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Irish independents ‘vibrant and enterprising’

Ireland’s independent health food retailers celebrated in style as the Health Stores Ireland/Better Retailing Magazine Retailer Awards were presented in five categories during Vitality Expo in Dublin (28-29 September 2019).

The top five health stores were named as Here’s Health, Cork (Innovation and Business Development); Blásta Wholefoods, Dungarvan (Community Engagement); Evergreen, Galway (Training & Education); The Aloe Tree, Ennistymon (Environmental Initiatives); and Organico, Bantry (Digital Marketing).

Patrick Holford (left) with Garret McCabe of Health Matters, Dublin – Innovation & Business Development special commendation.

Gerald Colfer (right) of Only Natural, Wexford, Special Commendation in Community Engagement, with Peter Noone of Wholefoods Wholesale Ltd.

Dr Marilyn Glenville (left) with Polly Morgan of Evergreen, Galway – Education and Training award winner.

Sian Morgan (left) of Healing Harvest, Kinvara, County Galway, Environmental Initiatives special commendation, with Rob Verkerk.

Helena Chambers (left) of Evergreen, Galway, Special Commendation in Digital Marketing, with winners Rachel & Hannah Dare of Organico, Bantry, County Cork and Richard Wilkins of Independent Irish Health Foods Ltd.

Special Commendations in each category went to Food For Life, Kilkenny, and Health Matters, Dublin and Wicklow (Innovation & Business Development); Fruit ‘N Nut Place, Portlaoise, and Only Natural, Wexford (Community Engagement); Simple Simon’s, Donegal and Solero Viva, Tipperary (Training & Education); Loop de Loop, Castletownbere and Healing Harvest, Kinvara (Environmental Initiatives); Horan’s, Tralee and Evergreen, Galway (Digital Marketing).

The awards were presented by key industry figures including author Dr Marilyn Glenville, Institute for Optimum Nutrition founder Patrick Holford and Dr Rob Verkerk of the Alliance for Natural Health.

Alan McGrath, National Organiser for Health Stores Ireland, said: “The awards showcase the best elements from a vibrant and enterprising independent retail sector in Ireland. All the awards are presented, and graciously received, as a collective recognition of the sector’s achievements as well as some outstanding individual accomplishments.”

The Pat Curran Award for Excellence In Service, voted for by the readers of Rude Health magazine, was presented to Teresa Callaghan, owner Healthy Beings, Strokestown, County Roscommon.

The highest achievers in Health Food Institute training and education were also recognised. The Andrew Cape Memorial Award for the highest achiever in the Diploma course was handed to Amanda Davies of Evergreen, Galway, while the Del Eagle Award for the Certificate course was presented to Paula Bolinska, also of Evergreen.

Special Recognition for services to retail was given to Matt Ronan, Spokesperson for the VAT Campaign in Ireland, while Special Recognition in the Industry went to Gabrielle McAuley of A.Vogel Ireland.

Earlier, industry product awards were awarded to Viridian L-Theanine and Lemon Balm Capsules (Best Supplement), The Cultured Food Company Raw Sauerkraut (Best Food Product), Palm Free Irish Soaps (Best Bodycare) and Cheeki Cups, Straws & Boxes (Best Environmental Product).

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