Ireland's health stores are 'in great shape'

Winners of the Health Stores Ireland/Better Retailing Magazine Awards announced

Ireland's independent health food stores are in great shape - that's the conclusion following the first Health Stores Ireland/Better Retailing Magazine retailer awards presented in five categories during Vitality Expo in Dublin (8-9th September 2018).

The top five health stores were named as The Hopsack, Dublin (Innovation and Business Development); The Natural Health Store, Wexford (Community Engagement); Evergreen, Galway (Training & Education); Organico, Bantry (Environmental Initiatives); and Only Natural, Wexford (Digital Marketing).

In all there were 21 nominations competing to be named as Ireland's brightest and best health stores in the awards co-ordinated by Health Stores Ireland and sponsored on the night by Wiley's Finest and Better Retailing Magazine.

Nominations in each category also included Sonas Wholefoods, Newcastle West, and Nuts & Grains, Mullingar (Innovation & Business Development); Fruit 'N Nut Place, Portlaoise, and Loop De Loop, Castletownbere (Community Engagement); Organico, Bantry and Natural Choice, Cork (Training & Education); The Aloe Tree, Ennistymon and Healing Harvest, Kinvara (Environmental Initiatives); Aquarian, Cahersiveen and Evergreen, Galway (Digital Marketing).

Special recognition for Environmental Initiatives in 2018 were also awarded to Simple Simons, Donegal; The Aloe Tree, Ennistymon; The Quay Co-op, Cork; and Healing Harvest, Kinvara.

The awards were presented by key industry figures including authors Patrick Holford and Dr Marilyn Glenville and Dr Rob Verkerk of the Alliance for Natural Health.

Announcing the winners, Better Retailing Magazine editor Alistair Forrest said: "Irish consumers are enthused by a genuine smile and extremely knowledgeable and caring staff, and the country's health stores lead the way in these respects."

The Pat Curran Award for Excellence In Service, voted for by the readers of Rude Health Magazine, was presented by editor Lucy Taylor to Angie Myles of Golden Health Store, Longford.

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 Melanie Philips of Blasta Wholefoods, Dungarvan, while the Del Eagle Award for the Certificate course was presented to Amanda Davis of Evergreen, Galway.

There was a special presentation to the family of the late Del Eagle, former administrator of Health Stores Ireland, on behalf of the natural health sector. The emotionally charged moment saw her children, Niamh and Alan Eagle, receive a life appreciation plaque.

Earlier, industry product awards were awarded to A.Vogel Echinaforce Throat Spray (Best Supplement), Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar (Best Food Product) and Weleda Skin Food (Best Bodycare).

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