27th April 2020
During lockdown, we have found ourselves with a lot more free time and it’s also allowed us to get the things we have been putting off for months done. It’s also given us time to pause and reminisce on happier times, like previous holidays with our loved ones. With this in mind, we thought it would be quite fitting to finally answer a question we get a lot from our clients which is, ‘how did Menorca Private Owners start?’ so we chatted with our Director’s Jane and Paul to ask the question and we are so glad we did. Here’s what they had to say…
"I am always being asked how we started the business and never seem to have had time to commit it to paper but in the current situation, I finally have the time so here it is.
Menorca Private Owners really came about by accident and at the time it was never our intention to run a holiday company but fate had other ideas.
We have been going to Menorca since the late sixties staying in the family home, and in the late eighties, after the passing of Pauls mum, we took over the responsibility of looking after this much-loved home. We needed an income to maintain and keep the property so we decided to place the villa with a tour company for the season.
Paul and Jane when they first acquired the family home in Menorca
Upon returning in October we were devastated; our lovely home had been misused and abused and it was clear that there was no form of vetting of the clients to ensure that they were in the right type of accommodation for their holiday requirements.
When in Menorca, we would always get together with friend who also have second homes on the island in our local bar ‘La Rueda’ in Sant Lluís. On getting together, we all started voicing concerns about the type of clients renting our beautiful villas. Now, I don’t want to give the wrong impression (and please bear in mind we were a lot younger then) but by the time we started on the fourth bottle of a rather fine Rioja, Paul announced that as we rented properties in Derbyshire, why not add Menorca, and we could find the type of clients who would appreciate both a beautiful home and discovering the wonderful Menorca that we all knew.
Upon returning to the UK that autumn we made true with our promise and this is when Menorca Private Owners started. Initially it was just Paul and myself working from our farmhouse kitchen in Derbyshire.
Although websites were not that common then, Paul felt it would be the way forward in the future and designed our first website. The majority of the enquiries came from small adverts directed to our home telephone number. When we got an enquiry, we would post an A4 printed-paper with a written description of the villa to the clients. Using our extensive knowledge of the island we were able to ask the right questions to clients and this enabled us to match their holiday requirements to the right villa.
By December of that year we had filled all the spaces available and started looking for more villas to add to our portfolio. Initially we spoke to agents on the island who introduced us to owners and within a short time owners started to contact us directly. Within the year, our kitchen had become too cluttered so we decided to move into one of our barns, which became our first office. We had also produced our very first brochure and our first son, Peter.
For many years we traded as a partnership and as the business grew, so did our family, ending up with three boys, numerous cats and several dogs.
Paul and their three sons in Torret
In 2003, we became a limited company and Menorca Private Owners went from strength to strength. Although despite our growth, we still remained firm to our original concept, which has proved to be a great success; our aim was and still is to help our clients enjoy their villa as if it were their second home and truly experience the wonderful Menorca we have discovered.
In 2014, we became Members of ABTA, which shows how we had grown over the years. By 2016 we had outgrown the barn and moved to a new office in Ashbourne town centre where clients could visit and discuss their requirements in person before booking their holiday. In the same year, our eldest son Peter joined the company and Paul retired from the day-to-day running of the business.
Over the last 30 years, we have come to know many wonderful people who have travelled with us year after year; many of these clients we have only had telephone conversations with but I hear about their families, children and now grandchildren and feel as though I know them all. We even have some clients whom we’ve helped buy their own villas on the island, being there with advice and help when and if needed, and many have become firm friends who we still see both in Menorca and here in the UK.
MPO has definitely surpassed Paul and I’s expectations, from what was once just a casual conversation in a local restaurant in Sant Lluis, to what it is today. I speak for Paul and myself and can honestly say that the last 30 years have been an absolute pleasure and we certainly look forward to what the next 30 years have in store for us. From our family to yours, please keep safe and we look forward to welcoming you all back soon.”
If you're thinking about booking a villa holiday in Menorca, get in touch using our enquiry form
and a member of our friendly sales team will be more than happy to help.