Last night NOffLA announced the winners of its annual National Off-Licence of the Year Awards now in its 26th year.
The Awards, usually held at the Honourable Society of King’s Inns, were hosted online again this year, with plans to return to the in-person ceremony for next year’s event.
The Awards recognise and showcase the excellence of independent off-licences and highlight those retailers offering exceptional service to customers and demonstrating excellence in retail standards.
“Tonight’s a celebration of all that’s great about the independent off-licence sector and community retailing,” said NOffLA Chairman Gary O’Donovan, speaking about the Awards, “We’re delighted to showcase the high level of expertise and innovation demonstrated by our members and the exceptional standard of service offered to their customers throughout the year. While we’re all looking forward to a brighter year ahead, we hope the ethos of ‘shopping local’ and ‘supporting community businesses’ remains.
“The impact of the pandemic and closure of the hospitality sector for the best part of two years has had a devastating impact on the wider drinks sector,” he continued, “Their lack of trade has also had significant knock-on implications for our suppliers as the overall industry has declined significantly.
“In this context, Government must now seriously consider policy measures to assist the sector to get back on its feet and this must start with Irish excise rates – which remain the highest in Europe. We now have Minimum Unit Pricing in place, a targeted alcohol pricing policy that prevents alcohol being retailed at dangerously low prices and so Ireland’s punitively high excise regime can no longer be justified in the name of public health. It’s so important that Government grants an excise reduction to help support these struggling businesses as they try to re-establish themselves.”
All 36 finalists were awarded certificates of ‘Excellence’ and a Customer Service Award based on their performance.
Other awards on the night included:
- The Champagne Ayala Best First Time Entrant 2022 – Carry Out, Ballinasloe
- The Peroni Nastro Food Retailer Off-Licence of the Year 2022 –64 Wine, Glasthule
- The El Coto Customer Service Award of the Year 2022 – Molloys, Clondalkin
- The Redbreast Spirit Specialist of the Year 2022 – Higgins Off-Licence, Clonskeagh
- The Guinness Beer Specialist of the Year 2022 – James Redmond & Sons, Ranelagh
- The Dona Paula Wine Specialist of the Year 2022 – Jus De Vine, Portmarnock
- The Hennessy Munster Off-Licence of the Year 2022 – Carry Out, The Reeks Killarney
- The Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin Connacht/Ulster Off-Licence of the Year 2022 – Dicey’s Off-Licence, Ballyshannon
- The Alpha Zeta Leinster Off-Licence of the Year 2022 – The Wine Centre, Kilkenny
- The Bombay Sapphire Dublin Off-Licence of the Year 2022 – McHugh’s Off-Licence, Malahide Road
- The NOffLA RTC Online Trainee of the Year 2022 – Robert O’Brien, McHugh’s Off-Licence, Malahide Road
- The NOffLA Responsible Retailer of the Year 2022 – O’Donovans Off-Licence Group.
Judging for the Awards involves an examination of over 100 aspects of each entrant’s business and the process was altered this year to align with Government Covid-19 guidelines.