When Quoc Tran and Thuy Vu took over the Waikanae Beach Four Square in August 2011, they knew they had a lot of work to do.
The supermarket was in desperate need of a refresh so the couple, who felt good about the place and had a background in the industry, rolled up their sleeves.
Improvements were slowly made until the hardworking couple had saved enough money for major extension work, which started in July 2019.
Locals took a keen interest in what was happening as the supermarket was transformed into what it is today.
Waikanae Beach Four Square is a finalist in the Electra Business and Innovation Awards.
"Surprised and very happy," Thuy said.
In the early days, it was only the couple working throughout the week with two part-time staff on the weekends.
Now they employ three full-time staff as well as eight part-time staff, a number which doubles in summer.
"In summer time, you can't get in the door," Thuy said.
It's a seven days a week operation with the couple heavily involved all the time.
"We work hard and we get along well."
The couple, who are originally from Vietnam but met in New Zealand, take great pride in their supermarket with customer service, a wide range of stock and a well presented and clean environment very important to them.
Thuy also makes a lot of food herself to sell, such as summer rolls, wontons, dumplings, sandwiches and wraps which customers love.
Long-term Quoc and Thuy, married for 23 years and with two boys Cullen, 16, and Joni, 8, would like to own a New World store.
But in the meantime, they're very happy with the Waikanae Beach Four Square, located at 28 Tutere St, which has become well-known and liked within the community and further afield.
"The people love us and that is the main thing," Thuy said.