Junction Awards 2018 - Category Winners

Our 2018 Junction Award voting proved a real race to the finish line this year. It has been the closest contest so far with the local business vying for the top spot: a year of free advertising with Junction Magazine. Our categories ranged from Restaurants to Giftware, Beauty to Accommodation, Wineries and Breweries to Local Food Suppliers and more. With close to 10,000 votes cast for local businesses it’s a great time to be living and working in this beautiful and prosperous region. 


The 2018 Junction Magazine Award for the local business of the year has been made by Joey Chalk of Kingpost Timberworks. “I think the hard bright look works perfectly with a soft waving grain. I made the award from a plywood core, veneered with curly American Walnut, mounted on a solid Brass stand, all made in house here in Wellsford.”




Green With Envy

Winner: Homewares, gifts + art galleries

Eight years ago armed with a vision and great sense of style, Green with Envy’s founder Nicole set about building the thriving business that it is today, gaining international acclaim at the Global Innovation Awards in Chicago, in 2017. However, there’s no place like home. “The support from local customers is the mainstay of our business,” she says. “We really appreciate their loyalty and in turn we try to make their lives easier by sourcing and ordering in products they are wanting, so they don’t need to travel down to the city.” Their clothing collection, Madeby, continues to grow and they have also been designing a locally made furniture range.


TOP 5 homewares, gifts + art galleries

1. Green With Envy

2. Morris & James

3. Matakana Village Books

4. Art Matakana

5. Guthrie Bowron

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Matakana Cinemas

Winner: Entertainment, Activities + Tours

When Matakana Cinemas opened their doors in 2007, locals leapt for joy! Still one of the most incredible, independent cinemas out there and as popular are ever, the team continues to maintain their reputation for excellence. “We constantly strive to improve our operations and we often hear positive feedback from the community, so we know they really do appreciate having us here,” says owner Dan. “We are currently working on a robust, new loyalty programme that will offer some benefits to our best guests. ”They are also keen to support their team, many of whom are young. “We want to nurture and help mould good people; we see our business as a school not just a workplace.”


Top 5 Entertainment, Activities + Tours

1. Matakana Cinemas

2. Brick Bay Sculpture Trail

3. Mahu City Express

4. Sculptureum

5. Matakana Village Farmers Market

Wharf Street Bistro

Winner: Restaurants + Bars

Wharf Street Bistro is three years old this year and this funky little restaurant continues to thrive as a local favourite. Primarily focused on providing a great restaurant for the local community, this little bistro has the perfect warm and cozy atmosphere that brings the locals back time after time. “I’m very proud that we are keeping up with the demand and growth of Warkworth, and being able to please the wide range of clientele that we have,” says owner Matt. “We try our best, to fit the locals in at peak times.” They are planning to offer the Bistro up for private events hire (as a drinks and nibbles venue) on Sundays or Mondays - so watch this space!


Top 5 Restaurants + Bars

1. Wharf Street Bistro

2. Brick Bay Wines & Sculpture Trail

3. Leigh Sawmill Café

4. Sawmill Brewery & Smoko Room

5. Matakana Village Pub

Smith Hairdressing

Winner: Health + Beauty

“Our business is 100% local,” says owner Shanelle. “At Smith Hairdressing we are the tool to express your uniqueness and our goal is to encourage people to care for themselves and their environment.”

“We are constantly reinventing our skills so that we can offer something new to every client, whether it’s their first visit or one of our loyal locals.” The team at Smith Hairdressing love making sure their clients get the best that they deserve. We consider it essential to keep our workplace homely so you feel comfortable too.” 


Top 5 Health + Beauty

1. Smith Hairdressing

2. Blush Beauty Lounge

3. Matakana Hair Co

4. ECM Barbers

5. LOVEnails

Little & Local Café

Winner: Cafes, Takeaways + Eateries

Little & Local are in their fourth year and still love serving their local community with great coffee, beverages and food. The vision behind the café was to create an inviting environment where the community can come together to connect and enjoy life, share a meal or have a meeting over a coffee.

“We are privileged to have the community support to continue to improve on our offering,” says Angela Perkins. “Maintaining sustainability within the seasonal nature of our industry has been a challenge but again, the amazing support from our locals has made the difference.” 


Top 5 cafes, takeaways + eateries

1. Little and Local Café

2. Parsley Pot Café

3. Viet Q Foods

4. Puhoi Café & Cheese Shop

5. Ravish Café

The Sawmill Brewery and Smoko Room

Winner: Wineries + Breweries

The Sawmill Brewery was established in 2004 and opened the doors to its new premises in 2016. The Smoko Room has become famous for its generous hospitality, food with gumption, 14 beers on tap and organic wines. With a beautiful interior to boot the Sawmill Brewery fast became a local staple. “Up here we have been really inspired by this very creative and entrepreneurial community, “ says owner Kirsty. “We feel enthusiastic about the local economy and work with local like-minded businesses every day. We have learnt a lot in the last few years and have had a lot of conversations with other small businesses around here to share what we have (hopefully) figured out.”


Top 5 wineries + breweries

1. The Sawmill Brewery

2. Brick Bay Wines & Sculpture Trail

3. Lothlorien Feijoa Wine

4. Omaha Bay Vineyard

5. 8 Wired Brewery

The Bach, Matakana

Winner: Fashion + accessory stores

“I really appreciate what this location has to offer - the lifestyle and the gorgeous beaches appeal to a wide range of people, creating diversity and a positive energetic vibe in the area,” says owner Sophie. 

“Our local customers are huge, for us. Being such a seasonal destination, it is very important to have a great level of customer satisfaction so people are willing to return and support us.“ 

Taking an interest in what their customers are looking for and the new brand mix that they are providing have proven to be their areas of strength. 


Top 5 fashion + accessory stores

1. The Bach, Matakana

2. Green With Envy

3. Summer Sessions

4. Heavenly Soles

5. Katya Maker Boutique

Charlies Gelato Garden

Winner: Food stores + producers

Charlie’s has been running for more than a decade, so the new owners were faced with learning the ropes, as well as continuing to grow their famous strawberries and blueberries. “We are super proud of the products that we produce,” says owner Andrew. “We couldn’t survive without the support of the local community and so we try and contribute our time and product whenever we can. This year we have supported many local schools, sports teams and community groups, and for the first time we have become a sponsor of the Mahurangi Rugby Club.”


Top 5 food stores + producers

1. Charlies Gelato Garden

2. Warkworth Butchery

3. Four Square Matakana

4. The Village Butchery

5. Mahurangi Oysters

Black and White Barn Matakana

Winner: Accommodation

The Black and White Barn’s owners understand the pressure of modern life and just how to meet their guests’ needs. “Taking time to escape from daily demands is the ultimate gift. Providing a boutique accommodation experience where our guests feel re-energized at the end of their stay is what makes our business tick. “Matakana is a fresh source of inspiration and activity, with a blend of of beautiful beaches, countryside, galleries, eateries, boutiques, vineyards and home to one of the best weekend farmers market.” New plans are afoot for this couple as they are now the proud owners of the Rose Cottage in Matakana Village - expanding their accommodation offering, from late July 2018. 


Top 5 Accommodation

1. Black and White Barn Matakana

2. Riverside Matakana

3. The Beach House, Kawau Island

4. Whangateau Holiday Park

5. Martins Bay Holiday Park

Waimarie Dashper