17th November 2023

The Winners – Clare Business Excellence Awards



Wix and Wax named overall winners at Clare Business Excellence Awards 2023


Press Release

November 17, 2023


It was a packed house at the Inn at Dromoland for Clare Business Excellence Awards 2023 (Thursday, November 16), where Ennis-based luxury candle and home scents company Wix and Wax scooped top prize, when awarded ‘Clare Business of the Year’.

The overall award, as with individual category winner awards, was selected by a panel of professional independent adjudicators.

This year’s category winners hail from every corner of our enterprising county and represent a broad range of sectors.

They are: Ei Electronics, Tierney’s Office Automation, County Boutique, Blackbird (Jewellery), Doolin Ferry Company, Tubridy’s Restaurant (Doonbeg). Mondo Café (Ennis), St Francis Credit Union, Hotel Woodstock, Shannon Springs Hotel, Bridget Haren Hair & Beauty, Wix and Wax and Ennis Book Club Festival.   

Ennis Chamber launched ‘Clare Business Excellence Awards 2023’ at the end of June, with Clare County Council as the awards main sponsor and supporter. Independent adjudicators, Spotcheck NI, were recruited to complete mystery visits and reviews for categories involving retail, hospitality, tourism, café, restaurant, and customer service. This in-person ‘mystery’ adjudication took place over September and early October.  For categories where judging was based on written submissions an independent expert adjudication panel was established by SpotCheckNI.

Great Night for Networking and Celebration

Commenting on the Awards Gala, Ennis Chamber President Sheila Lynch, said, “It was a fabulous occasion. We welcomed 275 guests for a sit-down meal, Awards Ceremony and entertainment, the atmosphere in the room was warm and good humoured. People were out to celebrate and were genuinely pleased for the opportunity to network with other fellow dynamic businesses and to have time and space to relax and enjoy themselves.”

The independent judges awarded the highest overall mark to Wix and Wax, commenting that they were swayed in their decision by the “energy and positive ‘can do’ attitude of founders Chantel Keane and Danielle Kenneally, which in turn has led to exceptional growth and sales in a relatively short timeframe”.

Cathaoirleach of Clare County Council, Cllr. Joe Cooney, said, “I was particularly pleased to see that finalists and the eventual category winners were drawn from all parts of our enterprising county. Clare Business Excellence Awards attracted excellent entries, and the finalists reflected an impressive line-up of businesses from micro to large organisations. The line-up of winners is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that is obviously alive and well in the Banner County.”

Chief Executive of Clare County Council, Pat Dowling, commented, “Clare County Council was proud to take on the role of main sponsor, once again, for these Clare Business Excellence Awards. It is very important to support local enterprise and to recognise the achievements of local businesses in a meaningful way. This year’s finalists were a perfect reflection of the range and size of businesses operating in Clare. They were drawn from a broad range of sectors, from retail to professional services, tourism to hospitality, micro businesses to multinationals. Amongst the finalists were businesses employing staff numbers from three to more than 1,000.”

Margaret O’Brien, CEO, Ennis Chamber said, “The annual Clare Business Excellence Awards are only made possible through the generosity and support of our sponsors.  In particular Clare County Council, but also the individual category sponsors. To the best of our knowledge Clare Business Excellence Awards is the only county or regional business awards where adjudication is outsourced to professional consultants whose business is purely focused on conducting company audits, customer service audits, benchmarking, mystery shopping and dining reviews. The adjudicators literally toured Clare to experience firsthand the hospitality, tourism, retail, and customer service provided by all our entrants. And all entrants, not just finalists and winners will receive feedback from our adjudicators next week.”


Photo caption: Left to right : Chantel Keane (co-founder Wix and Wax), with Aisling Kenneally and Danielle Keneally (co-founder Wix and Wax) celebrate being named ‘Clare Business of the Year’ at Clare Business Excellence Awards, hosted by Ennis Chamber.


The following is a list of Category winners for this year’s Clare Business Excellence Awards


Clare Business Excellence Award Winners 2023

Overall Winner:

Sponsored by Clare County Council

‘Clare Business of the Year’: Wix and Wax

Category Winners

BEST SME (From 10 to 250 employees)

Sponsored by Cup Print

Winner:       Tierney’s Office Automation


BEST MICRO BUSINESS (employing 10 people or less)

Sponsored by Local Enterprise Office, Clare

Winner:         Wix and Wax




Sponsored by the Clare Echo

Winner:      Hotel Woodstock



Sponsored by Rengen Power

Winner:       Bridget Haren Hair & Beauty



Sponsored by Essilor

Winner:       Ei Electronics



Sponsored by Ennis Chamber

Winner:       St. Francis Credit Union


BEST PLACE TO EAT (Bistro or Café)

Sponsored by AIB

Winner:                Mondo


BEST PLACE TO EAT (Restaurant)

Sponsored by AIB

Winner:       Tubridy’s (Doonbeg)



Sponsored by McKeogh Gallagher Ryan Accountants

Winner:               Blackbird



Sponsored by TUS

Winner:       Doolin Ferry Company



Sponsored by Shannon Airport Group

Winner:         Shannon Springs Hotel



Sponsored by Clean Ireland Recycling

Winner:         County Boutique



Sponsored by Vitalograph

Winner:               Ennis Book Club Festival



For further information contact: Margaret O’Brien, CEO, Ennis Chamber

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