junction observant award results 2016
OVERALL WINNER OF THE JUNCTION OBSERVANT AWARDS 2016
CATEGORY: ENTERTAINMENT, ACTIVITIES & TOURS
WINNER: MATAKANA CINEMAS
What's the secret of your success? Our people; our customers and my staff. We believe in looking after our customers – providing hospitality and not just service. It helps that going to see a movie is an enjoyable experience in itself, but we want to nurture that. We’re always striving to be better, with the goal of being a world-class hospitality and entertainment hub for our local and greater community.
How important is being in this area to your business? Recently I have been posed the question, 'What would the community lose if Matakana Cinemas was no longer here?' I am really aware of how much we are appreciated in our community; it’s a big responsibility. That question drives me to keep the business here for our people – we have a really loyal customer base and provide employment and opportunities for locals (and Colorado Mike!).
Have you hit any milestones over the past year? Actually, this December/January is our 10th anniversary and we plan on celebrating that in some way!
What are your plans for the future? We are working on implementing our long-term vision going forwards, but in the near future we are planning a new venture in the former OOB ice-cream café space. We're setting ourselves high standards and look forward to opening later in 2016.
1ST PLACE: MATAKANA CINEMAS
2ND PLACE: BRICK BAY SCULPTURE TRAIL
3RD PLACE: GOAT ISLAND MARINE DISCOVERY
4TH PLACE: GLASS BOTTOM BOAT
5TH PLACE: MAHURANGI OYSTER SHUCKLE FERRY
5TH PLACE: MATAKANA COUNTRY PARK
CATEGORY: FOOD STORES & SUPPLIERS
WINNER: CHARLIES GELATO GARDEN
What's the secret of your success? We focus on the customer, quality products, and trying to create an experience for people that becomes a ‘food memory’ – so that not only involves creating great gelato from scratch but the surroundings, service, friendly and welcoming staff. It’s about doing the basics really well – you’ve got to have the hokey pokey as well as the pistachio! And then adding the special personal touches, like the hand-built pizza oven, fish in the pond – picking strawberries fresh each morning and making sure you give the really big ones away to small (and large) children.
How important is being in this area to your business? This area is really important to the two of us as it’s where we chose to live and bring up our family. It’s where our friends live and we love the environment, the beaches, forests and regional parks. It’s also important because without the growth factor of the Matakana’s development and Farmers Markets we couldn’t have the business we have. That development drew people up from Auckland on the weekend – and it’s those people, our regulars, who have made us a destination in our own right.
Have you hit any milestones or major achievements this year? What are your plans for the future? These two questions go together for us. As most people will now know, Charlies is on the market. We hope to stay here on the property and keep producing fruit, but we know that it’s time to step aside and let someone else with new ideas and energy take over the business. We continue to be ranked as one of the top ice cream places in the country, we have our 2016 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence and we’re in the latest foodie edition of Lonely Planet so I think we have a great business. But to make it legendary, it needs some new ideas and energy – and we look forward to seeing what the right person can do with Charlies!
1ST PLACE: CHARLIES GELATO GARDEN
2ND PLACE: WARKWORTH BUTCHERY
3RD PLACE: CHOCOLATE BROWN CHOCOLATERIE
4TH PLACE: THE VILLAGE BUTCHERY
5TH PLACE: MAHURANGI OYSTERS
CATEGORY: WINERIES & BREWERIES
WINNER: BRICK BAY WINERY
What's the secret of your success? We are fortunate to be the custodians of this beautiful and unique piece of land, and have a passionate and dedicated team. The combination of the two just so happens to produce some pretty amazing wine (especially when the weather is kind to us!). The Glass House brings it all together: it showcases our wines and our great food, all wrapped up in warm hospitality.
How important is being in this area to your business? Our location is the reason we exist; this land has given us the opportunity to explore our passions and it’s very special to be part of the Matakana wine-growing community, a group of dedicated and supportive growers. Of course, being within a stone’s throw of New Zealand’s largest city has its obvious advantages. The terroir informs what you experience in a glass of Brick Bay wine and the people who make Brick Bay come to life are all part of the local community.
Have you hit any milestones over the past year? Yes, it’s a big year for milestones! 30 years ago we bought this land and Brick Bay Farm was born –initially to farm angora goats, of all things! Luckily that didn’t work out, so we planted our vineyard in 1995. This summer will commemorate 10 years since opening The Glass House and The Sculpture Trail.
What are your plans for the future? We’re constantly evolving, as our guests will attest. We’ll have some very limited quantities of a new white wine varietal once our 2016 vintages are ready for release.
