Tobin’s Topaz/Spar Express crowned supreme winners at C-Store Awards 2015

Platinum sponsors, Nigel Scully of Cuisine de France/Aryzta, David Vaz of The Irish Mail and The Irish Mail on Sunday and Dermot Griffin of the National Lottery present the supreme award to Annette and Eddie Tobin

Led by master of ceremonies, Marty Whelan, the country's best convenience stores were rewarded for their dedication and commitment to delivering excellence at the ShelfLife C-Store Awards 2015



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26 November 2015

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Dublin’s Ballsbridge Hotel was a buzzing hive of celebration last night as this year’s ShelfLife C-Store Award winners were announced, with the supreme accolade of National Convenience Store of the Year scooped by Tobin’s Topaz/Spar Express in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Commenting on why they felt Tobin’s was such a deserving winner, the judges said: “Spotlessly clean, this convenience store boasts exceptional standards across every department. The staff, including the forecourt operators are superb and it’s clear that quality reigns uppermost within this store’s deli, a fact which certainly has not gone unnoticed among the locals!”

Owned and run by Eddie and Annette Tobin, the store on the Port Road in Letterkenny was originally opened by Eddie’s father Pat, back in 1980 when it consisted of just two pumps and a kiosk. Today it is a pristine example of the best in convenience retailing, incorporating a first rate store and forecourt, a 93 seat diner and ample free parking, with 37 people employed by the business. The store was also named as Ireland’s Forecourt of the Year at last night’s ceremony and is clearly on a winning streak as it recently claimed the overall National Q Mark winner across all businesses as well as winning the Q Mark Best Forecourt Award for the past five consecutive years.

Meanwhile, this year’s C-Store Champion Award was presented to Leo Crawford, president of Spar International. Heading towards 20 years’ service at managing director level within the convenience store business, this is an individual who has thoroughly demonstrated his entrepreneurial drive with management buy outs, acquisitions and recently though the introduction of a new investor in the convenience sector.

Another honourable mention on the night must go to Seamus Kelly of Londis Milltown, Co Kerry, who upon collecting the Cuisine de France Bakery Award 2015 and gentle persuasion from our MC Marty Whelan, treated us to a stirring rendition of Raglan Road from the stage!

The ShelfLife National C-Store Awards, now in its 15th year, was set up to acknowledge stores and individuals that set the standards for the industry. Congratulations to all this year’s hard-working and deserving winners, the full list of which can be seen below. To check out more photographs from the ceremony (and maybe even spy yourself!) head over to our Facebook page at

Full List of Winners ShelfLife C-Store Awards 2015

Supreme Champion: National Convenience Store Winner 2015

  • Tobins Topaz/Spar Express, Letterkenny


Best Convenience Store (stores under 1,500 sq. ft.) 2015

Sponsored by Cuisine de France, National Lottery, The Irish Daily Mail

  • Gala Topaz Patrickswell, Limerick


Best Convenience Store (stores 1,500-2,500 sq. ft.) 2015

Sponsored by Cuisine de France, National Lottery, The Irish Daily Mail

  • Spar, Parkwest, Dublin 


Best Convenience Store (stores 2,500-4,000 sq. ft) 2015

Sponsored by Cuisine de France, National Lottery, The Irish Daily Mail

  • Centra Lahinch Road, Ennis, Clare


Best Convenience Store (stores 4000+ sq. ft) 2015

Sponsored by Cuisine de France, National Lottery, The Irish Daily Mail

  • Mace Topaz Lissycasey, Clare


Forecourt Retailer of the Year 2015

Sponsored by Seachange

  • Tobins Topaz/Spar Express, Letterkenny


Best Food to Go Department 2015

Sponsored by Cuisine de France

  • Junction 14 (Spar/Texaco), Kildare


Best New Convenience Store Format 2015

Sponsored by Postpoint

  • Store by Topaz


Irish Language Retailer of the Year 2015

Sponsored by Foras na Gaeilge

  • Durkin’s Costcutter, Baile na hAbhann, Contae na Gaillimhe


Solid Fuel Retailer of the Year 2015

Sponsored by Bord na Mona

  • Amber Costcutter, Fermoy, Cork


Best News Department 2015

Sponsored by Irish Mail on Sunday

  • XL Eyre Square, Galway


National Lottery Retail Store 2015

Sponsored by National Lottery

  • Costcutter, Birr, Co. Offaly


Best Off-Licence Section 2015

Sponsored by Orchard Thieves

  • Londis KCR, Dublin


Best Fresh & Chilled Department 2015

Sponsored by Kerry Foods

  • Morton’s of Ranelagh, Dublin


Best Confectionery Department/Display 2015

Sponsored by Ferrero

  • XL NUI , Galway


Best Community Initiative 2015

Sponsored by Invest Northern Ireland

  • Spar, Moneygall, Offaly


Staff Development Award 2015

Sponsored by Payzone

  • Centra Bishopstown, Cork


Convenience Champion of the Year 2015

Sponsored by EIQA

  • Leo Crawford, BWG


C-Store Product of the Year 2015

Sponsored by XL

  • Coca Cola 500ml


C-Store Wine of the Year 2015

Sponsored by Barry Group/Costcutter/Carry Out

  • Blossom Hill (C&C Gleeson)


Best Retail Technology Supplier 2015

Sponsored by

  • CBE


C-Store Supplier of the Year 2015

Sponsored by Gala

  • Cuisine de France/Aryzta


Best New C-Store Product Launch 2015

Sponsored by Spar

  • Aero Mousse


Best C-Store Marketing Campaign 2015

Sponsored by Leaders Enterprise

  • Cadbury ‘I Can Boogie’


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