A dream run for a Warrnambool hardware store just keeps on building.
Since the near century-old Pontings store started trading as a Mitre 10 in 2019, a building boom boosted its sales and it has become Victoria's top Mitre 10 of its size.
Now it can add a national award to the list, taking out Independent Hardware Group's number one medium sized store in Australia.
Director John Ponting said staff received the "totally unexpected" award during a live-streamed ceremony on Monday.
"It was a great honour to get the state award and then to go to the next level and get the national award, it says a lot for the staff behind us and the support we have from the community," Mr Ponting said.
"It would be one of the standout achievements that we have accomplished as a family."
Director Pam Madner (nee Ponting) said the prize was the first national award the family had won in its 98-year ownership of the store.
"We grew up as kids and this was always part of who we were. Probably a lot of it is the climate at the moment, lots of people are doing building, interest rates are low," Ms Madner said.
"But it's also the relationship we have with our customers. That is what differentiates ourselves from non-family businesses."
The award recognises the store's retail excellence, customer service, engagement with community and innovation.
The store employs 55 staff, five more since it took on the Mitre 10 franchise in 2019.
The business, started by Walter Ponting and brother Len, is now third generation.
"I think they would be proud," Ms Madner said of her parents and grandparents.
"One that it still exists, and two that we're recognised Australia-wide."
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