NATIONAL OFF-LICENCE OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Off-Licence Association (NOffLA) presented thirty Awards for excellence at their annual, ‘Off-Licence of the Year Awards 2014’ which was held 27 January at the Honourable Society of King’s Inns, Dublin. The awards, which have been running for eighteen years, were developed by NOffLA to recognise and showcase the off-licences around the country that offer exceptional service to customers and demonstrate excellence in retail standards.

Speaking at the awards, NOffLA Chairperson, Evelyn Jones said, “The last few years have been very difficult for the off-licence sector. Two severe excise duty hikes have hit the sector very hard and as a direct result, a number of businesses have closed and jobs been lost. Fourteen businesses have closed in total since January 2013. On top of that, we have seen an increase in cross-border shopping and a rise in illicit trade. Government must understand that excise is not the answer and instead focus on bringing forward the Public Health (Alcohol) Bill which we hope will properly regulate the sector’.

“The awards highlight however that even in the toughest operating environments; our members can maintain the highest standards when responsibly retailing alcohol and never fail to offer the best service to customers’, said Jones.

The most notable awards are, ‘National Off-Licence of the Year’, ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year’ and ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year’.

The much sought after accolades went to:

  • Dicey’s Off-Licence in Ballyshannon Co. Donegal – ‘National Off-Licence of the Year’
  • The Molloy Group, Dublin - ‘Responsible Retailer of the Year’
  • Judith Boyle, Next Door @ J.Boyles, Market Square, Kildare - ‘RTC Online Trainee of the Year’

In addition, all 40 finalists were awarded certificates of either ‘Standard’, ‘Merit’ or ‘Excellence’ based on their performance.

Other awards on the night included:

  • Specialist Off-Licence Group of the Year 2014 – O’Donovan’s, Cork
  • Best First Time Entrant 2014 – Blackrock Cellar, Dublin
  • Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2014 – Shiel’s Londis PLUS Malahide
  • Customer Service Award of the Year 2014 – Martin’s Off-Licence, Fairview
  • Spirit Specialist of the Year 2014 – Mitchell & Son Wine Merchants, CHQ    Building.
  • Beer Specialist of the Year 2014 – Baggot Street Wines, Dublin 4
  • Wine Specialist of the Year 2014 – Jus de Vine, Portmarnock
  • Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2014 – World Wide Wines, Waterford
  • Connaught/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2014 – McCambridge’s, Galway
  • Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2014 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny
  • Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2014 – Gibneys Off-Licence, Malahide

Judging for the awards began in June 2013, which was the beginning of a tough but rewarding journey for all of this year’s award winners.   The process culminated in a blind wine tasting which involved participants answering questions about the unidentified wines. Final awards were allocated following this process.

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