Why us

We think

If you’re committed to achieving something, you’ll work out ‘the how’ (sooner with a little bit of help from us!)

  • Investing in yourself and your business is vital to growth
  • It’s possible to do what you believe in and love and make a living from it (we’re the proof!)
  • Business can be a great force for good; it can create positive change
  • Profit is not a dirty word (for our more community / social enterprise clients and friends)
  • Social businesses need to value their people

Our style

Debbie and Lorna have skills in common but they’re not just peas in a pod! Each has their own particular strengths which can mean joint working is ideal on some projects as some of our clients will testify.  We consider each brief and write you a detailed proposal including our fee and timescale.

We are:

  • Honest and grounded
  • Fair
  • Professional yet approachable (not at all scary)
  • Flexible
  • Positive yet realistic

Our Experience

Lorna Turner

lornaturner_smLorna has over 25 years of experience in business development for private sector and social businesses. She was a co-founder of an advertising and design agency, Chalk and Ward, in Exeter and then decided to seek new ventures and discovered the world of social businesses. It was a light bulb moment! It combined the business experience with the desire to have a positive impact. Advising and supporting social businesses that transform people’s lives and communities is an enormously rewarding experience.

Lorna is co-owner and co-founder of The Fruit Tree for Business and a director of a care business, Court House Care Services, that she owns with her partner. Lorna is taking a 2 year sabbatical to do a Masters in Sustainable Development starting October 2020. She’s also a keen veggie -grower, allotment owner and cat-lover.

Debbie Stewart

Debbie’s training in Business and Finance set her on the path of wanting to share that knowledge with others as well as helping her in setting up in business.  She’s been advising businesses for 24 years using her experience of being self-employed in the private sector together with her experience as a director of three different social enterprises. Debbie knows what it’s like to set up and run a small business whether that’s a social enterprise or in  private company.  She still enjoys providing business advice to clients more than any other area of her work with the Fruit Tree.

Outside of the Fruit Tree Debbie is a potter having recently set up The Joy of Clay to showcase her work and run pottery workshop from her home studio.  When not ‘working’ she is happiest walking by the sea, pottering at her allotment or helping others achieve their goals.