City Refrigeration Is Born
After working in Scotland for a few years, Lord Haughey’s sense of adventure took him to Abu Dhabi. Like many Scots before him, the lure of lucrative contracts in the oil-rich United Arab Emirates proved irresistible.
He spent two and half years in the Middle East, making good money running a $25 million air conditioning contract for UTS Carrier (USA), but, more importantly, using his spare time in the sun to make ambitious plans, establish contacts and build a solid reputation that was to lay the foundations for his own business back in Scotland.
There couldn’t have been a greater contrast between the shimmering skyscrapers of Abu Dhabi and the dreich surroundings of Glasgow, but that was where Lord Haughey chose to pour all his savings – £70,000 of start-up capital – and City Refrigeration was born.
City Refrigeration Begins
His plan in 1985 was simple and straightforward – set up a refrigeration company that specialised in installing and servicing cellar cooling systems for the licensed trade.
He struggled to land any work at all in those early days but Lord Haughey’s dogged determination and an unshakeable belief in his ability to sell himself, finally led to the breakthrough he always knew he would get.
A contract with Tennent Caledonian was the beginning of the success story. Soon every major brewer in Scotland was a customer and these contracts helped City Refrigeration become what is now the fastest-growing private company in Europe.