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The best of Ireland's health food retailers celebrate in the 2024 Awards

Winners in the New Natural Business/Health Stores Ireland Retailer Awards – L-R Deirdre Murphy, Horans Healthstores; Dorothy Browne, Nice & Natural; Sally Smith, Open Sesame; Shirley Sheil, Healthy Vision; Tessa Badenhurst, The Aloe Tree; Hannah Dare, Organico; Jill Bell, Well & Good; Lorin Taylor, Licorice Healthstore; Linda Barry, Nature's Hand; Olivia Cahalane, The Health Connection.

Eighteen awards in seven categories were handed to Ireland's natural health retailers at the 'Putting Our Best Foot Forward' event in Shannon, County Clare, on January 28th.

The day was focused on networking, panel discussions and sectoral awards, with 40 trade exhibitors and 100 retailer participants representing more than 60 health food shops.

The return of the annual Health Stores Ireland / New Natural Business retailer awards was the centrepiece of the day with retailers picking up prizes under a range of categories, receiving due recognition for their resilience and innovation in challenging times.

These are the results:

Innovation & Business Development

Winner: Well & Good, Middleton
This committed foodie store has doubled its retail space in an expansion to include more globally sourced fair-trade products and Irish handmade artisan products while catering for the increasing consumer trend towards zero waste.

Special Commendations: Licorice, Portumna & Natures Hand, Limerick

Training & Education

Winner: Organico, Bantry
This store put three staff through Health Stores Ireland's Knowledge Accredited Course alongside weekly Zoom and shop floor training sessions while all staff are accumulating Health Food Institute Diplomas.

Special Commendations: Bee Healthy, Monaghan & Remedies, Dungarvan

Community Engagement

Winner: Healthy Vision, Roscrea
With 130 local women attending a Marilyn Glenville event, combined with support for local chairities and sports teams, this store goes further by supporting the local social inclusion community.

Special Commendations: Bee Healthy, Monaghan & Nice & Natural, Cootehill

Local Producer Champion

Winner: The Aloe Tree, Ennistymon
You name it, this store CONNECTS – local suppliers' evenings, in-store tastings throughout the year, an Irish Only cosmetics shelf, even greetings cards, albums and books by local artists, musicians and authors.

Special Commendations: Loop de Loop, Castletownbere & Simple Simon's, Donegal

Environmental Initiatives

Winner: Healing Harvest, Kinvara
A growing range of refill options for cleaning and body care products, even ink refills for pens, plus reusable products such as sanitary pads, plus strong support for local environmental groups including Tidy Towns.

Special Commendations: Open Sesame, Gort & Only Natural, Wexford

Digital Marketing & Social Media

Winner: Horan's, Tralee
A celebration of traditional and digital publishing, this store prints 20,000 copies of its quarterly magazine and offers a digital e-zine via its website and social media.

Special Commendation: Organico, Bantry

New Store

Winner: Here's Health, Cork
The award this year goes to an established store that has opened a new café with predominantly organic ingredients from local suppliers.

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