Milestones, Memories and Magic Moments
Looking back at around this time five years ago, it was then that Marc and I made our big decision to seek a buyer for our beloved Harvey’s Point.
BY DEIRDRE MCGLONE – 9 MIN READ
Looking back at around this time five years ago, it was then that Marc and I made our big decision to seek a buyer for our beloved Harvey’s Point. I remember well that it was Christmas Eve 2017 that we looked at each other in the eye and shook hands to confirm that this was the path we wanted to choose for our future. What led us to this decision? The main reason was a lifestyle choice – to put family first and to have time together. For three decades, we had always prioritised the business. Our lives revolved around Harvey’s Point and we were rewarded with success and many happy memories. Before reaching our decision, we had lots of chats with our children, Carl, James & Christina, and while they loved being part of the Harvey’s Point story, they simply said that they wanted to chase their own dreams, in their own time.
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The Harvey’s Point Story
There were other reasons for our desire to exit the business. In the knowledge that Harvey’s Point would need ongoing investment in order to maintain our competitive advantage, we realised that we no longer wanted to ‘be in bed with the bank’. Harvey’s Point would always deserve to reach its potential, so it was time to hand over the responsibility of re-investment to someone else. There were other subtle signs as well, such as the increase in bureaucracy required to manage the hotel. Compliance and control were slowly taking over hospitality. I was spending more time at meetings and chasing paperwork instead of doing what I love – and that is welcoming guests. The heart of any hotel or business is where its people are. Now that I can look back on our family-run business model, I’m sure that we would have struggled with the chaos of Covid. And no, we didn’t have a crystal ball in terms of the timing of our exit. We were just very lucky. I still think that the Hospitality Gods were looking out for us.
The year 2018 flew by and thanks to expert legal and financial advice, the hotel was sold although it wasn’t all plain sailing. There was a mountain of paperwork and many, many meetings. For me, the hardest part was not being able to tell anyone of our plans as we were sworn to secrecy. In March 2019, when we reached the magic number of thirty years in business, we had a big party to celebrate such a special milestone. It was bittersweet as Marc and I knew that we would be making our big announcement just three days later. When the day came, we had to dig deep to find the courage to tell our team, our guests, our suppliers and the wider community. There were tears of course but for both of us, there was an immense feeling of relief that we achieved what we set out to do, as well as a strong sense that we had also made the right decision – one of the biggest of our lives. It’s true that in life there is a time for everything – to everything a season. This was our time to exit on a high, while the business was flying and we still had more mileage in us to live life to the full.
Marc and I sincerely hoped that our team would accept and adjust to this change of ownership. After all, it was our team – the Harvey’s Point family, who supported us with their hard work and loyalty over the years. We had so many wonderful times together. We celebrated the highs and got on with the job when times were tough. My wish was that the new owner and management team would look after the people and the place. It’s fair to say that they have gone above and beyond to do just that. It’s a credit to all concerned to see Harvey’s Point going from strength to strength. As a local, I love going in for a visit and it makes me so proud and happy to see the smiling faces in the hotel that was such a big part of my life. A piece of my heart will always be in Harvey’s.
And so, as one chapter ended, another began in 2020 when Marc and I fell in love with an old Mill in France, situated on the banks of the river Célé. It was always our dream to ‘someday’ have a wee place in the sun, or as Marc says “where the vines grow”. Finding this little piece of paradise was purely by chance and it all seems that it was ‘meant to be’. Over the past year or so, Marc and Carl have been overseeing a major renovation project of Le Moulin sur Célé and it’s our plan to open the doors as an exclusive holiday rental from next summer onwards.
Christmas 2022 has brought a deep sense of sadness that Jody, our mentor and man of vision, is no longer with us. This time last year, he became ill while in Portugal and sadly he died on the 29th of December.
Jody shared a very rare and beautiful connection with Marc and I. We called ourselves ‘The Three Musketeers’. Together we shared the most wonderful journey in the creation and development of Harvey’s Point. Jody encouraged and challenged us to think big, to think outside the box and to never compromise on quality or excellence in customer service. Jody’s wisdom, wit, entrepreneurial spirit and kindness is missed by so many, but his memory lives on in our hearts.
1947 – 2021
Requiescat in Pace
Memories @ Harvey’s Point
It tells the story of Harvey’s Point – the people and the place.
Harvey’s Point Timeline ↓
Jody buys Harvey brothers cottage
Harvey’s Point opens to the public
Deirdre & Marc get married
56 new bedrooms have been added
Celebrating 25 Years of Welcomes
Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar
Garden Suite events venue for 180 pax
Bar extension to Harvey’s Bar
Celebrating 30 Years of Welcomes
A new chapter as the Gysling’s bid a fond farewell to Harvey’s Point
Deirdre & Marc buy Le Moulin sur Célé