AUSTRALIA’s best ice-creamery says the extra scoops served up during peak holiday periods or when a big sporting event comes to town might be the cherry on top, but its strong local support that keep sales up throughout the year.
Planet 72 in Hervey Bay is on a high after recently being announced as the best ice-creamery in the country by travel website Wotif.com.
Owner Dallas Harch said the company was proud and humbled by the accolade.
“The fact that this was an Australia-wide competition, to poll the most votes against ice-creameries in much bigger cities is just incredible,” said Dallas.
The Uniquely Aussie Awards list the best things to see and do and places to eat in the country.
“It’s a terrific compliment to what we as a team have been able to achieve here,” said Dallas.
“We wouldn’t be able to get to where we are without the strong local support. That alone keeps us at a high sales level throughout the year, but come school holidays or any event or weekend that attracts tourists, look out!”
Located on the Charlton Esplanade in Torquay, Planet 72 has the largest display of scooped ice-cream and gelato in Australia.
Dallas said the 72 flavours on display and a few extras as backup take the shop to a whole new level.
“Choice is definitely a standout,” he said.
When announcing the winners, Wotif paid tribute to the store’s customer service, commending the friendly and down-to-earth staff.
It’s that customer service, combined with long opening hours (every day from 9am to 10pm) and location that keep people coming back.
“Location is everything,” explained Dallas.
“The park across the road, the beach, outdoor seating, plenty of parking and space for people to queue during peak hours – it’s all here.”
“Being next door to Maddigans Fish & Chips Seafood, easily the busiest takeaway in the Bay, is also important. We complement each other.”
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The significance of the travel award is not lost on the team at Planet 72.
Dallas believes local businessowners have an important role to play in terms of attracting tourists to the region – and to keep them coming back.
“Local businesses create the perfect holidays.
“We find that many holidaymakers visiting Hervey Bay come to us as soon as they arrive because they have been to the shop before, or we’ve been recommended to them by someone they know.
“Then the morning they leave, they’re in the shop getting their last ice-cream fix. It’s a good feeling to see that.”
Dallas said the more businesses that can achieve that type of following can only improve and increase the experiences of travellers.
“The best advertising includes experiences and fun times,” said Dallas.
“It’s up to business like us who’re the face of Hervey Bay to take responsibility and make sure we are delivering these to visitors.”
Apart from Hervey Bay’s main attractions – like whale watching, K’gari (Fraser Island), fishing and the pier – Dallas said there are many other hospitality businesses drawing people to the region.
“It’s a relatively easy destination to get to by both road and air and there’s plenty of accommodation options to suit all budgets and some really excellent restaurants – all of which are setting high standards with fresh, local products.”
With the Hervey Bay 100 and Barge2Beach currently in town, Planet 72 is expecting another bumper weekend coming up.
“This weekend will be massive for us. It’s not just the athletes, but their families, friends, event organisers and so on.
“All businesses, especially hospitality, should be going out of their way to make them feel welcome and give them an experience that will see them coming back.”
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