Although the Mazurkas Conference Centre & Hotel was located on the outskirts of Warsaw, Poland’s capital city, it was at the very center of the European Candy Kettle Club (ECKC)’s ceremonies for Jan Kolański, president of the Colian Group and the 2017 ECKC Award recipient.
Prior to the gala dinner and presentation of the award, the Colian Group had organized a Taste of the Future conference for its customers, partners, media and ECKC members and guests at the same venue. The tightly packed agenda featured presentations on Colian’s plans for the future as well as experts dissecting the global confectionery industry and trends affecting its growth.
But as dusk settled, the excitement began to build, fueled by music, cocktails, good food and a bit of pomp and circumstance. After opening remarks by Thomas Matosek, international sales manager for Royal Duyvis Wiener B.V. and ECKC vice president, a parade of waiters kicked off the evening’s dinner, bringing domed plates in synchronized fashion to the tables.
To spice up the meal, a 21-piece orchestra from Kalisz, Jan Kolański’s hometown, played a suite of South American tangos. As the lingering notes of “Tico, Tico” faded in the background, Thomas Bischof, head of business unit countlines for Bühler and ECKC president, invited Kolański for the official presentation of the award.
Moved by the magical moment, Kolański reiterated the fact that the recognition was not his alone, but also the people who worked with him as a team. As a result, he invited to the podium key departmental managers, who received miniatures of the ECKC Award, a stylized version of a copper kettle.
Afterwards, local entertainment provided guests with modern and traditional songs, enticing many to come out on the dance floor.
In keeping with Polish tradition, a lavish buffet was also present just outside the hall to help sustain the energy levels throughout the evening.
It was a Warsaw night to end all nights for Kolański, his family, his team and guests. “Na Zdrowie!”, the Polish toast meaning “To your health” echoed repeatedly till early morning.