Here are the recent winners of the JCI Ireland Friendly Business Awards.
In its tenth consecutive year, the JCI Ireland Friendly Business Awards recognise the important roles that SMEs play in the continuous development and improvement of our country.
The project, sponsored by Bank of Ireland, aims to reward friendly businesses, ones that go that extra mile and provide outstanding customer service for their customers and their communities.
Speaking at the final awards ceremony Ronan Neacy, Director of Business for JCI Ireland said, “We all know that wonderful feeling when we walk into any business and experience a service of warmth, care and friendliness. This event serves to honour those businesses that give us that feeling.”
The winners and runners-up
With over 800 exceptional businesses shortlisted this year, the competition was fierce. In the end, the following winners and runners-up prevailed:
Ireland’s Friendliest Business: Winner – Oona Doherty Beauty Clinic, Sligo; Runner-up: McGrath Waste Management, Mayo.
Digital Experience: Winner – Bodyfirst Nutrition, Dublin; Runner-up – Neola Apparel, Fingal.
Community Impact: Winner – Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre, Cork; Runner-up – Conway’s Newsagents, Sligo.
Disability Access: Winner – Connemara Therapeutic Riding, Galway; Runner-up – Airfield Estate, Dublin.
Eco-Friendliness: Winner – Kathryn’s Country Kitchen, Mayo; Runner-up – Griffins Garden Centre, Cork.
Customer Care: Winner – King’s Paper & Gift Shop, Galway; Runner-up – Printfix Limited, Sligo.
Shop Layout & Design: Winner – The Lily Rose, Donegal; Runner-up – Falcon Fruits, Mayo.
About the winners
Overall Winner – Oona Doherty Beauty Clinic
Oona Doherty Beauty Clinic opened in October 1985 with the aim to provide clients with the highest standards of beauty therapy by friendly, professional staff in warm, plush surroundings at the most competitive prices. The Beauty Salon has maintained these standards over the years and has gone on to win the coveted Guinot Crown Salon International Award for ten consecutive years and has come runner-up in the Irish Beauty Salon of the Year Awards as well as the winner of Best Salon in Sligo two years running. They must be doing something right, and you can check them out at www.oonadoherty.com.
Pictured are (l-r): Adrian Corcoran (JCI Ireland President), Oona Doherty (Oona Doherty Beauty Clinic), Ronan Neacy (JCI Ireland Director of Business), Carol O’Donovan (JCI Cork President), and Laura Mellett (Bank of Ireland).
Digital Experience Winner – Bodyfirst Nutrition
Ireland’s fastest growing supplier of sports nutrition supplements and health foods. They are an Irish owned and operated company based in Dublin, but they deliver to anywhere within the U.K and Ireland.
They’re all about being the first to bring their customers the most innovative products on the market, and they supply top brand sports nutrition supplements at very competitive prices.
Find them on Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram to be kept up-to-date with all the latest products, nutrition tips and the best competition giveaways.
They stock all the leading brands in store such as Optimum Nutrition, MyProtein, Kinetica, BSN & Fulfil Nutrition to name a few.
Go to Bodyfirst for more details.
Community Impact Winner – Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre
Himalaya Yoga Valley is one of the largest yoga centres in Ireland, providing affordable, accessible and authentic yoga classes and workshops for all. Their centres in Cork City and Ballincollig are an oasis of calm and healing. The company was founded by director and expert teacher Yogacharya Lalit Kumar. Lalit has been practising yoga since the age of seven at traditional schools in India. He has been teaching internationally for the past 15 years, graduating thousands of students at his training centres in Goa, Dharamshala and Thailand, as well as here in Ireland. Visit yogacorkireland.com.
Pictured are (l-r): Adrian Corcoran (JCI Ireland President), Maeve O’Brien, (Director, Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre), Marion Courtney (Business Manager, Himalaya Yoga Valley Centre), Ronan Neacy (JCI Ireland Director of Business), Carol O’Donovan (JCI Cork President), and Laura Mellett (Bank of Ireland).
Disability Access Winner – Connemara Therapeutic Riding Centre
Connemara Therapeutic Riding (CTR) was formed as a CLG in 2017 after operating successfully since 2015 as a voluntary community group. CTR provides a community-based therapeutic riding service for adults and children with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities while promoting the Connemara pony as an ideal equine. They are a social enterprise which is needs-led and was developed by families of service users. Go here for more.
Pictured are (l-r): Adrian Corcoran (JCI Ireland President), Jacqueline Boulger (Connemara Therapeutic Riding Centre), Cathy Keane (Director, Connemara Therapeutic Riding Centre), Loretta O Malley (Chairperson, Connemara Therapeutic Riding Centre), Ronan Neacy (JCI Ireland Director of Business), Carol O’Donovan (JCI Cork President), and Laura Mellett (Bank of Ireland).
Eco-Friendliness Winner – Kathryn’s Country Kitchen
Kathryn’s County Kitchen is not your typical cafe. It is located in a cosy rural setting on Main Street, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. They provide a warm, friendly welcome and good food. Kathryn’s love of food has been passed on from her mother and aunt at home, where she first learnt to cook and bake. In May 2014 at the age of 24, Kathryn took a leap of faith and opened her café offering a delicious extensive breakfast and lunch menu. Her meals are made to order and contain only the freshest ingredients. They pride themselves on their home baking, all made fresh and based on family recipes. They are very aware of their economy and environment, practising environmentally-responsible habits daily. Find the business on Facebook.
Pictured are (l-r): Adrian Corcoran (JCI Ireland President), Kathryn Maloney (Kathryn’s Country Kitchen), Ronan Neacy (JCI Ireland Director of Business), Carol O’Donovan (JCI Cork President), and Laura Mellett (Bank of Ireland).
Customer Care Winner – King’s Paper & Gift Shop
King’s Paper & Gift Shop is a friendly family run business in the heart of Clifden, Connemara, Co. Galway, Ireland. Their customers are locals and visitors alike, and they have lots of products and services to cater to their many customers. With the help of their staff, they aim to provide a friendly and helpful service. They are happy to offer suggestions on gift ideas, and if they don’t have what you need, they will try to get it for you. Their staff will always go the extra mile for their customers. Go here for more details.
Pictured are (l-r): Adrian Corcoran (JCI Ireland President), Joan King (King’s Paper & Gift Shop), Lisa King (King’s Paper & Gift Shop), Ronan Neacy (JCI Ireland Director of Business), Carol O’Donovan (JCI Cork President), and Laura Mellett (Bank of Ireland).
Shop Layout & Design Winner – The Lily Rose
The Lily Rose café, located in Buncrana, Co. Donegal, is owned by Dawn Lambe who assists with local charities there. The café is indeed a gem from the decor to the friendly staff. They use local suppliers to provide lovely food, and the place has a great atmosphere. The building is easy to access, and the design is terrific. Find them on Facebook.
More information about the FBA project can be found at www.jciireland.ie or follow @jciireland on Facebook and Twitter.