The founder of Applegreen and Topaz Dublin Port were among the prestigious list of winners at a major industry awards event in Dublin on Wednesday 6 September.
After undergoing rigorous independent judging ahead of this year’s Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer Awards, Topaz Dublin Post overcame world-class competition from throughout the island of Ireland to win the top prize of Forecourt and Convenience Retailer of the Year.
Set in the fabulous Clayton on Burlington Road, Dublin, and hosted by sensational Irish broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan, the awards – now in their 16th year – celebrated the finest forecourt retailers from across the island.
The Dublin Port site was entered automatically into the running for Forecourt and Convenience Retailer of the Year after winning two other awards earlier that evening – Best Forecourt Facilities and Forecourt Retailer of the year Category 3 (3,001 sq ft and over).
Accepting the award Julianna Murphy said: “A lot of the hard work has paid off, and we’re delighted to win this incredible award.”
Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer Awards is a pivotal event for the Irish forecourt industry, acting as a benchmark of excellence for the sector and a key driver of innovation and aspiration.
The local forecourt industry has a significant and growing share of Ireland’s 18 billion Euro grocery and convenience market. While recognised as one of most advanced forecourt markets in world, the sector across Ireland also plays a significant role in local communities, providing support and assistance for many local clubs and charities.
It is this variety of roles played by the sector that is recognised at these important awards.
Another significant winner on the night was Applegreen founder and current CEO Bob Etchingham.
Having spent almost 40 years in the Irish forecourt Industry, Mr Etchingham is now leading the charge of one of Ireland’s biggest and best forecourt companies as they continue their unprecedented rate of acquisitions and openings across the UK and US.
The event’s 450 guests gave a rousing standing ovation for the Applegreen boss as he took to the stage, telling guests of his delight at receiving the prestigious award.
There was also success for Supermac’s founder Pat McDonagh, whose Charlestown Plaza forecourt took the Forecourt Retailer Category 1 prize, while employee Paudie Byrne impressed the independent judges to win the coveted Store Manager of the Year Award.
Paudie, manager of Tipperary Town Plaza, said he was delighted at receiving one of the industry’s most respected prizes.
“I’m delighted for myself and the team at Tipperary Town Plaza,” he said. “It wasn’t just an individual effort, as credit must go to the 56 staff that work so hard at the Plaza.”
Bill Penton, publisher of Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer, welcomed the calibre of support and entries for this year’s awards.
“These awards are an important institution for the industry, and the calibre of entries and people who attended the event is a reflection of the strength of not only the awards themselves but of the industry in general,” he said.
“It’s an honour to have the opportunity to celebrate some of the most significant players in Irish business and see many of them give their support to these fantastic awards.”
Sponsors for the event included a range of local and international success stories in their own right. The full list of sponsors for the event was Philip Morris, Ireland’s Wedding Journal, Suresite Group, Bord Na Mona, Revolution Laundrette, National Lottery, Smooch, Costa Express, MTS Security, Lindt, Cashzone, Parcel Motel, Fifo/Solv-X, Irish Prestige Signs, Petrocourt, and Nestle Professional.
The evening’s awards followed an afternoon of industry talks and exhibitions as part of Ireland’s Convenience Retailer Summit.
The Summit, which involved a conference featuring an array of high profile international speakers along with a focused Trade Exhibition with 40 key exhibitors, welcomed some 400 delegates to hear about ‘The Future of Convenience’.
Ireland’s Forecourt & Convenience Retailer is Ireland’s number one trade publication for the retail and forecourt industry. Its annual awards are judged by an independent panel from Spotcheck, and regarded as the annual focal point the retailing calendar in Ireland.
Forecourt and Convenience Store of the Year Category 1
Charlestown Service Station
Forecourt and Convenience Store of the Year Category 2
Hanlon’s Gala Service Station
Forecourt and Convenience Store of the Year Category 3
Topaz Dublin Port
Lifetime Achievement Award
Bob Etchingham, CEO of Applegreen
Newcomer of the Year
Texaco Spar Fermoy
Motorway Service Station of the Year (*New for 2017)
Manor Stone Service Station Ballacolla
Best Customer Care
Community Store of the Year (*New for 2017)
Roches Londis Doneraile
Best Food to Go
Creightons of Balmoral
Best Site with Licence to sell Alcohol
Tobin’s Service Station
Best Category Management
Best Forecourt Facilities
Topaz Dublin Port
Best Oil Co Initiative
Inver Energy Ltd
Best Training Initiative
Mc Caugheys 24hr Service Station
Store Manager of the Year
Paudie Byrne, Tipperary Town Plaza
Forecourt Retailer of the Year (Overall winner)
Topaz Dublin Port