Customer love earns love of customers – and a perfect satisfaction rating from staff.

Employees rating their company 5 out of 5 for satisfaction.

Customers who name them as the country's exemplar for excellent service.

Bosses who freely share company performance stats, provide a playground for everyone's kids as well as one of the country's most generous parental and sick leave policies.

My Food Bag is way, way more than just clever answers to the daily 'what shall we have for dinner' question. In this year's Westpac Business Excellence Awards they were recognised for their excellence in customer service and scooped the supreme award for the central region. The awards are delivered annually by Auckland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) across the Auckland region.

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Cecilia Robinson, co-founder with her husband James of the vibrant company, says this year she stepped back from the awards entry to pass over to her team. It's indicative of the culture the pair, with co-owners Nadia Lim, her husband Carlos Bagrie and Theresa Gattung, have created.

"It is quite humbling to read how the team sees the culture," she says. "It's a transition for me, a reflection of the maturity of the team. It was delightful to read my team's reasons for entering and how proud they were of their divisions. We made it a basis of our board meeting to share about the team and culture."

In less than five years, the company has grown from just five to over 150 employees; passing on the core DNA of the founders has been critical to its success. Robinson says it is simple: customers (whom they call foodies) are at the heart of every decision.

The customer contact centre is called Customer Love (yes, ad-man Kevin Roberts is an active board member). It is staffed by young enthusiasts who have gone on to more senior jobs in pretty much every other division of the company.

Every new hire spends Sundays in the centre - it's delivery day for the bags, so the highest volume of calls and talking with customers happens then. Everyone understands foodies are the heart and hub of the business. Customer love boss Ryleigh Cornes says everyone has as much authority to make decisions to solve a problem as their managers.

"They solve that problem the same way that I would, today. Quickly, correctly and easily," she says. "Plus we like to surprise people so, just for fun, the team can pull chocolates or hot sauces to send to foodies.

"We don't monitor talk time because we want to be on the phone as long as it takes to solve a problem. Over-deliver is another message."

The centre, in the middle of bright, ultra-contemporary offices in Parnell, touches over 41,000 foodies a month, responding to social media feedback in under an hour.

Former New Yorker Meagan Halpin, head of people, says they hire for character: "Being a winner, being bold to make change, being collaborative and being real and direct, that's our character," she says. "And it's a sexy company, when we're feeling good about each other."

Weekly Friday "love box" updates, a mix of facts and figures, rewards and socialising often include staffers' families. The love is shared in the community too, with some 10,000 meals a month given to charities to distribute.

It's not shouted from the rooftop, but part of the company ethos is social sustainability. Waste is tightly managed, with the warehouse goal of zero stock at the end of a Sunday distribution.

Innovation is also core. New ideas are not just one big bang product a year.

In the past 18 months My Food Bag launched two new brands and 13 new products which already bring in over half the company's revenue. The street-front development kitchens and photography studio have a couple of dozen chefs, nutritionists, recipe writers and designers constantly evolving the product.

Right from My Food Bag's first year, the Robinsons have always been keen to use business excellence competitions as a platform to examine their business and demonstrate it to the world. Entering the Business Awards was a platform to articulate what they do and the judging process gave them great clarity.

"Our benchmark is quite high, so we are always surprised at how shocked people are at our success," says Robinson. "They say 'wow, that's incredible performance, compared to Trade Me or Xero'. The success of a business gives such a sense of pride."

"Our people - our foodies [customers] are the heart of every decision we make. The food, the customers, those are the most important to us. We want people to feel loved and engaged with us."

Cecilia Robinson - My Food Bag founder and Co-CEO

WINNERS, WESTPAC AUCKLAND BUSINESS AWARDS 2017
CENTRAL WINNERS

• Best Emerging Business, sponsored by Air New Zealand

WOOP!

• Excellence in Customer Service Delivery, sponsored by Augusto Group

My Food Bag

• Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by AUT

Crimson Education

• Excellence in International Trade, sponsored by Ports of Auckland

Milk New Zealand Dairy Ltd

• Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Soar Printing

Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT)

• Excellence in Strategy and Planning, sponsored by Fusion5

The Career Academy

• Employer of the Year, sponsored by Marsh

Ricoh New Zealand Ltd

• Supreme Business Excellence Award, sponsored by Westpac

My Food Bag

WEST WINNERS
• Best Emerging Business, sponsored by Air New Zealand
Crafty Canners Ltd
• Excellence in Customer Service Delivery, sponsored by Barfoot & Thompson
World Moving and Storage
• Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Unitec
PLN Group
• Excellence in International Trade, sponsored by Babich Wines
Southern Spars Ltd
• Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Soar Printing
Heart Saver NZ Ltd
• Excellence in Strategy and Planning, sponsored by Rosebank Business Assoc. and Smith & Partners
Heart Saver NZ Ltd
• Employer of the Year, sponsored by McDonalds Restaurants NZ
Nitrogenx
• Best Small Business, sponsored by West Auckland Business Club
Nitrogenx
• Supreme Business Excellence, sponsored by Westpac
Southern Spars Ltd

SOUTH WINNERS
• Best Emerging Business, sponsored by Air New Zealand
Global Fire
• Excellence in Customer Service Delivery, sponsored by Barfoot & Thompson
Jet Park Hotel And Conference Centre
• Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by MIT
Farm Medix Ltd
• Excellence in International Trade, sponsored by Ports of Auckland
New Zealand Health Manufacturing
• Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Villa Maria
Mangere Mountain Education Centre
• Excellence in strategy and Planning, sponsored by Nauhria
Link2 Group
• Employer of the Year, sponsored by McDonalds Restaurants NZ
• Quest Highbrook
• Supreme Business Excellence, sponsored by Westpac
Jet Park Hotel And Conference Centre

NORTH WINNERS
• Best Emerging Business, sponsored by Air New Zealand
Firefly
• Excellence in Customer Service Delivery, sponsored by Barfoot & Thompson
Snowplanet
• Excellence in Innovation, sponsored by Massey University
Jump
• Excellence in International Trade sponsored by Ports Of Auckland
Unleashed Software
• Excellence in Marketing, sponsored by Benefitz
Urban Dogs
• Excellence in Strategy and Planning, sponsored by Business North Harbour
Establish
• Employer of the Year, sponsored by Northern Arena
Hiway Stabilizers NZ Ltd
• Supreme Business Excellence, sponsored by Westpac
Snowplanet