Held at the Honourable Society of King’s Inns, Dublin, the 12 overall award-winners were added to by some 50 finalists who received either ‘Standard’, ‘Merit’ or ‘Excellence’ certificates following the judging which was only completed that afternoon with a blind-tasting. The much sought-after National Off-Licence of the Year 2011 accolade was presented to Sweeney’s by NOffLA Chairperson Evelyn Jones.
Judging began in July 2010 and marks were awarded for key criteria including overall appearance, hygiene, product range, customer service and product knowledge, “a tough but rewarding journey for all of this year’s award winners” according to NOffLA. The awards are held annually to recognise those off-licences around the country that offer exceptional service to customers and demonstrate excellence in retail standards.
According to NOffLA Chairperson Evelyn Jones, “It hasn’t been an easy year for the industry so our members have really had to raise the bar and get a better understanding of exactly what the customer wants. It’s evident from the judges’ feedback that they have been doing just that”.
She continued, “The Awards are well-recognised by industry and by the general public so will go a long way to demonstrating the quality offered by our finalists”.