Whanganui supermarket manager Stuart Urbahn is in the running to become Countdown's Store Manager of the Year.
As manager for Countdown Victoria Ave, Mr Urbahn has been named top manager for the Lower North Island and is now in the running for the national title along with three other managers.
What started as an after school job over 20 years ago has become a career for Mr Urbahn who started stacking shelves in Hawera as a 16-year-old.
"I worked at the old Write Price in Hawera which is long gone now but it gave me a great start.
"A full time job came up and I wanted to leave school because I loved the idea of working full time.
"My parents took a bit of convincing to let me leave school but I knew it was what I wanted to do."
Mr Urbahn said he gets his job satisfaction from customers and his excellent staff.
"I love seeing customers enjoy their shopping experience and it is hugely rewarding to see my team work together to make this happen while also progressing their own skills and dreams" he says.
This week he has been leaving the Victoria Ave store management to his second-in-charge Scott McGahan while he has been providing training for staff at other Countdown stores in the region.
The winner of the Countdown Store Manager of the Year will receive $10,000 worth of overseas travel and will be named at an awards dinner in Auckland on August 29.