There is triple cause for celebration this week as deputy account manager, Tabitha Kirby, account manager, Lily Bell and executive chef Ryan Percopo, have been named winners of this year’s Acorn Award, one of the hospitality industry’s greatest accolades.
The annual awards ceremony, now in it’s 36th year, celebrates the achievements of 30 of the industry’s brightest stars, aged under 30 who show flair and real passion for hospitality.
At just 24 years old, Tabitha’s career progression is admirable, starting as a waitress and working her way up to general manager at our flagship location in Shoreditch. Tabitha was recognised for her unique collaborations with street food vendors including La Tua and Beigel Bakes, transforming the client experience by building online booking systems and working closely with social enterprise Social Bite, to bring people back into long term employment.
Commenting on her win, Tabitha said: “I am delighted to have received such a prestigious award, and it’s amazing to have been recognised by my manager, Amelia. My journey has never been about awards but more about doing something I genuinely feel passionate and proud of, and I’m looking forward to channelling my passion and energy to promote hospitality as an amazing industry to be a part of.”
Since joining BaxterStorey as a trainee manager in 2017, Lily’s now an account manager and heads up a team of 32, as well as studying her Senior Leader Master’s Degree Apprenticeship. Throughout the pandemic, Lily encouraged her team to give back to the local community and created volunteering days to support the local food bank. She is also a trained mental health first aider and recently launched our first Wellbeing Hub.
Celebrating her success, Lily said: “I feel incredibly proud and honoured to have won an Acorn Award. It’s such a prestigious industry accolade, it’s been a career goal of mine for many years. Since joining Baxterstorey I have been fortunate to work in a brilliant team, have great line managers and inspirational mentors and I’m thankful to the business for their support and allowing me to flourish and develop into the manager I am today. I love the hospitality industry and to be recognised for my work and commitment is just fantastic!”
Ryan joined us in 2013 as a commis chef and has since worked his way up to executive chef. Impressed by Ryan’s creative solution to hybrid working, judges praised him for his involvement in transforming his restaurant into an exciting food market space, styled with street-food inspired shipping container pods, playing a significant role in enticing customers back to the office.
Ryan said: “Winning an Acorn Award has been a career goal of mine and I was shocked when I found out the news! I’ve been incredibly lucky to work with some amazing people and had great mentors within the business who have supported me and given me the opportunity to progress”.
Sarah Miller, regional managing director added: “It is fantastic to see three of our London-based stars win this year’s Acorn Awards. Tabitha, Lily and Ryan have all made a great impact on the business this year, going the extra mile to drive innovation and consistently showing great leadership in the care for their teams. We are extremely proud to see their achievements and passion for the industry recognised at the Awards”.