Ballymaloe House win big at inaugural Energia Family Business Awards, scooping Gold in the Best Small Family Business of the Year category

Pictured at the inaugural Energia Family Business Awards at the Mansion House Dublin is (l-r) Wendy Whelan and Fern Allen of Ballymaloe House, who accepted the award for Small Family Business of the Year from Tom Procter of Sysnet Global Solutions. Photographer - Paul Sherwood, Ashville Media, Family Business Awards, held at the Mansion House, Dublin. May 2019

The Allen family has been synonymous with the Irish food experience since Ballymaloe House first opened its doors as a restaurant in 1964, so it seems only fitting that the property was presented with the Gold award for Best Small Family Business of the Year at last week's Energia Family Business Awards. Held at Dublin's Mansion House, the inaugural awards ceremony recognised both big and small family businesses from all over Ireland, with Ballymaloe House proudly taking their place among the list of 18 winners.
While scooping Gold in such a prestigious category was the highlight of the event for the Ballymaloe House team, the internationally renowned Irish country house was also recognised for their excellent performance within the hospitality industry, walking away with the Silver award in the Hospitality Business of the Year category. With over 200 entries received for its inaugural year, the Energia Family Business Awards saw strong representation from different industries and reputable businesses nationwide.
Hosted by Matt Cooper, the event featured winners across almost 20 categories, each of whom were selected by a panel of judges that included JJ O'Connell, National Director and Co-Chair of Family Business Ireland; Mark Christal, Manager of the Regions and Entrepreneurship division Enterprise Ireland; and Glyn Roberts, CEO of Retail NI; among others.
Speaking at the event, Fern Allen, who along with her sister Wendy Whelan collected the awards on behalf of Ballymaloe House, said: "We're delighted and grateful to be walking away with two awards in categories that are extremely important to us as a business, but it is a particular honour for us to take away Gold in the Small Family Business category. Family has been at the heart of the Ballymaloe experience from the very beginning, and it's wonderful that over 50 years later, the family ethos continues to shine through."
Commenting on the winners, Katherine O'Riordan, Event Director of the Energia Family Business Awards said: "We are thrilled at the outstanding first year we've had with the Energia Family Business Awards! All of our finalists are busy reshaping the Irish business landscape and some extremely tough decisions had to be made. Everyone who entered the awards should be extremely proud of all the hard work and passion that goes into operating an Irish family business."