Craft Union toasts operators at annual awards

Craft Union Pub Company has honoured some of the most dynamic people within its estate.

Craft Union Pub Company has honoured some of the most dynamic people within its estate at its annual Operator Awards. 

Celebrating all of the hard work carried out by its operators, the wet-led community pub division of Stonegate crowned the winners of nine diverse categories.  

Outstanding Pub of the Year went to Krystle Morgan at The Woodcutter in Leigh-on-Sea, who won a trip to Las Vegas, while Best Community Pub Operator was awarded to Chris Farman of The Royal Oak in Radcliffe. 

The awards, now in their eighth year, recognise the incredible work carried out by operators and highlight their dedication and devotion to putting their pubs at the heart of their local communities.

The finalists, chosen from across the whole Craft Union estate, were shortlisted into a range of categories, from sales and growth to sports performance, with the awards focusing across all diverse areas of the business.

The Safety Award was picked up by Christina McKay and John Curran from The Market Inn in Huntingdon, then Best Newcomer was scooped by Paul Bennett of Top Odd in Wyke. Best Turnaround went to Rhys Jones and Katie Cooper from New Inn in Bridlington, and Best Gaming Performance was awarded to Mark Arnold of The Gate Inn, Sutton Coldfield.

Getting to the final

Finalists were all invited to a celebratory awards ceremony hosted by director of Craft Union Frazer Grimbleby and director of group transitions Carol Roderickson, who were also on hand to announce the winners. 

"I felt immensely proud to have hosted the Craft Union awards evening for our operators, who do so much to serve their communities," says Grimbleby. "This wonderful occasion was an opportunity for us to come together to celebrate and recognise the best of the best. Reward and recognition has always been, and will continue to be, a key part of the very special Craft Union culture of which I am so proud."

Best Sports Performance was given to Anthea Turner of Havering Well in Romford, Best Investment was Nick Smith of Lowther in Newcastle Upon Tyne, and Best Profit and Sales Growth went to Catherine Bulford of The Phoenix in Rainham.

Craft Union Pub Company is continuing to grow its estate, launching its 500th site earlier this year in The Royal Standard in Leicester. The estate is now comprised of 559 sites. 

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