Congratulations to

APPLEGREEN RATHCOOLE’S KARL FITZGERALD

Awarded 2021’s GMA Supreme Champion
Supreme Champion praised by judges for “demonstrating the importance of togetherness, health, and the wellbeing of his team, particularly during the lockdown periods.”


Now in their 16th year, the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards have once again recognised individual management excellence in the grocery sector. A total of 20 awards were presented at the prestigious ceremony held yesterday on Wednesday, 27 October 2021 at the Royal Marine Hotel in Dún Laoghaire, Co. Dublin.

Led by RTÉ presenter, MC Shay Byrne, the ceremony honoured the best in the many departments that make up local convenience stores and supermarkets, culminating in the grand prize of ShelfLife National Grocery Retail Manager of the Year.

Supported by platinum sponsor Bank of Ireland and carried out in association with Excel Recruitment, the National Grocery Management Awards scheme is independently judged and seeks out best management practice among those who carry responsibility without ownership in the grocery retail sector.

‘Heroes of Retail: Not all heroes wear capes’ was the theme of this year’s event, which recognised the tremendous dedication to customers and colleagues demonstrated by retail managers across the country, as they navigated a second year of the Covid-19 crisis and the myriad challenges presented for the retail sector.

In recognition of this outstanding commitment, this year’s ceremony included a special ‘Müller Hero of the Year’ Award, presented to a store that during the pandemic has consistently gone the extra mile for its local community.

Daybreak Williamstown in Co. Galway was the worthy winner, based on a sterling team effort which included delivering groceries for the local community and offering personal shopping services at no additional cost to ensure the vulnerable were kept safe and protected.

The Daybreak store also extended its deli opening hours to provide meals for those in need within the community. Furthermore, the team are very active in raising funds for the Irish Heart Foundation (IHF), including hosting a spin-a-thon on their forecourt to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

 

Our Supreme Champion for 2021, Karl Fitzgerald of Applegreen Rathcoole, Co. Dublin, likewise stood out in the judges’ minds for the way in which he has supported his colleagues and local community throughout challenging times, boosting morale through his positive mindset.

 

The judges were full of praise for Karl Fitzgerald and his achievements, noting: “The overall winner this year stood out for several reasons, firstly his dedication and passion for the retail industry was clear and highlighted by his peers. He is a hands-on manager, who builds rapport, has patience with his team and has a clear focus on promoting excellent customer service. He has really demonstrated the importance of togetherness, health, and the wellbeing of his team, particularly during the lockdown periods.”

 

This included allotting additional time to developing the staff that were heavily replied on during the lockdown, holding regular team meetings to keep the bond and positivity strong within his store, and always aiming to maintain morale throughout the pandemic. 

 

“Our Supreme Champion credits his competitive sporting background and personal achievements for having a major effect on his management style and managerial success,” the judges added. “This has greatly influenced his overall mindset in work which affects his mood, positivity, energy, and passion for his job. These last two years have really demonstrated the importance of Karl Fitzgerald’s mantra which is to build the business around the people as opposed to building people for the business.”  

On behalf of all the team at ShelfLife, we would like to thank everyone who entered the awards this year and say a huge congratulations to all 20 deserving winners, outlined below. We would also like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our platinum sponsor Bank of Ireland and all the sponsors highlighted below, without whom the ceremony simply would not have been possible.

The full list of winners and sponsors at the ShelfLife Grocery Management Awards 2021 is as follows:

Award NameWinner
Cash and Carry Manager of the Year
Sponsored by BAT & Vuse
Kieran Barron
BWG Value Centre Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
Customer Service Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Excel Recruitment
Emer Rave,
SuperValu Sutton, Dublin 13
Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Xpress Chef

Ger Keenan
Masterson`s Centra, Carrick on Shannon, Co. Leitrim
Forecourt Delicatessen/Food to Go Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Xpress Chef
Emma Sinclair
Applegreen, 17 Malahide Road, St. Doolaghs, Dublin 13
HR Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Excel Recruitment
Adriana Pacurariu,
Londis, Co. Dublin
Off-Licence Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Bibendum Ireland
Michael Molloy
SuperValu Ranelagh, Dublin 6
Small C-Store of the Year
Award sponsored by Albyn Retail Consultancy
Arthur McGuire
Daybreak Ravens Terrace, Co. Galway
Medium C-Store of the Year Award
Award sponsored by PepsiCo
Ger Kelly
Delaney’s Mace, Liosban Industrial Estate, Co. Galway
Large C-Store of the Year
Award sponsored by PepsiCo
James Brennan, SuperValu Kilmainham, Dublin 8
Small Forecourt Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee
Clare Sheehan
Applegreen Youghal, Co. Cork
Large Forecourt Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Seattle’s Best Coffee
Karl Fitzgerald
Applegreen Rathcoole, Co Dublin
Small Supermarket Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Marcin Rokosz
Brosnan’s Centra, Schull, Cork
Mid-Size Supermarket Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Goren Kierse
Aldi, Douglas, Co. Cork
Large Supermarket Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Noel Willis
Tesco Claremorris, Co. Mayo
Superstore Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Robbie Kelly
Tesco Liffey Valley, Lucan, Co. Dublin
Müller Hero of the Year
Award sponsored by Müller
Daybreak Williamstown, Co. Galway
Retail Team of the Year
Award sponsored by ShelfLife
SuperValu Hanley Rowlagh
Clondalkin, Dublin 22
Brand Marketing Team of the Year
Award sponsored by BWG Foods
Sicín Sásta
Trading Team of the Year
Award sponsored by Shopper Intelligence
Tesco Ireland
Supreme Champion – The National Grocery Manager of the Year
Award sponsored by Bank of Ireland
Karl Fitzgerald, Applegreen Rathcoole, Co. Dublin