A YEAR of change for Farmer Lou's has done nothing to damage the connection between the business and its customers.
In fact, on the evidence of Saturday night's Daily Examiner Clarence Valley Business Excellence Awards, that connection is only getting stronger.
Farmer Lou's on South took out the People's Choice Award, the ultimate vote of confidence from customers, for the second year in a row.
The award came following the closure of their Grafton store to focus on the South Grafton operation and a growing online market.
"We have customers who come over from the north side to shop at our store," said a happy business founder Lou Felice on Saturday night.
In accepting the award, Paul Felice put the Farmer Lou's on South success down to 'good old fashioned customer service'.
"It's the service that separates us from them - them being big business, and us being small, independent and mostly family-owned business," he said, comments that drew enthusiastic applause from the audience.
"Farmer Lou's has gone through massive changes in the last few months and we are so humbled by how it has been received, and the support we've witnessed has blown us away.
"Winning the People's Choice Award in 2013 has helped our business to grow into what it is today."
The People's Choice Award was sponsored by The Daily Examiner and Paul paid tribute to the connection between his business and the newspaper. "Your reporting has helped our business grow in so many ways, especially in the last two years."
The People's Choice Top 10 nominees were: Farmer Lou's on South; Hank's Kitchen, South Grafton; I Scream; Irons and Craig; John Williams Optometrist; Just Like Leadlight; Smiles Cafe; South Grafton News and Gifts; The Gym; Yamba 24/7 Health and Fitness.
More than 2000 votes were recorded for the People's Choice Award.