The search to find Taranaki's top shop has been whittled down to 10 finalists.
Last month shoppers voted for their favourite businesses to find the Taranaki Daily News Top Shop 2012 final 20 businesses.
That 20 has now become 10 after more than 4000 votes were cast and counted over the past three weeks.
The final 10 shops will now be mystery judged to assess telephone skills, customer service levels and shop and staff appearance.
One shop will be announced the winner at the Westpac Taranaki Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards on October 27.
First prize wins $1000 cash and an advertising package with the Daily News worth $2500.
All 10 finalists will be invited to the Business Excellence Awards and presented with their certificate.
Yesterday's announcement of the top 10 came as a complete surprise to at least one of the finalists.
Babylove in Moturoa has been operating for only five months but the mother-and-daughter team of Bev and Rachel Carley have made quite an impact with their customers.
The baby shop is a registered second-hand dealer with half its stock secondhand goods and the other half high-end new goods, Bev said.
"It's a real thrill for a new business to get this," she said.
Babylove focused on traditional customer service values such as the simple act of making a customer a cuppa, Bev said.
"We have gone back to old fashioned personal service."
Rachel said the pair were surprised to even make the top 20.
"It would be a dream-come-true if we won.
"I couldn't even fathom it," Rachel said.
Babylove had been flat out since opening just five months ago, Bev said. "People just pour in here all day long."
The Babylove Facebook page had about 800 followers and was a crucial element of the business' advertising strategy, Rachel said.
A Simple Wish – New Plymouth
Babylove – New Plymouth
Bella Vita – New Plymouth
Benny's Books – New Plymouth
Cherry – New Plymouth
Fitzroy Village Shoes – New Plymouth
Garden Edge – Hawera
Noir Hair & Day Spa – Stratford
Silk Spa – New Plymouth
The Fat Cow Cafe – Hawera
- © Fairfax NZ News
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