Some 40 years since he officially opened the company showroom in the heart of island, Certikin founder, Bob Kent, now of MSi, returned to Malta to meet up with his old friends, Charles and Mary Micallef, founders of the Charles Micallef Swimming Pool Company. One of the oldest swimming pool companies in Europe, Charles began the company on the suggestion of his wife, Mary, who spotted the potential for a swimming pool specialist as early as 1969.
The couple are still very much involved with the company but it is daughter and son-in-law, Antoinette and Bruce who now take on the day to day running of the new build, service and maintenance company. The Micallef dynasty is already looking forward to a third generation in the business as grandchildren, Lee and Kerry wait in the wings. “I owe this man my business,” declared Charles as he welcomed Bob Kent back to the showroom and company nerve centre, based in a prime location in the small town of Lija.
“Bob and Certikin gave us the opportunity to put our ideas in to practice and lay down the roots for not just the company but for the family. “We are very proud to say Micallef Pools is the most recommended swimming pool company on the island,” he adds. Bob commented: “It is very moving to hear such praise but really the pool and spa business, not just in Malta or the UK, but all over the world, is built on a solid foundation of the honest dedication and hard work of families like the Micallefs. “It is a privilege to be able to make a difference but it is they who made that opportunity count and I am very proud to count them as not just clients as life-long friends.”
With flagship projects like the Hilton hotel Charles Micallef Swimming Pools boasts the largest portfolio of both residential and commercial swimming pools on an island that takes swimming pools very seriously. Malta is believed to have the highest number of swimming pools per square metre globally and claims to have both the oldest and the biggest pools in the world. “Our pride is that we are trusted with everything we do from the smallest private pool job to the biggest commercial projects on the island,” says Charles.
Exclusive Certikin distributors for more than 40 years, the company are also approved suppliers of Arch Chemicals, now under the Lonza label, the Lotus range of water features and key MSi products such as Jolly Gel, Clear ‘n Clean and the Puronizer salt chlorinator. An organised itinerary of stock is held in threewarehouses packed with new product, spares and parts. “For spares nobody beats us – it is a very important part of the
business,” says Charles. “I sometimes think we have more spares than Certikin themselves,” he quips.
Just like her children, Antoinette began in the business by helping out in the shop as a child. “I was around seven or eight; every Saturday used to go to the shop; I was always anxious to sell,” she recalls.
“It never crossed my mind to do anything else; joining the family business was a natural for me. In this sort of family business; it is not what you are taught but what you learn just by listening and being involved.”
With eight service vans on the road and a team of 13, the majority of pool builds are concrete block and liners. With an average of 3,000 hours of sunshine every year there is not a pool cover in sight.
“We started at a great time when building in Malta was booming,” Charles says. “If you got one villa in a complex; you would get 20 because everyone wanted the best. “Despite the economy, we still have clients who prefer top end finishes to economy products and we are very fortunate in that. “After all, swimming pools are just elaborate holes in the ground,” says Charles who adds with a smile: “I fell in one once – I guess that was an omen.” It certainly was.
Charles Micallef Swimming Pools
Tel. + 356 21 415115