The Waipā business community came together on Friday night to celebrate with finalists at the 2019 Waipā Networks Business Awards Gala Dinner, where Cambridge business Gourmet Delicious was announced the Supreme Winner.

The premier business event is hosted annually by the Cambridge Business Chamber and Te Awamutu Chamber of Commerce.

Over 40 submissions were received for the 2019 Awards across 16 categories, focused on recognising excellence and success in business in Waipā District.

Gourmet Delicious owners Kim Moodie (left) and Ali Foers, with one of the judges, Waipā District Council economic development manager Steve Tritt. Photo / Amy Bell Photography
Gourmet Delicious owners Kim Moodie (left) and Ali Foers, with one of the judges, Waipā District Council economic development manager Steve Tritt. Photo / Amy Bell Photography

The head judge, Howard Davey from the University of Waikato Management School, said this year he had seen a very high quality of entrants.

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"We have seen a number of businesses, both established and new, that demonstrate innovation, a focused and sustainable strategic direction, a strong customer focus, and attention to detail.

"Overall the quality and diversity of entrants bodes well for the future of business in the district."

Gourmet Delicious provides professional catering services across the greater Waikato area, employing 25 regular staff and up to 60 for events.

They catered for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their visit to Cambridge.

Judges commented their application showed "strong growth and diversification with new outlets and alternative business elements. They are future focussed with clear strategies in mind".

"They are really emphasising positive outcomes in terms of improving systems and explorations of new revenue streams," judges said.

Co-owners Kim Moodie and Ali Foers started Cambridge catering company Gourmet Delicious in 2006 and have grown to open Suburban Kitchen on Robinson St in 2015 and Podium Cafe at Lake Karāpiro in 2017.

They will soon open their third, yet to be named, cafe at Amber Garden Centre on Peake Rd on the outskirts of Cambridge and operate GD Eats, a food truck used for events and site catering.

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The pair thanked their clients, customers and dedicated staff for the support.

Kim said Cambridge was a wonderful town to start and grow a business in, with many loyal clients and customers becoming good friends.

"Cambridge is an amazing place to live — I wouldn't want to live anywhere else," she said.

"It's growing and it's really neat to be a part of that."

She said the company had won Best Small Business twice previously and was always looking to up their game.

"Managing growth and maintaining quality means we had to put more procedures into place," said Kim.

She paid credit to the staff, saying it was an awesome team that always gave their best.

Kelly Bouzaid, CEO, Cambridge Business Chamber thanked everyone involved on behalf of the Waipā Networks Business Awards team — entrants, judges, ForumPoint2, SBI, Mystery Creek, sponsors and Cambridge Business Chamber.

She said it was a fantastic event and she had received a lot of positive feedback from so many attendees.

"ForumPoint2 and SBI did a superb job to make it such a slick event — without a doubt the most prestigious networking events in the region."

"The food was exceptional, MC Kanoa Lloyd was outstanding and there was a tremendous buzz of excitement and celebration.

"Large numbers stayed on dance to the Three Brothers band after the awards presentation."

View the full line-up of winners here.