OKEECHOBEE — Imagine Black Friday pricing every day on household items, bedding, tools, bathroom accessories, pet supplies, electronics accessories, gun cases, ammo boxes, car supplies, toys and more without having to drive out of town to the big box stores. That’s what Debra Smalls and her husband Vern offer the community of Okeechobee each and every day at their Park Street store Debbie’s Deals and Discounts. As a liquidation store, they buy semi-truck loads from stores such as Bed, Bath & Beyond and Walmart and pass the savings onto their customers.
“I love when customers look at me and say they can’t believe the deal they got and they will be back,” Mrs. Small shares as she recalls a recent sale. “Being able to provide a car seat to a new mother for half the price is a good feeling.”
Being able to serve local families is at the heart of the Smalls’ business model in Okeechobee. During her time as a social worker, she saw first hand the need for families and children. When she survived breast cancer last year, Laverne supported the idea of her not going back to a stressful job. He asked her what she would like to do, and she responded she wanted to open a store that would help families. Debbie shopped at stores like hers in other cities and brought the store model to 411 S.W. Park St. in August.
“When we first opened, we had a mother come in and buy a bed in a bag for her son’s room for $10. It included the whole set of sheets, sham and comforter. They sent me a picture of the room when it was all set up,” Debbie said. “That was a wonderful feeling.”
The inventory at Debbie’s Deals and Discounts is always changing. When the trucks arrive, a crew of family members show up to unload it. Debbie shares it’s always an exciting day, “kind of like Christmas,” she says with a smile. “We’ve gotten a bit of anything and everything, even a trolling motor!”
The Smalls take pride in having a well-organized store. Debbie credits her team members Donna Lucas, Mallory Thomas and Kristy Duarte for helping to provide friendly service to everyone who walks through their door. Debbie also serves customers online, selling on Ebay and Amazon. Debbie’s Discounts and Deals stands behind their products, offering return with no questions asked.
“We just want our customers to be happy,” Debbie added. “I am passionate about community and family. I have enjoyed meeting everyone in the community.”
Debbie’s Deals and Discounts is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Click HERE to visit the Debbie's Deals and Discounts Facebook page.