It’s definitely a big deal when a small town florist is nominated for a big city award, it’s an even bigger deal when they win! That is exactly what our friends at Touchwood Flowers did recently at the Sydney Flower Market Awards.
Congratulations, Ashley; you would have been super excited just to be a finalist! How did it feel having your name called out as the winner?
We were so thrilled to receive an email to say that we were a finalist in the 2019 Fresh Awards. Kaya and I attended the awards night with no expectations and excited to be a part of such a spectacular night. To have Touchwood Flowers announced as the winner was so amazing and such a proud moment for us.
What was the award for?
Our award was for the Merchandising and Branding Excellence category, recognising us for being proactive in marketing fresh flowers and our business through social media, educational activities and by having strong branding within our business.
The Florist Awards aim to encourage, recognise and reward best practice in fresh flower retailing. Award recipients are recognised as the elite of their industry, earning a place amongst a distinguished group by having their achievements highlighted at both the community and industry levels.
We were then named a Finalist in the Florist of the Year category.
Do you know what the judging criteria were?
The Fresh Awards are decided by an in-depth judging process that is carried out by a panel of industry experts and a band of mystery shoppers over a period of six months.
Businesses participating in the awards and supporting mystery shopper program have the opportunity to gain invaluable insights that can help them better understand their customers’ shopping experience and they’re provided feedback that can add value to their businesses.
All participating florists receive three mystery shopping visits throughout the year. Each visit is undertaken by a different accredited mystery shopper.
The mystery shopper completes a comprehensive questionnaire that covers numerous aspect across five key criteria:
• Store appearance
• Customer service
• Product quality, range and freshness
• Merchandising and branding
A key element of the program is that all participating businesses receive a copy of each mystery shopper’s report, that includes the shopper’s feedback, comments and observations.
Can you tell us about the process to enter; was it nomination, or did you have to apply?
All florists who purchase their fresh flowers from Sydney Markets on a regular basis are eligible to participate in the Florist Awards and free mystery-shopping program.
Based on our mystery shopper results, we were selected as one of four finalists.
We have been a part of the Mystery Shopper Program for many years now, but this is the first year Touchwood Flowers has been a finalist in the awards. So, to win was the icing on the cake.
What was involved for the awards night; where was it held?
The awards night was held at The Star Sydney in late July. Hundreds of industry professionals attended a circus-themed night, with acrobats, contortionists, singers, dancers and entertainment, with news presenter Chris Bath as our host for the evening.
Sixty businesses were finalists in the awards, with 15 being named the category winners.
It was a great opportunity to meet other florists and increase our peer recognition across Sydney and NSW. The awards have already proven to be successful in building these business relationships.