How expats are contributing to Majorca’s success

One of the joys of living in Majorca is having the opportunity to interact with the local community – a huge melting pot of native Majorcans and expats of different nationalities. The island is known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere and serves as a magnet for a wealth of talented individuals from other countries, many of whom establish successful companies for the benefit of expats and locals alike and make Majorca their home.

Of course I’m not talking about businesses that are aimed purely at a specific expat market but those that are expansive, multilingual and are created for the benefit of all islanders and travellers regardless of their country of origin. It’s the same with those enlightened artisans who arrive on the island and carefully hone their craft to attract a wide audience and who engage with their fellow artists in an open and generous spirited manner.

One such artist in my locale is Ricardo Sacco, a charismatic former architect from Argentina who settled in the Soller valley fifteen years ago. He now runs Pueblo y Campo on the main road between the town and port. It is a delightful atelier selling an eclectic selection of hand-crafted products, ceramics, signs and sculptures from natural and reclaimed materials

In Soller town where integration is the name of the game, there is a wonderful array of expat owned businesses that together with their Majorcan counterparts keep the town thriving and prove a significant draw for tourists who swing by during the holiday season. Two of the town’s popular cafés are German owned – the elegantCafé Scholl and Café Soller, and the town’s famed ice-cream factory, Fet a Soller, is co-owned by a German entrepreneur. Tramuntana Tours, an outdoor adventure specialist, is operated by an Anglo-Majorcan and a New Zealander and Georg, a chain of German-owned gift shops with tasteful interiors is doing so well that it now has outlets in Soller, Arta, Palma and Santanyi.

Several British expats in the valley have created successful bijoux hotels such asCan Reus in the village of Fornalutx, owned by BBC investigative reporter Sue Lloyd Roberts and her husband Nick Guthrie. Tania and Paul Slijper run stylish Hotel Avenida in Soller town and Nina Holmes, popular Casa Bougainvillea.

In Palma, Michelin starred British chef Marc Fosh continues to draw international audiences with his creative, reasonably priced Mediterranean cuisine and new eco café ventures such as Es Rebost, the brainchild of German born Helmut Clemens, are garnering a host of Majorcan fans.

Ever since receiving excellent treatment for an ankle injury, I have used the services of Jos Alkemade, a renowned Dutch physiotherapist who relocated with his partner to Mallorca in 2007 and for dental work I rely on the expertise of Dr Ivan and Ina Althaus Bondulich, the German holistic dental practitioners in Palma.

The Classroom, an innovative English language school run by Chris Bate, originally from Leeds, has developed a superb reputation among Spaniards while Kay Halley has provided a sanctuary for book lovers with her Universal Bookshop in Portals Nous.  In the port of Soller Belgian entrepreneurs Yvan and Isabelle Vermeesch have put the north-west of Majorca on the map with their lively and informative Tramuntana website and tri-lingual luxury magazine ABC Mallorca,founded by Irish businesswoman Helen Cummins, has a loyal and growing following.

Island-wide there are scores of expats running inspirational enterprises that complement the wonderfully diverse range of Majorcan owned businesses. Together they have made Majorca the international hub that it is today. Long may it continue.




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