TAREE and Wingham Produce has won retailer of the year up against 300 Rural Co CRT stores throughout the country.
The two produce stores in Taree and Wingham are run by Craig and Sue Allport and employ 14 staff members.
The acknowledgment was awarded after the stores critiqued under a 30 point criteria and feedback from suppliers and customers.
Craig and Sue accepted the Retailer of the Year award at the National Conference gala dinner held at the Gold Coast.
“We were very honoured to get the award. We would not have been able to achieve this without our staff. Our customers always tell us how good our staff is,” Craig said.
He explained there were six stores nominated for each state with the Taree-Wingham business representing NSW. The local business was announced the winner overall from the five states and 300 stores nationwide.
“I think it’s our staff and customer service that sets us apart. We offer good old fashioned country service and we are locally owned and operated so have great local knowledge,” Craig said.
The business is approaching its 25th birthday in October.
Coming from nine years of managerial experience at Kmart, Craig took the opportunity to start his own business when the old butter factory came up for sale in Wingham in 1988. The Wingham business operates from this building to this day.
In 1989 Craig and Sue established Taree Produce in Grey Gum Road and two years later moved premises to its current location in Whitbread Street, Taree.
Wingham and Taree Produce goes beyond selling farming supplies. The rural supplies offers additional services to local farmers which include agronomic services, soil testing, pasture programs, farm management plans and bulk fertiliser spreading.
Craig said they have also moved with the times entering the online shopping world.
Craig believes the national acknowledgment was a great way to recognise his business’s commitment to local farmers and an even better early 25th birthday present.