Derek Allomes, owner of the Blind Finch Hamburgeria in Ohakune said he is blown away after receiving the supreme award at Whanganui Chamber of Commerce Regional Business Awards.

"It was so unexpected and I'm still feeling blown away," he said.

"We entered for the first time and thought we would just enjoy a night out in Whanganui."

Allomes opened his gourmet burger restaurant in Goldfinch St, Ohakune in 2016 and it has received many excellent reviews.


Not only did Blind Finch win the MediaWorks-sponsored award, they also won two other categories.

More than 300 businesspeople gathered for the awards and gala dinner on Saturday night at the Wanganui Racecourse Function Centre.

"It was a heartwarming experience to honour the hard work of the region's businesspeople and we know they truly appreciate the recognition the business awards provide," said Whanganui Chamber of Commerce chief executive Marianne Archibald.

The Ultrafast Fibre – Digital Business Award went to Prooaxiom with Lamp Studios highly commended.

Country Cafe and Playland received the Whanganui River Markets - Emerging Business Award and the Citadel Cafe were highly commended in the category.

There was one clear winner of the Whanganui and Partners Rural Award which was Rivercity Tree Services.

The Centrepoint Wellington - Manufacturing and Logistics award winner was Quality Safety International and growing business SourBros Bakery were highly commended.

The AWF Award for Trade Services and Supplies went to Downers Whanganui and Midtown Motors were highly commended.


Highly commended for the WDC Waste Minimisation Fund – Environment award was Landlords Link and the Blind Finch were also the winner of this category.

The Judith Timpany Award which celebrates and acknowledges significant contributions to the community by a local businessperson went to Rob Bartley of the Bartley Group.

Archibald said the presentation of the award was a high point of the night for her.

"Mr Bartley's contribution to Whanganui in a business sense is truly outstanding and his kindness and support of his staff and family make him a role model for many."

The Ministry of Social development – Small Business Award was presented to Beaver Tree Services with Midtown Motors highly commended.

Winners of the Air Chathams – Tourism award was Take it Easy Tours with PS Waimarie highly commended.

The Blind Finch were once again winners in the UCOL - Hospitality category with The Citadel getting another highly commended.

Whanganui & Partners - Retail award went to 4-Square Aramoho with Boutique highly commended.

Silks Audit Chartered Accountant received the Confluence – Professional Services award with Beaver Tree Services highly commended.

The Whanganui Chamber of Commerce - Not For Profit award went to UCOL with 100 per cent Sweet highly commended.