When Anna Coutin moved to Jersey with her family, she never expected to become the co-owner of a private members club. Anna shares her story
When I meet Anna Coutin, the co-founder of Anna’s (28 Halkett Street), I find myself somewhat in awe. Anna is beautifully presented and has the most welcoming smile. She is determined, and business focused. A mother of two sons, she beams when she talks about them. Why did she get involved with another project when she already successfully runs two businesses? How does she fit it all in?
“It’s a funny story. I never wanted to get involved with the club. During the early part of lockdown my husband expressed an interest in it. I firmly told him not to get involved. However, a few days later he came home and announced, “we have a club”, I remember saying, ‘No, you have the club, I am not getting involved! Anna laughs.
As a qualified accountant Anna was soon roped in to do the accounts. Before long she was also doing the marketing and social media, and within a few weeks she became closely involved, becoming the face of Anna’s, with her husband taking a back seat.
Anna was born in Siberia to a Lithuanian mother and a Russian father. When she was five they relocated to Lithuania where she would stay until she was 19. “My sister was living in the UK, so I decided to take the summer off and visit her. Six months soon turned into a year and before I knew it, I met my husband and never went back."
After having two children, Anna qualified as an accountant, admitting she found it a safe option rather than a passion.
When Anna hit 30, she jokes that she had a mid-life crisis. “I just thought, is this really what I want to be doing? Accountancy isn’t the most exciting profession” Knowing that her passion was working with people, Anna retrained as a corporate and executive coach, earned a diploma and started her consultancy business, Have the Edge – focusing on psychometric testing to gain a better understanding of people’s personalities in the corporate workplace. Anna is also a qualified personal trainer. “Seeing people change and feeling better about themselves really brings me joy. With both the personal training and corporate coaching, it’s other people succeeding that makes me happy.”
Anna and her family relocated from Bognor Regis to Dubai, however, Anna soon realised that the countries values did not align with her own. “I did not want my sons to grow up in an environment where women are second best. It’s not how the world should be. We love Dubai, and will continue to holiday there, however, to live, it was not for us.”
In 2019, they moved again, this time to Jersey. “My husband and I spent a weekend in Jersey during the summer of 2019, and I fell in love with the place. We met new friends and discussed how it would be for the children. Just before Christmas that year we moved to the island.”
Anna’s is a private member’s club. Currently they are offering complimentary 12-month memberships to allow people to enjoy the experience without commitment. It was Anna’s view that they needed to earn the right to charge for membership. Members can also bring guests with them. They open from 10am until 1am. Enjoy tea, coffee and pastries in the morning and afternoon, a lunch service from 12 until 2, a dinner service from 7 until 9 and a full bar all day.
Set over three floors, Anna’s also hosts private events, whether it’s a corporate meeting or a birthday party.
“The majority of clubs in Jersey are male orientated so we called the club Anna’s as a nod to women. Every Tuesday at Anna’s is ladies’ night. The emphasis is to get women together, to enjoy live music and each other’s company. Of course, men can still come along, everybody is welcome.”
Her experience as a corporate executive coach has helped shape Anna’s. “As a team, we get together and talk about relationships and personalities, working out ways to click with each other rather than clash. Reducing potential conflict and achieving workplace harmony. We work as a team with all team members equally important. We are immensely proud of our team and what we have achieved in 7 short months." It has obviously worked well so far. In an industry plagued with staff shortages, they have had almost zero staff turnover, proving that working together as a team is the key to success.
Anna’s, 28 Halkett Place, St Helier
01534 789461 / email@example.com