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Karen’s Story

My background and training was as a nursery nurse and I have many happy memories working in early years and special needs. I left education to help my Mum care for my Dad and alongside my caring role I worked at Great Seaside Bed and Breakfast in Branscombe.

Shortly after my Dad passed away my husband Graham who was a founder of the Branscombe Vale Brewery was diagnosed with cancer and I took up my caring role again. Sadly, we lost Graham in May 2013 and over the months that followed I drew strength from the village community and began to piece my life together.

It is a privilege to live in such a wonderful and supportive village and after much thought I decided I needed to put all my life skills to good use and try and give back something to such a caring community.

I launched my Taxi business Karen’s Cars, from the village of Branscombe in June 2015 and I’m pleased to say the business is growing steadily.

Taxiing is now a very rewarding part of my life. I never know from day to day who I will meet or where I will be called too.

So here’s to the future and exciting times ahead …. Karen’s Cars.

Joost’s Story

My name is Joost and I am Karen’s youngest son.

Growing up in Branscombe village has played a big part in my life. From attending the local primary school to getting my first weekend job as a young teenager, it has has helped shape who I am today.

Out of school I started in hospitality, working for many years at the local pub (The Fountain Head). I was given the opportunity to train in both the kitchen and front of house, gaining qualifications as a chef. I also obtained my personal alcohol licence. This gave me a unique opportunity for promotion. As a licensee came responsibility and the great privilege of having my name above the door of The Fountain Head.

During my time working I was able to explore some of my hobbies, training as a tennis coach in Sidmouth as well as enjoying the great outdoors. I’ve also been lucky enough to travel the world spending time in Queenstown New Zealand where I discovered my love for winter sports. From there I went to Austria and trained and worked as a ski instructor in the prestigious town of Kitzbühel, (yes I’ve skied the strife). Specialising in teaching children, I taught children from all over the world, not only in English but in German and at times attempting other languages.

As you may have guessed from my name Joost I’m half Dutch, and enjoy spending time with my family in the Netherlands and drive regularly to the continent to visit. This journey, coupled with learning and driving around East Devon, has given me invaluable experience behind the wheel. I have recently gained my East Devon County badge giving me more responsibility to Cary out contract work for East Devon County Council .

I am excited to bring all my experiences from working and travel into my new role Driving along side my mum, allowing Karen’s Cars to expand and look forward to supporting the village as it has supported me over the years.

Suggested Venues

  • River Cottage
  • Hix Oyster & Fish Bar
  • Sandy Park
  • Powderham Castle
  • West Point
  • Crealy Adventure Park
  • Escot
  • Otter Nurseries
  • The Pig
  • The Deer Park Hotel
  • Lakeview Manor
  • Bicton Botanical Gardens
  • Exeter Race Course
  • Seaton Tramway
  • Seaton Jurassic Coast Path Visitors Centre
  • Donkey Sanctuary
  • Pecorama

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