A Waiheke hospitality venture is basking in the glow of recognition businesses usually aim for – but often miss.
Wild On Waiheke, which blends the island’s customary sipping and grazing with activities like archery and “Wildtag”, scored the Excellence in Customer Service Delivery award in the Westpac Business Awards for Auckland Central. The Onetangi Valley venue was also a finalist in the Best Emerging Business category in the awards run by the Auckland Chamber of Commerce with support from ATEED.
The multi-purpose venue boasts a winery, brewery, cafe, children’s playground, archery, laser clay-pigeon shooting and Wildtag (a Dodgeball-like game using bows and foam-tipped arrows). It caters for locals, tourists and corporates on team-building exercises, says managing director Keryn Matthews.
The success is a coup for the island because the Auckland Central area includes some of the country’s biggest corporates and Waiheke hadn’t been represented before, she says.
“We were very surprised but it’s a fantastic result.
“Part of our entry was about how we rebranded our wine offerings, to Wild Estate, and rebranded our logo. It’s been so successful we’ve had to do some emergency planting.”
The venue aims for “affordable” food and beverage prices and is growing in popularity for children’s birthday parties, she says.
Last week’s award ceremony was an eye-opener for staff who attended the gala dinner in Auckland.
“We’re a family business – we emphasise treating everyone the same in our staff training and our motto is: ‘happy crew – happy customers’.” • Geoff Cumming

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