Family Legacy & Local Support Lifeblood of Skincare Company

The Gardiner Family Apothecary has had a family member at the helm for three generations since 1934, when founder Joseph Gardiner started manufacturing and selling creams and ointments to pharmacies around the country.

Today the company is led by Joseph’s granddaughter Joanna Gardiner, who oversees its two flagship skincare brands, Ovelle and Elave, and 75 staff.

All 70 of the company’s products are manufactured in Ireland and are supplied to over 1,800 pharmacies here as well as eleven international markets.

The company’s production standards are high, and are certified Natural Organic. The entire Elave skincare range has also achieved the Cruelty-Free PETA bunny accreditation.

But their commitment to high standards isn’t just skin deep.

“We are committed to 100% recyclable packaging and promotional materials,” says Joanna, adding that the company has invested in lithium-free PVP battery and panels to generate their own energy at the manufacturing plant.

Since 2016, Ovelle has also supplied UNICEF with more than 1.4 million treatment packs for children displaced by wars and natural disasters globally. The company has similar arrangements with other relief agencies like Médecins Sans Frontières, the International Red Cross and the UN.

At the start of the pandemic, demand for non-essential skincare fell by 50-80% in line with reduced footfall in pharmacies, while sales of their gentle hand washes, moisturisers and emollients surged.

During the pandemic, they produced Ovelle Hand Sanitiser with biocide grade sanitiser. Sourcing a large enough supply of high-grade alcohol was a big challenge, but with a united team and a determination to meet demand, the company found a way forward.

“The hard work and belief in what we have been doing during the pandemic is astounding. I am grateful to be able to work with many others at Gardiner Family Apothecary, leading the internal and remote teams while we navigate this Irish family business through Covid-19,” says Joanna.

#SupportLocal #ChampionGreen

Joanna tell us that the company operates within a very competitive global marketplace, vying against huge international brand names with far more extensive resources than those available to a family-run business in Ireland.

“Where we score highly, however, is as a local business with deep roots in the community and a total commitment to the integrity and quality of our products. We are heavily invested, literally and figuratively, in the future of our staff, our customers and our country.”

She’s proud of to be running a homegrown, family run Irish business with a legacy of three generations and is a committed supporter of Champion Green’s support local movement.

“We understand we cannot expect local support if we do not give local support – it is by investing in each other, as well as ourselves, that we will see a rise in the tide that will float all boats.”

The company is currently running a Champion Green online special, which offers a free 100ml Ovelle hand sanitiser on all orders over €25. You can browse their skincare range on their website and at Kilkenny Shop.


Champion Green is supported by @KilkennyShop and @VisaIreland, in association with @sfa_irl@retail_excellence and Chambers Ireland.