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Big turnover growth is on the menu for Hickory

Left to right are Eric Drought (Head of Operations), Mary Paget (Finance Manager), Alison Sproull (Executive Assistant), Fiona Pengelly (MICE Sales Manager), Brian Canale (Culinary Director), Libby Harrison (Director of Client Services), Stephanie Stubbs (Managing Director), Brian Galbraith (Executive Director), Gillian Fraser (Head of Event Planning & Design), Fraser Brand (Senior Team Planner), Osman Ersoy (Senior Hospitality Manager), Andy McKenzie (Logistics Planning Manager) and Julia MacGregor (Marketing Manager). Pictured in Shandwick Place Gardens, near the company's headquarters. Photography from: Colin Hattersley

WITH A raft of new senior appointments, a surge in new business and plans to expand the portfolio of venues it manages, one of Scotland’s largest independent catering, events and venue operators, Hickory, is set to almost double its turnover to £4.5m this year.

Edinburgh-headquartered Hickory has expanded its team to manage the return of events and the significant increase in demand in the wake of pandemic restrictions being eased and new contracts.

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The expansion of the team, who will help to provide leading-edge food and drink experiences, includes the appointment of Brian Canale as culinary director, Gillian Fraser as head of event planning and design, Eric Drought as head of operations, Andy McKenzie as logistics planning manager, Fiona Pengelly as MICE sales manager, and Alison Sproull as executive assistant.

Hickory delivers events at an extensive and eclectic portfolio of venues across Scotland, including the Assembly Rooms, Dovecot Studios, Newhall Estate, Neidpath Castle and Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.  It exclusively operates the new Cairns Farm Estate in the Pentland Hills and Eskmills Venue on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

The award-winning business has also expanded its festival-style offering supporting large-scale events, including the provision of innovative seasonal catering and styling for the Borders Book Festival, and bars for the Scottish Open Golf Tournament at The Renaissance Club and Fringe by the Sea in North Berwick.

Part of Hickory’s growth will come from the expansion of its prestigious venues’ portfolio and developing its established outdoor festival and bar business.

Stephanie Stubbs, Hickory managing director, said: “We have dedicated recent months to recovering, rebuilding, and assembling a highly skilled and experienced leadership team across every function and department of the business.  We are now in a period of significant growth as corporate events return – for example our enquires have almost trebled since January.

“Our focus is on delivering quality, creative and innovative events for our clients and we have established a passionate, experienced and dedicated team to achieve that.”

With an emphasis on sustainability, Hickory’s mission is to deliver Scotland’s best events and hospitality experiences.  This is achieved by providing the best quality ingredients that are sourced locally by their professional culinary team and delivering the best quality seasonal food.

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