How it all began… back in 2010!

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Hello cat lovers,

can you believe it? It’s 2015 – nearly 5 years since I opened the first Longcroft Hotel in my back garden! I am looking forward to a busy year ahead, but for now I would like to take the time to look back at how it all began… back in 2010! (Don’t I look young?)

The story of how it all began actually begins back in the summer of 2008, when we were planning a holiday and looking for someone to look after our beloved and very elderly cat, Norman. No matter how hard we looked, we just couldn’t find a cattery where he would be loved and looked after just like he was at home. There was obviously an open niche in the market, and the idea for Longcroft was born.

The two years between having the idea and opening my own 5 star Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotel were spent researching and coming up with a viable business plan. And having a third baby.

There were so many things to consider: Where should the cat hotel be built? Would I get planning approval? Which materials are the best? How many cats can I look after while maintaining the high standard of care I want to provide? How do I market my hotel? And how do I finance it? Luckily my mum believed in Longcroft Luxury Cat Hotels from the very start and very generously financed my fledgling business. It also put the pressure on me to make it a success, so that I wouldn’t let her down!

I ran the first hotel as a part-time business from home, in our garden, and built it around my busy life as a young mum, juggling home and family life with 3 children, and work. After opening in the summer of 2010, I very quickly found that my customer base was growing way faster than I anticipated, and my hotel was fully booked within weeks. That Christmas I had to turn away over 200 bookings, because I simply didn’t have enough capacity to take customers on. Media interest in my hotel was also very high, and Longcroft was featured in the local as well as national and international press, on the radio and on TV. It was a whirlwind time!

At that point I knew the smart thing was to grow the business through franchise partnerships. I teamed up with a franchise expert and developed the business model further. In April 2012, the first Longcroft franchise hotel was opened by Gill in St Albans and was a runaway success from the start. We now have six hotels open, a strong team, further hotels planned to open this year and we are seeking new partners for 2015, because the demand is so strong.

I can’t wait to see what the next five years hold in store for us.




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