Given that I travel a fair bit, I have come to appreciate Whanganui when I return home.
Back in the day, there was an advertisement which stated: "Don't leave town until you've seen the country" and the same can be said of our home town.
I have made an effort to get out and about in recent months and events like Artists Open Studios has helped enormously in getting me away from the confines of home.
Biking regularly takes me through Whanganui East and Aramoho - and in Aramoho you get an appreciation of the number of thriving businesses out there, from the multiple Axiam businesses to the small shopping centre it is a hive of activity.
One business that exemplifies this is Aramoho Mags and Lotto. I went there recently to try to break my run of bad luck caused by the inexplicable mismatch of my numbers on those little yellow tickets to those in the draw (I understand many others have similar experiences every week).
If you are like me, you will be aware that this is Whanganui's luckiest lotto outlet - but I was impressed to find it is so much more than this.
I arrived to find a steady queue of punters hoping to get seven life-changing numbers, so I took time to look around and found myself in magazine heaven.
While Mrs Bell gets tired of telling me to put down my Apple devices and would suggest I have an "online information addiction" (mainly football and movies), I still regularly buy magazines.
For us Gen Xers - and those older than us - there is something more "real" about magazines and books, and I was delighted to find Aramoho Mags and Lotto have an extensive range of both.
I also found the products and services they provide go beyond the boundaries of their name.
From toys to stationery to being a Post Shop, it really is a one-stop venue.
Too often retailers forget that the service is just as important as (if not more important than) the product.
For example, I recently went into a book store in a big city and would have possibly been the only person in the store. I am 6ft 3ins and hard to miss, but the two staff people took no notice, and I actually left without purchasing (on principle).
This is definitely not the case with Aramoho Mags and Lotto.
Best of all, they have perfected the art of the "experience" of being in the store.
Despite not being a regular, the team greeted me as I entered the door and the banter during my time there was something special.
If you want to try out the luckiest store in town, I recommend it ... and if you are successful, you know where I am if you want to say thanks.
*Balance Consulting is a Whanganui consultancy specialising in business strategy, process excellence and leadership mentoring — contact Russell Bell on 021 2442421 or John Taylor on 027 4995872.