This year the month of May is a special one for our France experts at Just France as the company is celebrating 25 years in business. A pioneer in villa rentals in France, we hear from its director Annie Flogaus on how the company began.
“JUST FRANCE pre-dates the Internet. We mark the years by the stories from our property inspection trips to France, when we crisscross the countryside visiting new properties and reviewing existing ones. We were hustling down tiny chemins and making frantic calls at Cabine Telephoniques with Telecartes in the days when luxury meant that clients didn’t have to bring their own linens and wi-fi connections did not even exist. The Michelin maps were well creased, and we had adventures on back roads that will appear in a book one day.
Annie Flogaus joined Just France in 1996, fresh from Duke University with a French major and business minor in hand, and her devotion to France was evident from her first meeting with Founder Cecil Jones, an attorney and lifelong Francophile who started the company in 1991 in Philadelphia. As their collection and client base grew over the years, the notion of renting a villa in France went from unheard of, and certainly preposterous, to a reality discovered by thousands, many of whom come back year after year. Annie took over the company in 2005 and still gets the question from non-travelers – you mean there is a company that only rents vacation properties in France? The answer is a resounding yes. Annie and her colleagues treasure the opportunity of assisting people in finding a lovingly tended home amid visually stunning surroundings with the best of food, art and history at the doorstep. Just France was a pioneer in creating this niche, and we continue to figure out how to carve it the best way possible.
From the beginning, we have insisted on inspecting each property we offer for rent and strive to connect our clients with the property that will work best for their group. We provide detailed arrival information and professional client service. We have a small staff with decades of experience that share a deep understanding of and affection for the country of France. Our enthusiasm for sharing the wonders of the area with our clients is unbounded, and on each trip we discover a new historical site that we can’t wait to share with our clients. We have an excellent network of service providers in France and work closely with them to design activities that will enrich interested groups. We listen to what our prospective renters want and strive to deliver on and preferably exceed their expectations, from start to finish.”
As part of their 25th anniversary celebrations Just France is receiving the Grand Prize winners of their special anniversary contest which included a free stay at one of Just France’s best properties, La Tourelle, a beautifully renovated 18th-century 6-bedroom Provençal farmhouse. Their private chef is preparing a delicious menu of French specialities, they will spend a half-day on a custom wine tour of the area, in addition to having many other cultural discoveries of Provence.