This was her original plan in California 30 years ago, after going to Seattle to learn about the coffee business. But, it never opened.
Debby and her husband Robert Guinn moved to Navarre in September of 2011 and opened Deb’s Coffee in January of 2012.
“My husband really wanted to move to Navarre and there was no coffee anywhere, so he kept trying to say, ‘Let’s do coffee!’”
At first Debby didn’t want to do it because she had tried before, and it didn’t pan out. This time was different. She had help and support.
After being taught by an espresso expert, Debby and _ practiced in their kitchen for 4 months. They blind tested coffee beans and found a roaster that personalized the Deb’s blend.
Debby’s daughter Tiffany Guinn started working with her mom in the coffee business when she was 23 and headed to nursing school.
“Tiffany has given up her career in nursing to come be a part of this,” Debby said.
“I love it and I love working with my parents, family-owned and operated.” Tiffany said. “And hopefully one day I can pass it down to my daughter.”
The original location of Deb’s Coffee was a trailer located on the north side of U.S. Highway 98.
“We knew we were outgrowing the little spot and we were leasing it. We wanted to become a permanent part of Navarre,” Debby said.
Deb’s Coffee started the expansion process three and a half years ago. They purchased a lot and started building from the ground up. It was a long process because of the pandemic, but has been quite the upgrade.
The old trailer was around 200 square-feet. The new Deb’s building is 600 square-feet.
“We have a lot more space to accommodate our customers, more than enough storage and refrigeration, which allows us to add to our menu and offer more products than we did at our last location,” Debby said.
They’ve even expanded their menu to include croissants from a little French bakery that are available three times a week. Deb’s also serves muffins, brownie bites and oatmeal.
Debby says her favorite drink is the Fatty Natty, which is named after a previous employee named Natalie and similar to a breve coffee, but served cold. It includes sugar, half and half and two hot shots on the top.
“What I normally drink is a one-pump hot vanilla latte whether it’s winter or summer. I’ve tasted the other drinks and they’re really good, but the first time I tasted the Fatty Natty, I finished it before I even got out of the driveway,” Debby said laughing.
Debby’s daughter Tiffany, who manages both the Navarre and Shalimar locations says her favorite drink changes.
“But right now, it’s the Waffle, which is maple, brown sugar, cinnamon and toasted marshmallow and two shots of espresso.”
Deb’s has different specials each month to fit the season. This month, think pumpkin! Fall officially begins late September, so they are bringing out the pumpkin spice.
The three drink specials for September are the Autumn in a Cup, the Becky and the Shaliegh.
- Autumn in a Cup – butter pecan and pumpkin spice
- Becky – English toffee and butter pecan
- Shaliegh -caramel and pumpkin spice
When Deb’s Coffee first started in 2012, they just served basic coffee drinks.
“So, to get Navarre involved, we put up a sign that said ‘Make up a drink, we’ll put your name on it,’” Debby recalled. “So that started bringing people in and personalized (our menu), made it more like their home because they were like part of our family.”
Even to this day, a lot of the drinks on the menu are named after their very first customers.
“I never wanted a sit-down. I always wanted to be the coffee-on-the-go, where you get treated really well, you’re part of a family,” Deb said. “Where you come through, they know your drink, they know who you are. So, we’ve built that over the years.”