1ST PLACE: BRICK BAY WINERY
2ND PLACE: SAWMILL BREWERY
3RD PLACE: ASCENSION WINE ESTATE
4TH PLACE: RANSOM WINERY
5TH PLACE: OMAHA BAY VINEYARD
CATEGORY: HOME, GIFTS & ART GALLERIES
WINNER: MORRIS & JAMES POTTERY
What's the secret of your success? Our people. Morris & James represents a team of highly skilled people: potters, decorators, ceramic technicians and designers. Behind each handmade item is the people who crafted it, each item representing years and years of developing skills and knowledge through practice – something that cannot be bought nor studied.
How important is being in this area to your business? Morris & James and the area of Matakana have a special relationship full of stories and history. Ant and Sue Morris established the pottery as one of the first businesses in Matakana in the seventies, with a vision to make Matakana an arts destination. And each piece of Morris & James pottery is quite literally a piece of Matakana, as we harvest clay from the neighbouring paddock to make our pots and handmade artworks.
Have you hit any milestones or major achievements this year? We’re continually looking to innovate both in design and in processes. In the last year we have developed new glazes including some in more muted colours, new pot shapes and new techniques in applying the glazes. As a result we have some new items in our showroom that reflect current as well as traditional interior design trends – and there’s more to come!
What are your plans for the future? To continue to create unique hand-made pottery that recognises current trends for functional pieces and colour, with equal doses of artworks that are pure creativity by our artisans. Morris & James is always evolving – our designs, our products and our showroom in Matakana. In the next couple of months we will be upgrading our showroom and bring more of our new designs out.
1ST PLACE: MORRIS & JAMES
2ND PLACE: GREEN WITH ENVY
3RD PLACE: MOOI MOOI
4TH PLACE: RUMMAGE MATAKANA
5TH PLACE: ART MATAKANA
CATEGORY: FASHION & ACCESSORY STORES
WINNER: BACH SURF
What’s the secret of your success? I don’t think it is much of a secret – just an old fashioned approach to retail. We are very fortunate to have exclusive rights to some of the world’s best surf brands but I believe the old equation of leading brands and great product knowledge, combined with friendly, efficient customer service is the recipe for a successful store like Bach Surf. I also must say how important it is to have great staff and I am very lucky to have some of the best around – without them, I would be lost.
How important is being in this area to your business? Being in the Matakana area is not only a huge part of my business but a huge part of my life. It’s so rewarding to know that Bach Surf has such a loyal following, not only from locals but from people outside of our area too. Matakana is such a vibrant and diverse place and that is reflected in the many different faces we see in here every day. I used to come here just to work but now, I happily call Matakana/Omaha home.
Any milestones this year? Since buying the business back in November 2014, we now have a totally new, modern look implemented with new racks, hangers and fittings throughout the store, the addition of exclusive brands such as Tigerlily, Spy and RVCA. The development of our website, combined with a fresh attitude towards customer service have all contributed to us achieving some fantastic results over the past 12 months.
Any plans for the future? All I can say is, watch this space...
1ST PLACE: BACH SURF
2ND PLACE: SUMMER SESSIONS
3RD PLACE: KATYA MAKER BOUTIQUE
4TH PLACE: REVIVAL CLOTHING
5TH PLACE: HEAVENLY SOLES
CATEGORY: PERSONAL SERVICES
What’s the secret of your success? I have worked hard to build and maintain a wonderful and loyal group of clients! Consistent and excellent customer service is key. At LOVEnails we aim to offer an enjoyable experience as well as great service, hygiene and that little thing called luxury. We keep up to date with trends and we are continually up-skilling with top international nail artists. We pride ourselves in offering the best top quality products for our clients in our studio.
How important is being in this area to your business? Local is everything – we love our local following. Matakana is a wedding and tourist destination, this allows us to extend our services to these special events. There are similar businesses that offer complementary services and we all work together to support each other. LOVEnails believe it is important to have good quality nail and beauty care, there is a need for our services to be available in this area.
Have you hit any milestones or major achievements this year? Working from home and then moving into a ‘rent a chair’ space within a Warkworth hair salon has created many challenges. Eleven years on and two kids later, I’ve expanded the LOVEnails studio into an elegant villa in the heart of Matakana. I’m proud to say I have brought the very talented Jess to the LOVEnails team. Jess has trained and has grown into a spectacular nail artist offering great shaping, nail care and nail finishes.
