To generations of Edinburgh families he is known simply for serving up authentic Italian food across a number of his Italian eateries in Edinburgh City Centre.
But, thanks to an honour that is to be bestowed upon him by the Italian Government this week, Tony Crolla of Vittoria Group in Edinburgh has been awarded 'Knight of the Order of the Star of Italy', known as “Cavaliere” in Italian - one of the highest civilian honors in Italy.
Presented on Wednesday 9th May at the Stockbridge Church on Saxe Coburg Street in Edinburgh by Italy’s Ambassador to the UK, His Excellency Raffaele Trombetta and in the presence of Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, the award recognises Crolla’s devotion and passion for Italian food, drink and culture, and his tireless promotion of Italy’s heritage in Scotland and around the world, through his work with local communities and projects within the hospitality business.
Carlo Perrotta, Italian Consulate General in Edinburgh said:
"The “Ordine della Stella d'Italia’” or “Order of the Star of Italy” is conferred upon individuals who have made a positive contribution to the promotion of Italy and cooperation with other countries. Mr Crolla has been given the award for his entrepreneurship and for helping many young Italian nationals arriving in Scotland for the first time with employment opportunities".
Born a Scotsman in Edinburgh with his family roots in Southern Italy, Tony and his family are proud owners of the multi award winning restaurants, Vittoria Group. The group own eateries throughout the Scottish capital, including Vittoria on the Bridge, Vittoria on Leith Walk, La Favorita Restaurant, Taste of Italy and Divino Enoteca restaurant and wine bar in the heart of the Old Town. They also own and operate the La Favorita delivered business with shops in Morningshide, Leith, Portobello and Blackhall.
Tony Crolla Said:
“I’m very privileged to accept this award and distinctive title from the Italian government - it's very special and gratifying. I must also take this opportunity to thank my family for their continued support and committments over the years, our wonderful staff and suppliers who have helped my family build a business we are proud off, and of course the thousands of customers who support us across all our venues enjoying the hospitality we are famous for.”
The Vittoria Group dates back to 1970 when his father Alberto Crolla Sr opened the families first restaurant, Vittoria, on Leith Walk. The company now employ over 250 staff across their restaurant and delivery sites. Tony Crolla along with wife Angela, and their sons Alberto and Leandro are renowned for their warm Italian hospitality and after almost 50 years in business, the Crolla family business continue to serve up delicious Italian food and excellent service.
Consul General Perrotta continued:
"I had no hesitation in proposing Tony Crolla for the award of the Order of the Star of Italy. It is a well-deserved acknowledgement of his achievements as a successful entrepreneur who has provided employment for many young Italians coming to work in Scotland and he is always willing to support the Consulate's initiatives in favour of the wider Italian community."
Crolla joins an esteemed list of recipients from around the world including singer Frank Sinatra and tennis champion Novak Djokovic.
Tony Crolla's son, Alberto Crolla added;
"We are extremely proud of our dad on getting this great honour. We have Idolised him all our life within the business and at home. He is more than just our dad, he also our good friend. We want to continue the great work he has done in building a business that we can continue to be proud of."