Sara Eden Introductions in Berkshire has many a success story when it comes to its dating match ups. Founder Karen Mooney tells us more
What is your back story Karen – you once worked at Buckingham Palace?
Before founding Sara Eden, I was working for the Royalty and Diplomatic Protection Department at Buckingham Palace. I chose the name Sara Eden as I wanted it to mean something to me personally representing my past and my future. ‘Sara’ meaning Princess and ‘Eden’ meaning paradise and love; it was with a nod to the past that I started on a future that has seen Sara Eden become the UK’s most successful dating and matchmaking agency.
What inspired you to set up Sara Eden Introductions?
I broke my shoulder in January 1988 and all my friends were coming to visit me and they were all complaining about just how difficult it was to meet a partner and I thought… just maybe I could turn this into a business. The rest is history!
You founded Sara Eden Introductions over three decades ago. How has dating changed in that time?
Dating has come full circle; the pandemic has seen people turn away from internet dating and apps with people wanting to return to the new trend of matchmaking where clients have been met either in person or virtually and supplied 3 forms of ID. It’s safe and secure, and every client had signed a confidentiality agreement as well as a membership agreement. It’s a bit like meeting people through friends and the majority of new clients come to us because they have been recommended to us via word of mouth.
Today, what service do you offer?
We have three membership levels, Executive, Personal Consultant and Founder membership, which is the membership level I personally look after, and I am proud to say I have a 95% success rate.
You have some high-profile clients. How do you look after them?
We do have some very high-profile clients indeed, dare I say household names, and often they will not have a profile, we initiate introductions by speaking with clients directly. Often people like this are unsure if they are attracting others because of their fame or wealth.
Have you noticed any new trends during the pandemic?
We have seen a steep increase in business since the pandemic – 60% increase in enquiries. We have also noticed many older people joining, we have clients now well into their 80s. The pandemic has made people think long and hard about their lives, wanting to have the best future possible.
How long have you been based in Berkshire – and do you also live in the area?
We have been based in Windsor since 1989, and our Windsor head office is in Park Street right opposite the Castle. I live on the Berkshire/ Surrey border.
What is your favourite thing about the area?
I love the area, it’s beautiful and historic and only a short distance from London. We have many interesting and unique small shops in the town, there is something for everyone of any age. And when Covid restrictions allow we will be able to enjoy the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle again from the comfort of our offices. It makes you so proud to be British.
Have there been any outdoor spots that have been a godsend during these lockdowns?
I have a personal trainer and during lockdowns he built an outside gym which was amazing, I don’t think I have ever been so fit. I also walked our dog more and we both enjoyed some beautiful new walks.
Where are your favourite local haunts?
I love the Two Brewers pub, also located in Park Street. The food and the atmosphere are superb and Robert the landlord always has an interesting tale to tell. I also love the Windsor Castle Farm shop: so many interesting things to buy and you can enjoy afternoon tea surrounded by the beautiful scenery of the Great Park and the historic surroundings of Windsor Castle.
Do you have a local secret or any interesting story about the county you are willing to reveal?
We were destined to have our head office in Park Street as not long after we moved in, we found out that the outside of our building had been used as the offices of the 1970 Carry on Loving film featuring Sid James and Hattie Jacques who ran the Wedded Bliss Computer Dating agency. HRH The Prince Philip used to pass our front door frequently driving his horse drawn carriage on his way to the Great Park until a couple of years ago. He was well into his 90s.