Sasha Webster is one of the longest serving members of the 200 Degrees team, passing 10 years’ service in November 2023. If you cut her in half (please don’t!) she’d have 200 Degrees written through her like a stick of rock – she’s reliable and capable of dealing with whatever gets thrown at her. We got her to tell us her memories of being one of the OG 200 Degrees team.
Before I started at 200 Degrees, I was working in the equine industry; I was a riding instructor, I looked after the horses and the yard, and worked in a saddlery tack shop in Risley. I had to muck out for everyone at the yard, and then I had come home and do mine, because I’ve got five horses of my own. I was outside from 6’oclock in the morning until 8’oclock at night, and it was exhausting. I either had to get rid of my own horses and stay in that career, or change my career, and enjoy my horses again.
I saw a job advert through Learning Unlimited in Derby for a Business Admin Assistant. I did my Maths and English exams, and then had a job interview at Belle and Jerome, the restaurant that 200 Degrees founders Tom and Rob owned at the time. I was interviewed by Di (now Head of Business Administration) and Rob. I was told my interview would be conducted by “Di and her partner” – so I ended up asking Di if she and Rob were an item! But I still got the job! Di’s partner was actually a chef in the kitchen!
Once I got the job, I was also studying for my Level 2 Finance course, and then I did Level 3 off my own back, because I wanted the extra knowledge. I like learning – I can’t cope with not learning new things.
The Roast House was here on Meadow Lane, but Di and I worked out of Belle and Jerome in Beeston, administering all of Rob and Tom’s businesses. We worked upstairs in a tiny office – just me and Di, with an aircon machine that we had to put a Pepsi Max bottle underneath because it kept dripping. Tim (Moss) used to pop in – at the start the roastery used to deal with about 10 customers a week, that was it - it’s now over 500. I remember Rob came in one day and said, “We’re going to open a shop”. It was exciting!
Di and I then moved to the Roast House, the business grew end eventually we had piles of end-of-weeks to process, and Di just said “I think we need more people.” We got another person in to manage the roastery side of things, and then Rachel (now HR Assistant) started in 2016. Then I was managing solely shops, and it’s grown massively from there.
The biggest change has been all the new systems – we have the shop invoice system, Kefron, which I managed the roll-out and implementation of, and a new accounts system. During Covid I had to learn Netsuite – I enjoyed that. Within a week I learned the new system and got both the accounts and invoicing talking to each other.
Everything I’ve done in this job was new to me, I like a challenge! There are so many ways to grow in this company. Everything’s been a highlight, I’ve loved watching it progress. I want to do more accounting qualifications and work my way up, until my brain can’t take anymore!
I wouldn’t be where I am today without Di – she’s the one who trained me, has been patient with me, and helped me. 200 Degrees has changed a lot since the original dream team worked in that tiny office in Beeston.
Di says: "Sash is everything you want in a colleague, hardworking, passionate and an absolute pleasure to be around. She treats the company money like it’s her own, there’s not much that gets past her. She is the person that just gets stuff done! Thank you Sash for absolutely everything, you are one of the main reasons that I enjoy my job as much as I do."