Sweeney’s Homevalue (Sweeney Plumbing & Hardware Ltd) in Co. Donegal was delighted to be named ‘Best Heating & Plumbing Store in Ulster’ at the recent 2022 United in Excellence Awards.
The third-generation family business, which has outlets in Lettermacward and Gweedore, was honoured for achieving exceptional standards at the awards ceremony, which was hosted by comedian Mario Rosenstock at the Slieve Russell Hotel, Golf & Country Club in Ballyconnell, Co. Cavan. The event saw the presentation of 33 awards over various key business categories such as paint, customer service, light hardware and DIY, merchanting and best regional store.
As part of the nomination process, every group member store across the entire network must comply with a strict set of criteria to ensure that the highest possible standards are continuously upheld. This involves an assessment by store operations, which also includes an independent mystery shopper audit by an external third party. At the awards ceremony, a cheque for more than €20,000 was presented to the Peter McVerry Trust, United Hardware’s chosen charity.
“We’re thrilled with the award. We’ve only been part of the Homevalue family for four years and this is great recognition for the hard work and dedication of our team who always put our customers first,” says Sweeney’s Homevalue owner Adrian Sweeney, who is a former All-Star footballer with Donegal.
“Anytime you win something, it gives you a bit of bounce and shows that you’re doing something right. We employ 12 people between our two stores and it’s a real team effort. We will continue to strive for further improvement and look for ways to become more progressive and more efficient. There’s always room for improvement.”
United Hardware Group CEO Paul Candon says: “The United in Excellence Awards recognise and celebrate best in class offerings, standards and customer service across the industry. Our winning members have significantly raised the bar when it comes to excellence in retailing, and have proven that they are the very best hardware stores in Ireland.
“The awards come at a particularly interesting time for our sector as we emerge from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and we face new challenges in the future. They present a timely milestone to reflect on our journey since our last awards in 2019, and to acknowledge the incredible efforts made by all stores and the hardware sector in responding to and supporting the communities in which they operate throughout the pandemic.”
The Sweeney family have been serving the local community since the early 1900s when Adrian’s grandfather Myles returned from the US to open a small grocery shop in Lettermacward. The business was handed down to Adrian’s father Willie in the 1950s before Adrian himself took up the reins about 20 years ago.
“We phased out the grocery side of the business to concentrate on plumbing supplies,” explains Adrian, who is a plumber by trade and runs a second company called Sweeney Mechanical Services.
“Becoming part of the Homevalue group allowed us to branch into hardware and builders’ providers. We opened the second outlet in Gweedore four years ago. We have everything our customers need, from DIY products to full construction supplies and materials. We also supply animal feeds and deliver anywhere in Donegal. Our mission is to provide our customers with a friendly, knowledgeable and value-for-money service.
“We have developed strong relationships with generations of families going back over 100 years and continue to offer them the best advice and service. I can’t praise our staff enough. They’re brilliant at what they do and I certainly wouldn’t be able to run two businesses without them.”
Catering for building contractors, self-builders, plumbers, painters, decorators, electricians, farmers and DIY enthusiasts, Sweeney’s Homevalue represents over 50 leading brands, including Glennon Brothers Timber, ECC Timber, Cedral Tiles and Slates, Cembrit Slates, BRC McMahon Reinforcements, Sonas Bathrooms, Triton Showers, Velux Windows, Mannok, Daikin Heat Pump Systems, Joule Heat Pump Systems, Dulux Paint, Platinum Oil Tanks, Grant Boilers, Henley Stoves and Waterford Stanley.
“We supply everything from foundation level up to a chimney cap. We’re increasing our different lines all the time and are still a work in progress.”
Homevalue is one of Ireland’s leading DIY, hardware and homeware groups with a network of over 90 guaranteed Irish accredited stores nationwide who are committed to providing the best range of products at the lowest price. Whether you’re building, repairing, improving, furnishing or decorating your home, Homevalue has got you covered. Homeowners, DIY enthusiasts and professional tradespeople all know that Homevalue means real value and real expertise.
As Ireland’s leading buying and marketing group for builders’ merchants, DIY and home and garden retail stores, United Hardware’s primary aim is to offer its independent members combined buying power which will enable them to remain competitive in an environment dominated by large chains.
It’s all go for Adrian who is married to Crona and is dad to Naoise (10), Iarla (eight), Aoife (five), Fiadh (four) and two-year-old twins Cara and Caoimhín. He played senior football with Donegal from 1996 to 2007, during which time he won an All-Star award in 2003, a National League medal in 2007 and played in five Ulster Senior Championship finals. Remarkably, the prolific forward played 72 consecutive matches for the county between 1996 and 2003.
Still involved as an underage coach with his club Dungloe, the affable plumber and businessman would like to take this opportunity to thank his customers and suppliers for their continued support.
Sweeney’s Homevalue Lettermacward and Gweedore opening hours are from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and 8.30am to 3pm on Saturdays.
Telephone: 074 954 4114
Email: [email protected]
This article was published in Building Ireland Magazine, April 2023, Vol 9 No 4