Totalspan Kaitaia owners Andrew and Yvonne Eason are just back from a week or so in Samoa. They enjoyed themselves very much, relishing the relaxed nature of the annual Totalspan conference in warm weather.

Oh, and while they were there, they collected the Totalspan Franchise of the Year award, which might have surprised them but no one else.

It was the second time they had won the award in two years — last year's was accompanied by the awards for strategic, presentation and customer excellence. This time they were the runners-up for both customer and strategic excellence.

And that, Andrew said, back at work on a cold, grey winter's day, was creating a bit of a problem. He and Yvonne were rapidly running out of wall space to display their awards, now totalling 14 dating back to 2013.

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Yvonne said it was most gratifying to be able to say that their business, at the top of the country, was still top in the country, but she and Andrew were "absolutely blown away". They had never consciously strived for any awards.

"We pride ourselves on a great product, excellent construction techniques, and of course the most important factor in business, happy clients who spread the word on our services and in some cases return to use our product/services over and over again.

"It's also our fantastic team of builders, subcontractors and suppliers, and the clients who choose our services for their buildings that make it all happen."

Andrew didn't have any more complicated explanation for the extraordinary run of critical acclaim.

"We just do the best we can for our clients every day, and rely on the rest of the team to do the same," he said. "But whatever it is that we're doing, it obviously works."