Owners Melita McMaster and Will Bayly have been inundated with enquiries from couples wishing to get married in this picturesque spot since it opened in early 2019, and they have bookings for the next 20 months.

As the latest recipients of Top Energy’s $30k Business Development Fund, the couple want to increase their venue capacity and expand their offering to include corporate events.

When they started out in 2019, the entrepreneurial couple had no idea their business would be so successful.

The farm has been in the family since 1929, when it was purchased by Will’s great grandparents who settled there from Taranaki. The farming operation is run by Will’s parents and eldest brother as an Angus Stud.

Melita said they had returned from overseas ready for a new challenge. Will had been in finance and sales, and Melita the advertising industry – a perfect combination for starting a new business.

“There weren’t many jobs in the region, so we decided to take a side line and turn it into a business. Originally what started as a small family wedding venue which has just grown.”

Melita and Will host weddings at their ‘Onewhero Venue’ on the farm during the main wedding season from October through to the end of April. There is direct access to a couple of secluded beaches, and the views out to the Bay of Islands, and over the property's farmland, are spectacular.

They host corporate events too, but when the wedding season is in full swing, they sometimes have to turn business away.

The duo says their success is down to putting the needs of their customers first, hard work and reinvesting profits back into the business. They’ve created a great experience. Plus, they always ask for feedback and act on it, adding new services when they see patterns and trends emerge.

Grateful for the win, Melita and Will are excited about the opportunity that lies ahead; they have a clear vision and know their success will positively impact the region's economy too.

“Weddings and events mean organisers will hire local service providers like caterers, florists and photographers. Guests of the happy couple and business people often choose to create a holiday around the event they are attending. They need places to stay and eat and will take advantage of activities on offer while they are in the region,” Melita says.

The judges admit they always find it difficult selecting a winner from the high-quality applications they receive, but the Baylys’ Farm Wedding and Event Venue submission was of an extremely high calibre.

Well thought out and researched, it demonstrated a clear understanding of business, the market and its drivers, and had the most immediate economic impact.

Top Energy Chief Executive Russell Shaw says the company is focused on supporting business initiatives that economically benefit the local communities the businesses are in.

Top Energy launched its Business Development Fund in 2014. The scheme is designed to encourage and promote economic growth in the Far North. Grants of up to $30,000 are awarded twice a year for local business ideas or initiatives that have the potential to grow or diversify the Far North economy.

The money is either awarded in full to a single stand-out idea or in smaller amounts to several initiatives, depending on the number, quality and merit of the applications received.

To have your next event at Baylys’ Farm, contact Melita on + 027 323 8257 or email her at contact@baylysfarm.co.nz.

Photo: Event hosts Melita McMaster and Will Bayly of Baylys’ Farm Wedding and Event Venue

For more information on Baylys’ Farm Wedding and Event Venue go to: www.baylysfarm.co.nz.

For more information on the business development fund go to: www.topenergy.co.nz/tell-me-about/sponsorship/business-development-fund

For more information contact: Philippa White, 021 2418740

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