Red Stripe fetes Heineken family
Jamaica's well-known hospitality was on full show for the Heineken family during their first visit to Jamaica on Wednesday.
Michel de Carvalho, his wife Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken, their daughter Louisa, and soon-to-be son-in-law Hugo Brassy (Hugo proposed to Louisa at Strawberry Hill while here) were in the island for a special visit at the Red Stripe offices on Spanish Town Road in Kingston. The Red Stripe team put on quite a show for the family, proving that they can do far more than just brew great beer.
There were lots of dancing and singing, and when Michel de Carvalho took to the podium, he told the gathering that in the past 15 years of travelling to more than 45 countries in which Heineken has holdings, this was by far the best reception they had ever received. Having acquired majority shares in Red Stripe in 2015, he assured everyone they will always be in the Heineken family. "Red Stripe is an iconic brand and we will look after your brand," he told the iconic company's employees.
De Carvalho recalled that when the opportunity to purchase the shares in Red Stripe came up, it was a no-brainer for him. He noted that although the market is very competitive, after 150 years they were not going to be defeated. He and his family then fielded questions from the employees. Nothing was off the table. Despite this, even as it rained cats and dogs outside, inside remained warm and merry. After a delicious lunch and a few pints (drinking on the job is perhaps a perk of working at a brewery), it was time to say well done to a few employees.
Employees were awarded in several categories including, 'Put Safety First'; 'Learn to Improve'; 'Focus On Support Over Control'; Act As An Entrepreneur'; and 'Collaborate Through Trust.'
Awards weren't limited to the staff. The Heineken family will also leave the country bearing gifts. De Carvalho received a caricature of the two big brands Red Stripe and Heineken and an autographed copy of Usain Bolt's book, for which he seemed exceptionally pleased. His wife received a commissioned piece by famed Jamaican sculpture Jean Pearson. His daughter received a collection of books on Jamaican culture, and Jamaica-loving Brassy, some vinyl Bob Marley records.
The family clearly enjoyed their stay and De Carvalho noted that he will be talking about it (the trip) for weeks and months, even at the board meeting where no one will know what he's talking about.