What are your plans for the future? We’ll be continuing to provide the luxury and quality services we are best known for in the beautiful Matakana area. But LOVEnails now offers more than just nails! We’re now offering a Brow Bar, Cosmetic Tattooing, Tanning Services, Tinting and Sugar Waxing.
1ST PLACE: LOVENAILS
2ND PLACE: MATAKANA HAIR CO
3RD PLACE: BLUSH BEAUTY BOUTIQUE
4TH PLACE: SMITH'S HAIRDRESSING
5TH PLACE: OASIS STUDIO
WINNER: RIVERSIDE MATAKANA
What's the secret of your success? We have a unique property in a stunning location, just 50 minutes north of Auckland. Our accommodation offering is perfect for couples, groups, girls weekends, families and corporate guests. We also have a fabulous conference facility which is very popular. There’s nothing like Riverside Matakana.
How important is being in this area to your business? Being so close to Auckland is a significant factor in our success. Our proximity to Matakana Village, Omaha and Tawharanui is appealing to our guests. Each year there are more attractions to entice visitors to stay longer. There are now four restaurants open seven days a week in Matakana Village, and wonderful places to visit like Brick Bay Winery and Sculpture trail, The Vivian and Morris & James, not to mention several a number of beaches.
Have you hit any milestones or major achievements this year? We first opened in May 2007 so we’ve been in business for 9 years. We are delighted that more people are staying with us than ever before, and that so many guests stay with us several times a year. Recently a guest told me she was near tears when she had to leave, and couldn’t wait to find time to come back and stay for a few days. That absolutely made my day!
What are your plans for the future? We are always looking at ways to improve our guest’s experience. We’ll be investing significantly in the property in the coming year, upgrading driveways, strategic planting to further beautify the surroundings, and of course continuing the internal upgrade program of the baches.
1ST PLACE: RIVERSIDE MATAKANA
2ND PLACE: WHANGATEAU HOLIDAY PARK
3RD PLACE: SANDSPIT HOLIDAY PARK
4TH PLACE: THE BEACH HOUSE, KAWAU ISLAND
5TH PLACE: MARTINS BAY HOLIDAY PARK
CATEGORY: RESTAURANTS & BARS
WINNER: SMITHS BAR & RESTAURANT
What's the secret of your success? Keeping it simple, but with attention to detail at every level. Plus having the ability to change things around weekly to create new occasions and atmosphere.
How important is being in this area to your business? Smiths was designed for this area and for our locals. It possibly wouldn’t work as well elsewhere.
Have you hit any milestones or major achievements this year? The completion of Smiths on target was an achievement in itself. The decor revamp and the new menu at The Stables are also achievements for the business as a whole that we’re proud of.
What are your plans for the future? We are only at Stage Two of the business plan. We are looking at setting the events side of the business up in late 2016/early 2017. Watch this space!
1ST PLACE: SMITH'S BAR & RESTAURANT
2ND PLACE: LEIGH SAWMILL CAFE
3RD PLACE: WHARF STREET BISTRO
4TH PLACE: MATAKANA VILLAGE PUB
5TH PLACE: BRICK BAY WINERY
CATEGORY: CAFES, TAKEAWAYS & EATERIES
WINNER: MATAKANA MARKET KITCHEN
What's the secret of your success? There’s no secret really. Quality – ingredients, staff, customers! With the dishes, we try to balance consistency with creativity, whilst maintaining a hearty portion to cover most appetites. A menu as encompassing as ours takes a fair bit of planning, so it’s really good to have ‘specials’ that bring fresh options to our regulars, and keep the chefs on their toes. Service comes from a team of passionate individuals that try to make your day better when you leave than it was when you arrived.
How important is being in this area to your business? MMK is situated in the most beautiful location, surrounded by amazing boutique shops and wineries. We feel very lucky to have joined Matakana’s recent growth boom from a relatively early stage, and it’s great to see the area continue to grow from strength to strength.
Have you hit any milestones or major achievements this year? Within the last year, we bought The Vintry, and it’s been an awesome opportunity to experiment with more of the local wines, as well as New Zealand’s craft beers. We were also named Metro’s Best in Suburb for the 4th year running which is, we hope, evidence of the consistency we strive for.
What are your plans for the future? Perpetual growth and re-invention. The team at MMK are always looking to improve on what we have done so far and there’s always an unknown opportunity around the corner to bring new challenges and creative inspiration.
1ST PLACE: MATAKANA MARKET KITCHEN
2ND PLACE: CHOCOLATE BROWN CAFE
3RD & 4TH PLACE: THE DOUGH PUNCHER
3RD & 4TH PLACE: VIET Q FOODS
5TH PLACE: LEIGH EATS