Village People

Bob Saunders, from Hampers: Village People interview

Bob Saunders, Hampers, Hurstpierpoint

By Michèle Copeland

Bob Saunders, from Hampers, is a well known figure in the village. When I go to meet him, he stands behind his counter which is laden with cheese, Italian salamis and olives.

“There’s nothing more challenging and enjoyable to me than to find an unknown cheese for one of my customers,” he says with a bright smile. 

Bob prides himself on buying and stocking as many locally sourced products as possible. “However, the produce must be good quality. I won’t buy it just because it is local.”

He caught the cooking bug at a young age from his mother and from one of his uncles, who became one of his mentors.

He worked as Head Chef at The Carlton in London and at The Royal Bath, among other places. “I was definitely inspired by my mum too, who did a lot of home cooking, so I come from a long line of chefs,” he continues.

How did it all start?

Bob was born in Yeovil. His dad worked for the Great Western Railway, on steam trains, but was posted to Brighton following closure of the Yeovil branch. Bob was still a lad when the family moved.

Bob, who went to Portslade Boys School before training at Brighton Technical College, worked at Vandenburgh’s in Burgess Hill for about ten years, moving up from third chef to second chef and then head chef in the late 1990s. He was then approached by his accountant to ask if he could help out Michèle Bole from time to time in her restaurant in Hurstpierpoint – which he agreed to do.

Shortly afterwards the delicatessen next door to Michèle’s restaurant came up for sale, and Bob decided to go into partnership with Michèle, running both the restaurant and delicatessen side by side.

[Full story on page 10 of March 2018 Hurst Life magazine]

Lustig & Webb - Village People

They’ve been cutting your hair for almost a year, while Stephen’s cheeky quips have been amusing the nation on Channel 4’s Gogglebox. But what drew Daniel Lustig and Stephen Webb to Hurstpierpoint? Get to know the village’s newest hairdressers …

     Daniel started hairdressing at Toni & Guy in Brighton aged 19, and since has worked at other salons around Brighton. “I used to work for an independent salon called Ash and I was the manager there for six years,” he says, “then I went to work for Rush for about three years, then I went to work independently for seven years, but the Lustig & Webb whole time I was desperate to open my own salon.”
     Both harbouring the same dream, the two moved to Hurstpierpoint after meeting in a quintessentially British fashion: “We met at Hove Town Hall in the queue,” Stephen laughs. “How romantic!”
     Since moving Daniel and Stephen have embraced village life. “I think Hurstpierpoint’s brilliant,” says Stephen, “because there’s a real slice of life here. I was in Hampers Deli the other day and Bob, the owner, pointed out this lady and said she’s lived here all her life, she’s 103! So there’s people who have lived here all their lives, there’s ex-Brightonians, ex-Londoners and I just think there’s a lot of people from different backgrounds. It’s a real mixed bag here and that’s what I like about it, and everyone just gets on. I just think it really works because it’s on a small scale but there’s a bit of everyone here.

See full article on pages 16/17.

By Hattie Parish
Previously an interior design shop, Lustig & Webb opened at 99b in the High Street in September 2014. Along with colleague Jacqui and their two dogs Barbara and Betsey, Daniel and Stephen feel they’ve filled a gap in the Hurst hairdressing market. Decorated with striking paintings of iconic hairstyles painted by Daniel’s father, the salon has a modern yet cosy feel.
     “We were thinking about opening up in Brighton first, but then there’s five salons on every street,” Stephen explains. “Even though when we opened we were the seventh kind of hair establishment in the village, we just thought we could fit in. Every salon in this village caters for a different crowd. We just thought we could attract a different clientele that’s maybe going to Brighton or London to get their hair done.”
     Stephen started hairdressing when he left school and in 1992 moved to London to train with Toni & Guy. “I moved down from London about three years ago to Brighton and I’d never heard of Hurstpierpoint,” says Stephen. “Then one day we took a drive over here and as soon as I pulled into the village I just fell in love with it right away.