Less than two years after opening the doors, Dale Mooney can claim ownership of the best business in town.
Mooney's store, Diamond Jewellers, took out Business of the Year at the Hamilton Central Business Association Awards this week, taking home $5000 and a whole lot of kudos.
His business was up against a record number of entrants in the four-year-old awards, and won three prizes across six categories.
He took home the retail excellence award, and collected a highly commended in the most outstanding customer service person award category for staff member Marlene McCabe.
Mooney said: "I was in a bit of a state of shock. I was really hoping we'd win a prize," he said.
"To win something like this it's . . . mind-blowing".
The secret to his success, he believes, was all in the brand.
"I spent quite a bit of time and effort on, I think, getting it right before I started and opened up the store," he says.
"I think the layout, and the way the staff are, all really help out a lot, but generally I think that might be it."
He plans to use the prizemoney on a radio campaign, and says the respect that comes with the award will make a huge difference for the fledgling business.
The jeweller already has something else to look forward to aside from the next business awards - his own wedding.
He proposed with a heart-shaped Madagascar sapphire, framed with two rows of diamonds set into a platinum ring.
- Waikato Times