Dunsborough is home to WA’s best liquor store

Dunsborough Cellars

A South-West liquor store has scooped the most coveted prize at this year’s annual industry awards night.

Dunsborough Cellars was named both the “Country” and “WA Liquor Store of the Year” at the 28th WA Liquor Industry Awards, proudly presented by Lion at the Hyatt Regency in Perth on Friday night.

The awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the independent packaged liquor industry.

Voting for the best store is based on scores by dozens of sales representatives from wineries, beer suppliers and distilleries from across the state.

Dunsborough Cellars owner Geoff Davies said the award was a fantastic acknowledgement by the industry for his commitment to delivering a top customer experience.

“To win regional liquor store of the year is a real achievement, it’s very humbling, but to win the overall liquor store on top of that is a real thrill” he said.

It’s the first time Mr Davies and the store have won the award since opening in 2014 and the first time since 2019 a country liquor store has won the overall award.

Liquor Barons in Marmion was named the best Metropolitan Store of the year.

Darren Spackman from Liquor Barons in Kununurra took out the Anita Grace Community Service Award for his strong collaboration with

WA Police and the local council to help reduce harm around alcohol abuse in the Kimberley.

After receiving his award Mr Spackman urged the State Government and local stakeholders to adequately address the problems around alcohol abuse in regional communities.

“We’re fighting for every day, as a business and for our community…. there’s total dysfunction of our department and unfortunately, it’s got really bad, that we’ve got to the stage where we need to actually restrict our way of life because we can’t regulate society”.

Mr Spackman’s story and fight for better outcomes in regional WA was the focus of a special report documented by The West Australian reporter Sarah Crawford, who took out the Media Award- which is now in its second year.

Ms Crawford said stories like Mr Spackman’s and the associated social issues in the Kimberley need to be put under the spotlight.

“It’s like a different world up there with quite significant social issues…. people like Darren Spackman are in the coalface without really having that support from government and the social services to back them up”.

Racing and Gaming Minister Reece Whitby said the event was a fitting testament to the significant role family-owned liquor stores play in local communities.

“It’s the hospitality business isn’t it. It’s about people relaxing having a good time and having a drink. It’s a great industry and people love to be part of it”.

The event was marked by an emotional tribute for industry stalwart Brian Sheehy who passed away in November last year.

A larger-than-life colourful character Mr Sheehy spent more than 20 years in the industry working for notable companies such as Fogarty

Wine Group and more recently for Samuel Smith and Negociants. The sales representative of the year for Wine was this year named in his honour.

Liquor Stores Association WA CEO Peter Peck said this year’s event was the best in years.

“There has been so much to celebrate and commemorate this year but at the end of the day it’s about honouring and acknowledging the demanding work put in by these small family-owned businesses.

“The contribution that our members and suppliers make to the local community often goes unnoticed, so this is an event to remind everyone the important role they play.”

“I congratulate the award winners and thank all our partners for their ongoing support” he added.

More than 300 guests attended the event and plans are in place for next year’s festivities.

To see the photos from the night click HERE

Liquor Stores Association of WA 2023 Lion Liquor Industry Award winners

Peter Basioli WA Liquor Store of the Year
*Dunsborough Cellars

Metropolitan Liquor Store of the Year
*Liquor Barons Marmion

Country Liquor Store of the Year
*Dunsborough Cellars

Anita Grace Community Service Award
Darren Spackman- Liquor Barons Kununurra

Lion Liquor Industry Media Award
Sarah Crawford (The West Australian)

Employee of the Year
Guy Southern – Copper and Oak

Sales Representative of the Year – Beer
James Peacock – Coopers Premium

Sales Representative of the Year – Wine
Neil McPherson, Off the Vine

Sales Representative of the Year – Spirits/RTDs
Justyn Brady – Brown Forman

Supplier of the Year – Beer
Good Drinks Australia

Supplier of the Year – Wine
Off the Vine

Supplier of the Year – Spirit/RTDs
Brown- Forman

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