by Helen Martin
The fourth annual North West Country Business Awards, presented at an event held at the fabulous Riverhead Hotel soon after our Arts in the Ville weekend, was a great night for local businesses. The focus of the awards is “to celebrate the commercial, creative, and customer service successes of businesses in the greater North West area.” Facing stiff competition, many local businesses were represented in the finals. This is no small achievement, as a lot of work goes into each entry. Awards in each category are for the overall winner, who receives a trophy, and for the runner-up, who receives a highly commended notation.
As explained by speaker Mark Scherer, results are calculated from a combination of public voting, mystery shopper assessments and written entries from each competing business. This year the standard of entries was very high, he explained, with over 15,000 votes cast.
With Six60 bass guitarist Chris Mac as MC, and an excellent three-course meal served in between grouped categories, the evening saw many awards presented to local businesses.
Physio Flex, a family-owned physiotherapy centre in Helensville which enjoys “supporting our local people to perform at their best from the sports field to the classroom to fishing the Kaipara” won both the Health and Beauty Award and the prestigious Supreme Award, which is given to the business with the highest overall score.
The Kai Collective is a Helensville-based foodbank started during the first Level 4 COVID lockdown by a number of local agencies. A core group of 12-15 volunteers pack kai parcels each week with food generously donated by many local supermarkets (including Kumeu New World, which won the Covid Hero Award) and growers, as well as from food waste champions like Kiwi Harvest and Fair Food, and has to date supplied over 1000 parcels to around 300 families. The Collective were thrilled to win three awards, the only business to achieve this in the 2020 competition: Highly Commended in the Not for Profit category; Best New Business; and the coveted People’s Choice.
Other successful businesses from out our way were: Art Centre Helensville (Not for Profit Award), River Valley Meats (Rural Services) and Kaipara Coast Plant Centre (Environmental Excellence Award).
Highly Commended Awards were won by the Real Bread Project (Family, Informal Dining and Takeaways), Eleventh Hour Gifts (Retail),Skydive Auckland (Recreation), and PGG Wrightson Rural Supplies & Fruitfed Supplies (Rural Services).
Warm congratulations to the winners and to everyone who took part.
Sponsors of the event were North West Country, Smith and Partners, Hallertau, Presentations Design and Print Ltd, KTS chartered accountants, Riverhead Hotel, Cherry events + pr.