Businesses serving up excellence in the Northern Midlands

WINNERS:  Are You Being Served? award winners Julian Read, Di Barnett and Damien Benson. Picture: Supplied

WINNERS: Are You Being Served? award winners Julian Read, Di Barnett and Damien Benson. Picture: Supplied

Banjo’s Bakery Cafe at Longford has been crowned as the municipality’s best business for customer service at the Are You Being Served? awards.

Banjo's won the Business of the Year award by a single vote from last year's winner – Longford’s Caltex service station.

The bakery’s owner Damien Benson thanked his 19 staff members for their hard work and attentive customer relations skills.

Jenny Archer, widow of awards founder Chris Archer, presented the Chris Archer Perpetual Trophy to Mr Benson.

"We have been here only three years," he said. 

"It's a great comfort for us to be recognised in this way by our customers."

The awards, organised by the Rotary Club of Longford and the Northern Midlands Business Association, recognise excellence in customer service throughout the municipality.

The award winners were decided after submissions from the members of public were received and tallied by the Rotary club for three categories. 

Winner of the adult award at the ceremony was Longford Caltex station manager Di Barnett.

Ms Barnett has been the site manager of the Marlborough Street service station for 20 years and won the title five years ago.

She also received the Chris Archer Perpetual Trophy for best business in 2017. 

Customers voted St Patrick's College student Julian Read as winner of the young person award.

Mr Read works at his father's Happy Chef restaurant as a barman and DJ.

Northern Midlands Business Association members Rae Green and Russell Fyfe presented framed certificates to the two individual winners.

The public casted 341 votes during the three-week program – 20 more than last year.

Twenty-three businesses participated in the awards.

"This shows there is strong support for the awards and a firm base to build on," Rotary Club of Longford secretary James Wilcox said.

"We thank business owners and all their customers for getting behind the awards."