With a career spanning over a quarter of a century in the hospitality and hotel industry, across a number of different countries, Robert Corrigan has led a very busy life!
The former hotel general manager is now the managing director of a local bakery business – Mr. C’s Hand Crafted Pies.
Robert is based in the bakery unit of Jamesfield Farm Shop and even after all of the years travelling the world in the hotel trade, he’s still working as hard as ever. We caught up with him to find out more about his work and how he spends his very limited free time away from the bakery.
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
It usually starts in bed where I’ll send as many e-mails as possible; replies, orders etc. Then I’ll do a little bit on social media before heading to the unit. I supervise the workload for staff, deal with day to day issues and special orders, make sales calls and do some paperwork.
I then make breakfast for the staff and later in the day some lunch or an early dinner before my staff goes home. Then I might stay on for a few hours to catch up on forms, legislation or label production – anything that is required for running and growing the business!
What signals the start of your weekend/days off?
I don’t really take days off and work most weekends. As an ex-hotel manager of twenty-five years plus, we worked all hours required, so it was a seven day a week, twenty-four hours a day vocation. Now the pies have that privilege!
What might people be surprised to know about you?
I used to grow and show cacti in my teens. I initially trained as a chef, and then went on to become a hotel General Manager. When I first started out in hospitality, I specialised in banqueting and at 22, I ran banqueting for 750 people in Bradford for Stakis Hotels. I've also opened two hotels in Nigeria where I had to carry a gun. I then worked in Israel in 1982 on the Nigerian projects for almost eight months and before that in South Africa, where I opened the Galaxy Show Bar in Sun City in 1981.
I’ve been to the top of Ben Nevis, and also Lochnagar and I’ve had the privilege of attending three royal garden parties – and have baked pies for members of the royal family!
Top of your bucket list?
To visit Turkey – it’s one place that I've never been.
Worst job you’ve ever had?
All jobs have good and bad elements in them and you learn can from them all. Everything is an experience in life.
Who or what inspires you?
People that take pride in their work and what they produce – not just food but any professional craftsperson who is passionate and has a pride in what they do.
Tell us about the weekend you’d love to live again?
There are quite a few but one very memorable one was in Aberdeenshire. We set off from Braemar to walk up Lochnagar to see the sunrise and then headed back to Braemar to help make a picnic. Then it was off to behind Mar Lodge where we enjoyed a heat wave and swimming in a small river pool with very, very dear friends.
What’s the best part about your job?
Good customer feedback and satisfaction. It’s also nice knowing that what we create gives pleasure to others.
What’s the perfect day off breakfast?
Smoked trout or salmon with scrambled eggs and sourdough toasted bread!
Complete this sentence; the best things in life are….
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