By Evelyn Leckie
WHITTLESEA businesses are coming out on top with a dog groomer, liquor store, bakery and butcher winning excellence awards.
Dog groomer and business owner of Hairy Cherubs Trish Wileman won Australia’s Favourite Dog Groomer for the second year in a row.
“We won the award in 2018 and 2019, it was nice to back it up and learn that the first award wasn’t just a fluke,” she laughed.
The Eden Park resident said she loved working with animals and enjoyed meeting families and their pets over the 20 years she had her business.
“I love watching my clients’ pets grow from puppies to senior dogs and offering a real homely one-on-one service,” Ms Wileman said.
Whittlesea IGA Liquor store manager Munish Bansal was also recognised as best store manager in Australia by the IGA group and previously best manager in Victoria.
Mr Bansal’s successes come after migrating to Australia from India 10 years ago with only $200 in his pocket and no English skills.
He invested his time in English lessons and has completed about 150 courses available to him through the supermarket to progress his career.
“My name was recommended a few times by company representatives or brand representatives – I ended up winning the awards and a lot of benefits came from it,” Mr Bansal said.
At Whittlesea Bakehouse, bakers Adrian Caporetto and Michael Valenti won the best chunky beef plain pie in Australia – handed down by the Bakers Association of Australia.
Manager of the bakehouse Frances Caporetto said the team was chuffed with the award.
“We entered as a bit of fun – it’s nice to also get feedback on your product,” Ms Caporetto said.
The manager said the bakers also took gold place for their pizza pie and silver for their pepper and mushroom pie.
“They’re delicious, our pies definitely don’t leave your tastebuds disappointed,” she said.
Butcher Wayne Gilmour from Gillys Meats was also recognised as ‘best small butcher’ nominated by an unknown customer and announced via commercial radio.
“I had no idea who nominated us but it was great,” Mr Gilmour said.
“I’ve been running the business for 12 years and we’re the best butcher. Best going, best quality and best customer service.”
NewsXpress Whittlesea owner Robyn Ritchie said Whittlesea was a hidden gem when it came to high quality businesses.
“We’ve got an amazing bounty on offer in a country setting – people drive up from Doreen all the time and say to me how great the quality shops are around here – and you still have a guranteed park right outside,” she said.