Last week, at the Macdonald Aviemore Highland resort, 120 of CRU Holdings staff, suppliers, sponsors, and friends descended upon the luxurious Highland hotel!

Every year, we try and make the staff awards more special, more inclusive, and more worthy of our fantastic team than the last.  And we think we topped them all this year! 

It wasn’t so long ago that our staff awards were just boozy affairs in dark nightclubs, and don’t get me wrong, it was great fun, but we have grown in size, (and age!) since then, and 5 years ago, set out to create something different for our teams.

The staff awards provide us some fantastic opportunities to show, in dramatic fashion, the recognition for not just key players in CRU, but the whole team!  It allows our teams to let loose, and blow off some steam after a hectic festive season, it lets all the teams blend with each other, and get to know one another.  Finally, it puts them together with a lot of the ‘behind the scenes’ suppliers and contractors, putting faces to names, and growing relationships in a comfortable and social environment.

The team arrived by coaches, in their best dresses, glad rags, kilts, we even had a top hat!  They entered the ballroom, where our photographer was ready to capture the evening, and all of them looking their best! Each table was adorned with CRU branded goodie bags, filled with teeny tiny Irn-Bru’s, a cheeky dram, glow sticks, and of course a hangover remedy kit!

Before the drinks tokens started getting handed out like confetti at a wedding, ITV’s Nicola McAlley opened the proceedings, with an overview of the evening, and what everyone could look forward to along the way!

Scott, our Managing Director, then began the Directors section of the evening, with an engaging and enforcing look at the ‘CRU Credo’.  What are we about?  Where did we come from?  And where are we going?  These are all topics that were covered in depth, really appealing to the team to understand and adopt our ethos.  Scotts sentiments are rooted in the idea that CRU is, and always has been one big family, where everyone contributes to the end goal, and only together, can we continue to flourish.

Next up was Ken, who graced the stage to highlight all of the achievements CRU holdings accomplished in the past year!  The highlights being; CRU Holdings being selected as a finalist for Multiple Operator of the year at the recent dram awards; the multiple, and prestigious ‘Best Bar None’ awards each venue attained; the acquisition of our newest venue, The Classroom in Nairn; and finally, the retention of two staff from our last venture in Falkirk, who moved to Inverness to stay with the company!

Next to the stage was Grant, who, unusually, kept things short and sweet.  Perhaps he knew everyone was getting itchy for a dram and a bite to eat!? Grant succinctly thanked all of the award sponsors for the evening, and left the room with a parting sentiment, that reinforced the reason we were all there…the CRU Crew.

Kudos to the Macdonald Aviemore Highland resort, the 3-course meal they laid on hit the spot with everyone, and didn’t miss a beat serving it to a room of 120!  Then it was time, for the all important awards!

Hosted again by Nicola McAlley, we had 17 awards to hand out to some incredible individuals within the CRU team, but it wasn’t without much deliberation.  Even with 17 awards, the Directors themselves remarked how difficult it was this year to single out just one person from each category!

One by one, Nicola read out the award category, followed by a brief but often telling description of exactly why that specific award was going to the winner, and then she was joined on stage by the award sponsor for the evening to present the award.  Photo, relax, celebrate!

We are extremely proud of the relationship cru has built with the brands, suppliers and contractors we work with. The right brand can facilitate education and experience, help us stay innovative and competitive, and inject some fun into our daily routines! Most importantly though, each sponsor was there, because they believe in CRU, they chose to support us, and to support our teams.

The awards categories, and their winners this year, were as follows….

  • Award 1 – Employee of the year, Prime and Angels Share, sponsored by Edrington Beam Suntory
    • Winner is – Laura Maclean!
  • Award 2 – Employee of the year, Bar One, sponsored by Innes & Gunn
    • Winner is – Eva Panton!
  • Award 3 – Employee of the year, Scotch & Rye, sponsored by Aberdeenshire Larder
    • Winner is – Evelina!
  • Award 4 – Employee of the year, Dows, sponsored by Monkey Shoulder
    • Winner is – Adele Mcrobbie!
  • Award 5 – Employee of the year, The Keg, sponsored by Pernod Ricard
    • Winner is – Ashleigh Macfarlane!
  • Award 6 – Employee of the year, The Classroom, sponsored by Molson Coors
    • Winner is – Georgia Adams!
  • Award 7 – Employee of the year, Inverness Travel, sponsored by Worldpay
    • Winner is – Hannah Mackay!
  • Award 8 – Manager of the year, sponsored by Riviera Drinks
    • Winner is – Ross Sharrat from prime!
  • Award 9 – Chef of the year, sponsored by Brakes
    • Winner is – Kevin Greene from Prime!
  • Award 10 – Unsung Hero, sponsored by Stolichnaya
    • Winner is – Donald Sutherland from Scotch & Rye!
  • Award 11 – Team Player of the year, sponsored by Wildcat Gin
    • Winner is – George Bewley from Prime!
  • Award 12 – Kitchen Team Member of the year, sponsored AIR stocks.
    • Winner is – Adrian from Prime!
  • Award 13 – Company Hero, sponsored Mangrove Brands 
    • Winner is – Liam Reid from Bar One!
  • Award 14 – Site of the year, sponsored by Highland Industrial Supplies 
    • Winner is – Prime Steak & Seafood!
  • Award 15 – Business growth of the year, sponsored by IRN Security
    • Winner is – Inverness Travel!
  • Award 16 – Directors rising star, sponsored by Grey Goose
    • Winner is – Adam Crosthwaite from Bar One!
  • Award 17 – Overall employee of the year, sponsored by Inverarity Morton
    • Winner is – Evelina from Scotch & Rye!

Then, with the awards wrapped up, and the DJ doing his thing, it was finally time to let loose, celebrate, abuse the drinks tokens, and enjoy ourselves.  Which I think we all achieved and then some!

Scott, Grant and Ken, are credited with building CRU holdings, but, and we cannot stress this enough, it is the team who make it!  It is every one of them.  It is their passion, their loyalty, their resilience, their creativity, and their personalities, that make CRU holdings, what it is today!  A lot of them really are like family to us, and, gratefully, our family just keeps growing!

Where they show us their appreciation every single day, just by doing what they do, the awards night, is a small token of our thanks to each and every one of them! 

Here’s to many more like this one!

Here’s to CRU Crew!