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“Half a Century of Success: Marbella’s Beloved Family Plumbing and Bathroom Empire Hits Golden Anniversary!”

April 10, 2024
Popular family-run Marbella plumbing supply and bathroom business celebrates 50th anniversary

M. Alabarce: A Testament to Marbella’s History

From its prime location in the heart of Marbella, M. Alabarce, a bathroom decoration and plumbing store, has witnessed the town’s history unfold. The store has remained open for five decades, a feat in an era where large supermarkets often force local shops to close. However, the Alabarce family has managed to stay ahead in the industry.

The Secret to Longevity: Customer Relationships

Adela Alabarce, the manager of the family business, attributes their success to maintaining a close relationship with their customers. She believes that this personal touch is often lost in large supermarkets. Despite the common perception that supermarkets offer better prices and variety, Adela insists that small businesses often provide cheaper options and a more personalized service.

Evolution of a Family Business

The Alabarce business has evolved alongside Marbella. Adela’s father, Manuel, embarked on a new business venture in 1974, transitioning from a professional fitter to a business owner. This was a bold move at the time, as he was entering an unexplored market. Adela took over the business in her early twenties following her father’s untimely death.

Breaking Barriers in a Male-Dominated Industry

In the early 90s, the construction industry was predominantly male. However, Adela, a native of Malaga, managed to make a name for herself in the sector. She recalls the construction boom of the 90s and how the business had to adapt to changing times and a diverse clientele.

Marbella: The Little Apple

Adela fondly refers to Marbella as “the little apple”, likening it to a smaller version of New York where various cultures and nationalities coexist. The store has seen the rise of Marbella’s glitz and glamour from its windows. Adela recalls serving high-profile clients and their agents who were responsible for decorating their villas.

Adapting to Changing Times

Adela recalls the cyclical nature of the business, including a severe drought in the 90s that forced them to set up water deposits and tanks. Despite these challenges, M. Alabarce remains a family business that has carved out its place in Marbella. As the town has evolved, so has the business, becoming an integral part of the commercial fabric of the town.

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