Store is re­gion’s best

Mitre 10 staff mem­ber Kelly Gib­son and store owner Matt Hawker.

Campaspe News - - NEWS - By VIVIENNE DUCK

ROCHESTER Mitre 10 is kick­ing goals.

The hard­ware store has been named the Store of the Year within the North East Vil­lage area of Vic­to­ria.

And owner Matt Hawker is al­ready striv­ing for the na­tional awards.

‘‘We were stoked and didn’t know we were up for the award,’’ Matt said.

‘‘We are al­ways striv­ing for con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment to be bet­ter and all stores get as­sessed twice a year, which go to­wards the awards.’’

The last as­sess­ment the Rochester store scored three paint brushes out of five — which equates to 86 per cent.

‘‘It is great to be recog­nised and just comes back to the hard work our staff do,’’ Matt said.

‘‘There is al­ways some­thing lit­tle we can be do­ing and it just comes back to our cus­tomer ser­vice and what we can of­fer our cus­tomers.

‘‘It is about hav­ing the top 10 brands on our shelves.

‘‘We also in­cor­po­rate a mys­tery shop­per pro­gram.’’

Matt said although he steers the ship, the store wouldn’t be where it is to­day with­out his staff.

‘‘We have quite a big team and I would like to thank them for their hard work,’’ he said.

‘‘Also to my fam­ily and wife Heather. We have been in the store for the past two-and-a-half years and we have worked re­ally hard to get the store to where it is.

‘‘We also wouldn’t be here with­out the lo­cal cus­tomer sup­port.’’

Matt said they cover about a halfhour ra­dius around Rochester in­clud­ing some Echuca-based busi­nesses.

‘‘We de­liver al­most daily to Echuca and all around Rochy in­clud­ing a lot of trades and busi­nesses in town,’’ he said.

‘‘Be­ing in a small town doesn’t mean your busi­ness has to be small.

‘‘Our town sticks to­gether and this award has cre­ated quite a buzz around town, which is re­ally ex­cit­ing.’’

The next step in the Mitre 10 awards is at the na­tional level, which Matt said is in their sights.

‘‘This award is great but we would love to get up there in the na­tional awards and be recog­nised as one of the best small stores in the coun­try,’’ he said.

‘‘With our team I think we can do it and keep im­prov­ing — we are aim­ing for four paint brushes next time.’’

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