A Golden Hammer is taking pride of place in Hammer Hardware Kamo after the home improvement and handy person store was named the chain's best shop in New Zealand.
The owners of three years, Mike Ridling and Wayne Dean, said they were completely flabbergasted when their business won Best Store of the Year, topping 44 others in the running.
Ridling said he had no idea the accolade was coming before it was announced at the hardware store group's biennial conference he attended in July, held in Thailand.
''They've got their criteria for judging, I'm not even sure what they are. We didn't do anything special for it but we're thrilled.''
It's especially satisfying for the two former dairy farmers who decided they wanted a change of scene those few years back.
''Basically we were just two mates who were sick of farming and decided to buy a shop,'' Ridling said.
More recently, the mates brought a property backing onto the Kamo store's premises and expanded the business to the rear of the site, setting up a timber and other supplies yard.
''We've got a mini trades centre out there now,'' Ridling said.
''When we took over here we sat down and thought what else does Kamo need? There's a lot of subdivision happening around here and people are putting in new gardens. We cater to that as well as the kind of stuff customers have always come in for.''
National manager for the Hammer Hardware group Andrē Botes described the Store of the Year win as ''absolutely well deserved by a couple of magnificent fellows''.
He said the awards criteria covered a range of business factors from financial management, shop display to customer care and a few ''intangibles''.
''Mike and Wayne are very customer focused. They saw a need in Kamo and invested in their business to get that timber yard, to provide what their customers need.
''They do everything well. We're very proud to have them in the group.''
Ridling said part of the pair's inspiration to do well was Kamo's village feel and local people showing loyalty to local businesses. On an average day, the store would probably have around 250 customers through the door.
They could be after anything from a screw to a garden shed. While the store is traditionally a supplier for home work or smaller tradie jobs, leaving the bigger building orders to the bigger suppliers, many people are tapping into the do-up trends and designer this-and-that showcased in home renovation television shows and magazines.
That has had a significant impact on the store and what it carries or can source, Ridling said.
The more than 30-year-old Hammer Hardware co-operative group comprises individually owned and operated stores. But the brand is owned by the much bigger, 100 per cent New Zealand franchise business Mitre 10.
''That means we've got Mitre 10 buying power so we can source everything they have, we can get our customers anything from there,'' Ridling said.