Blackrock Cellar is named National Off-Licence of the Year 2017
The Off-Licence of the Year Awards is an initiative that is exclusive to
NOffLA members. Many outlets enter to get an independent analysis
of their shop, while others enter to compete in the various awards.
Whatever your reason for entering, this year’s competition has been
designed to enable you to demonstrate your strengths and allow you
to compete in your area of expertise. All entrants will be invited to
the prestigious award ceremony in January 2017.
Tuesday 24th January: The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) has called on the Government to move swiftly and introduce the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill. The call was made at the annual ‘Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2017’ which took place at the Honorable Society of King’s Inns.
Now in their twenty-first year, the awards recognise and showcase excellence in the off-licence sector. The awards highlight those retailers that offer exceptional service to customers and demonstrate excellence in retail standards.
Speaking at the awards, NOffLA Chairman, Gary O’Donovan said, “The annual NOffLA awards highlight the expertise of the independent off-licence sector, showcasing the benchmark of personal service and top quality products offered by our highly trained members.”
“As socially conscious independent retailers, NOffLA welcomes the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill as it ensures the highest standards around the purchase, and thus consumption, of alcohol. The Bill however is well past due and we believe the Irish public now deserves to benefit from the protection offered by measures such as Minimum Unit Pricing. The Government has waited long enough and we are looking for decisive action that will ensure the public is safe from reckless alcohol retailing practices”.
“We believe that the Government should go one step further in its commitment, and realise the true benefits of Minimum Unit Pricing by introducing a ban on the below invoice cost selling of alcohol. The repealing of the Groceries Order in 2008 has resulted in the promotion of irresponsibly discounted branded alcoholic products, driving footfall in multiples where the losses are recouped through the sale of other goods.”
“While we celebrate the best that the industry has to offer, it is important to remember that the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill remains some distance from enactment. Indeed, the Government has come under sustained pressure from Multinational Food Retailers and Supermarkets, seeking a prioritisation of sectoral revenues over Public Health. Government must dismiss such interests and fully implement the Public Health Alcohol Bill in order to ensure responsible retailing and consumption of alcohol.”
The awards, which included 38 finalists, saw Blackrock Cellar awarded ‘National Off-Licence of the Year 2017’, McHugh’s Off-Licence, Kilbarrack won ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year 2017’ and Gerard Higgins, Kelly’s Off-Licence, Clontarf, won ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2017’.
All 38 finalists were awarded certificates of either ‘Merit’ or ‘Excellence’ and a Customer Service Award based on their performance and other awards on the night included:
The Montes Specialist Off-Licence Group of the Year 2017 – O’Donovan’s Cork
The NOffLA Best First Time Entrant 2017 – Donnybrook Fair, Malahide
The Tipperary Water Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2017 – Donnybrook Fair, Dublin 4
The El Coto Customer Service Award of the Year 2017 – Mitchell’s Wine Shop, Glasthule
The Redbreast Spirit Specialist of the Year 2017 – James Redmond & Sons, Ranelagh
The Hop House 13 Beer Specialist of the Year 2017 – McHugh’s Off-Licence, Malahide Road
The Dona Paula Wine Specialist of the Year 2017 – Jus de Vine, Portmarnock
The Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Connaught/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2017 – McCambridges of Galway
The Orchard Thieves Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2017 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny
The Jack Daniels Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2017 – Baggot Street Wines
The Hennessy Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2017 – O’Donovan’s, Midleton
The RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2017 – Gerard Higgins, Kelly’s Off-Licence, Clontarf
The NOffLA Responsible Retailer of the Year 2017 – McHugh’s Off-Licence, Kilbarrack
The NOffLA National Off-Licence of the Year 2017 – Blackrock Cellar
Judging for the awards began in June 2016 with the ongoing judging process culminating in a blind wine tasting which involved participants answering questions about the unidentified wines. Final awards were allocated following this process.