After starting his first retail business last year Craig Mearns has been shooting the lights out, and now has his sights set on a maiden Tamworth Quality Business Award after Calibre Country was named as a finalist on Friday.
For the first time in the history of the awards the finalists were announced prior to the August 4 Awards night at the TRECC, and Business Chamber president Jye Segboer hopes the move “provides a great opportunity for the finalists and their business networks to really get behind one another.”
“After an intensive nomination and judging process, we can’t wait to showcase those in our business community who go above and beyond,” Mr Segboer said.
“We made some progressive changes to the awards process this year to ensure all local businesses, large or small, feel supported to enter and the positive widespread results are reflected in the finalists announced today.
“There were over 60 independent judges engaged, with each category having two judges and the larger categories having three, which meant businesses were mystery shopped or reviewed up to three times by independent judges ensuring an absolute non biased platform. Our largest category this year had 50 entrants so to make it as a finalist is an amazing achievement in customer service.”
For Calibre Country, that customer service is what Mr Mearns built his business model around when the former farmer and miner “stuck my neck out and started something.”
“It has been a real learning curve, but we saw an opening in the market and went for it,” he said. It was really humbling to be recognised in the Excellence in Customer Service category because that is what we are all about. I had never been in retail before but customer experience, after sales service and having the right stock and advice is what we really wanted to pride ourselves on.”
Calibre Country opened it’s doors in May last year with just the owner and one full time staff member on the books but now boast the owner, four full time and one part time employee as the business shoots from strength to strength.