The Virtual Society Awards have landed another sponsor, who is looking forward to raising a toast to the array of inspiring north-east firms taking part in the event.
With a career spanning more than 20 years in hospitality, Rutabaga founder John Kelman now specialises in wine, speciality spirits and craft beer wholesaling.
The business owner has built up a reputation in the north-east as being the man to go to for all things food and drink.
Now, John will sponsor the Drinks Business of the Year category at this year’s virtual ceremony.
Speaking on why he decided to get involved, John said: “Rutabaga wished to recognise all the hard work, creativeness and ingenuity during these unprecedented times.
“The Virtual Society Awards are a great lift to all those nominated for all their endeavour, highlighting businesses based across the city and shire.
“It is so important to showcase those who have endeavoured to reimagine, restructure and create through this period, regardless of whether or not this is done virtually, as we work and live in the new normal.”
John has also worked behind the scenes at Aberdeenshire’s biggest food festival – Taste of Grampian – in the past, where he arranged various wine masterclasses and organised all the wines that would be present across the different bars at the event.
The drinks expert is intrigued to experience and see how the new virtual concept will pan out this time around.
He is also eager to hear about how the line-up of finalists have adapted and diversified their services and offerings in order to survive the Covid-19 pandemic.
John added: “I would really like to encourage people to drop in to the newly-imagined Virtual Society Awards and support the firms recognised for their great efforts throughout the past 12 months.
“Personally, I’m looking forward to catching up on what has been going on recently across the whole of the north-east from all of the different businesses, virtually.”