got the beach, the common, so many amazing surrounding areas and living on the estuary brings its own beauty as well. I love that we can walk out of our door and be on the beach. It’s also a really earthy place to bring kids up - I can throw them out in the morning to play on the beach, and they entertain themselves.
If you, like Debs want to support the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan, then remember to vote at the referendum for the Neighbourhood Plan in March.
I also think there’s a great sense of community here which we wanted to be part of with Bumble and Bee. When we opened, we felt we could provide somewhere for vulnerable people to come; single mums, new parents, people with dementia and people who are carers. We also run community events - we ran Schools Out for Summer for a few years which was essentially a free festival for children. We also ran a carol singing night as a thank-you to our customers (I’m already planning this year’s!) and The Food Festival was fun despite the challenging weather. In fact any community event is a no-brainer for me - because we’re in a prominent position with Manor Park and Orcombe Point we have to give back to our customers - they support us, so we should support them.
Exmouth community and business owners need to be able to voice their opinions - it is vital that the council listen to people who will be affected most. I’d say that we could do with more eateries in the evening and places to gather. Above all I don’t want Exmouth to become a generic seaside town, so it’s important that local businesses are supported, and rates aren’t so high that only chains can afford them. We should also be mindful of how things look and what materials are used. That’s why I’ll be supporting the Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan in March, giving the community a say in how their town is developed.”
Bumble and Bee's newest team member - Bertie Sausage!
My youngest son is massively into fishing mackerel off the pier - so I’ll give him £1 and he’ll buy bait and be out fishing all day with his jam sandwiches. To me that’s my idea of heaven, being out in the elements. We’re into lots of water sports and we’re also big fans of cockling although I’m sure the cockles are smaller than when I was a child. Did you know that you can only cockle when there isn’t an ‘r’ in the month?!
© Exmouth Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group website: Rob Masding