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CAR DEALER — NEW
2465 48th Court, 303-443-3250
Runner-up: Flatiron’s Acura/Subaru/Land Rover
Honorable Mention: Gebhardt BMW/Isuzu/VW, Fisher Chevrolet/Geo/Honda
Founded in 1937, Toyota — Japanese for “runs for-freaking-ever” — has risen to stand above the great American automobile manufacturers. In 1974, Toyota celebrated the manufacturing of its 10 millionth vehicle. Some may point out that Ford made 15 million Model-T cars between 1908 and 1927. However, since Model-T’s are somewhat difficult to find these days and can only do 40 going downhill with the wind behind them, most people would probably prefer a nice Toyota. Besides, as the makers of the well-loved Prius hybrid car, Toyota has gained a reputation of being both reliable and environmentally friendly. When Boulderites want Toyotas, they go to Boulder Toyota-Scion, where they know they will get excellent cars at the best prices. Dedicated to customer satisfaction, Boulder Toyota-Scion is a consistent reader favorite. But if you’re not looking for a Toyota, chances are you’re looking for a Subaru. Flatiron’s Acura/Subaru/Land Rover has you covered there. Taking honorable mention this year are two popular car dealerships, Gebhardt BMW/Isuzu/VW and Fisher Chevrolet/Geo/Honda.
Boulder Book Store
1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074
Runner-up: Barnes & Noble
Honorable Mention: Borders, Bookworm
Boulder is one of the most educated cities in the United States (read: we’re a bunch of nerds). Therefore, it should come as no surprise that we have one of the best independent bookstores in the whole damn country. The Boulder Book Store is an internationally known business that attracts writers from around the world, while simultaneously supporting local artists. In the past couple of years, the Boulder Book Store has hosted readings by Sherman Alexie, Michael Chabon, Joyce Carol Oates and Edgar Allan Poe. Well, all right, maybe not Edgar Allan Poe. But that’s only because he’s dead. If he were alive, you can bet your organic-loving ass that Edgar would show up at the Boulder Book Store and creep everyone out with stories about his 13-year-old cousin/wife.
Um, we’ve heard Barnes & Noble and Borders have books, too, and that Borders is very friendly to local authors. But let’s talk about the Bookworm. This independent used bookstore is owned by beloved bibliophiles Allen and Cathy Dillie. They have been reselling great literature in Boulder for more than 20 years. The Bookworm has more than half a million tomes in stock, and they can order more through their website. They also have a rare books section that’ll knock your Crocs off.
CAMERA / VIDEO / PHOTOFINISHING
2500 Pearl St., 303-443-1715
Runner-up: Wolf Camera
Honorable Mention: Jones Drug &
With all its beautiful scenery, colorful people and interesting wildlife, Boulder is a photographer’s dream. Potential subjects are all around and an amazing photo is just a shutter click away. For Boulder’s photographers — whether novice or pro — Mike’s Camera is a one-stop shop for all of their photo needs. From digital prints in an hour to custom framing and top-notch gear, the offerings at Mike’s Camera are professional-grade quality for amateur prices. In addition to photofinishing services and camera equipment sales, the shop offers classes and workshops, photo contests and even online photo galleries. Have a broken camera? No problem. Bring it to Mike’s Camera, and they can repair it for you. Need a video camera — but only for a few weeks? Mike’s offers rentals of cameras, lenses, accessories, and even studio lighting, projectors and industrial equipment. In short, basically anything you might need or want related to photography or videography can be found at Mike’s Camera. And that makes Boulder that much more of a photographer’s paradise.
2504 Spruce St., 303-449-6632
Runner-up: Super Rupair
Honorable Mention: Boulder Bump Shop
So, you take your car in for a new gas pump and plunk down a wad of Benjamins only to find that the problem hasn’t been fixed and now there are a dozen other things wrong with the car. You lie awake at night wondering whether the mechanics deliberately screwed up your carburetor when they replaced that faulty (and still broken) pump. Did they loosen the screws, you wonder? Did they beat on it with a hammer, chuckling to themselves about how they’d see you again soon? You go back the next day, ready to stand up for yourself only to find that the front-desk person who was so nice when you paid the bill yesterday has turned into a banshee. This is so not going to be your experience at Hoshi Motors, which continues to win top honors in our Best of Boulder County poll year after year. Hoshi Motors has offered personalized, professional and honest service for 22 years. In addition to repairing vehicles, Hoshi Motors will also give guidance for buying a new or used car by providing car inspections and information about cars and the automobile market. Super Rupair, which is a consistent runner-up, earns props for its skill and service when it comes to keeping your Subie running. Boulder Bump Shop, this year’s honorable mention, will turn that nasty fender-bender into a distant memory and have you back on the road quickly.
Elevations Credit Union
Several locations in Boulder,
Runner-up: Wells Fargo
Honorable Mention: Chase
Elevations Credit Union is known as a friendly, neighborhood financial institution that has been an integral part of the Boulder community since the early 1950s. As Ed Beckman, a spokesman for the credit union, notes: “The fact that the readers of Boulder Weekly recognize us as best bank, we’re very proud of that.” Elevations is owned by members, not by stockholders or private businesses. “We’re not just a bank that owns branches all over the nation,” said Beckman. “We are part of the community. We live here, we work here, and it’s as important to us as it is to our members.” Elevations also offers educational programs and workshops for their members and provides generous support for local charities. Plus, their goal isn’t just to make profits from customers’ investments. “We want to help our members make the right financial decisions for themselves, so we become like a financial partner. If it’s good for our members, it’s good for us and vice versa.”
BATH & BODY
Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary
1227 Spruce St., 303-443-8878
Runner-up: The Body Shop
Honorable Mention: Lush
Taking care of your skin is a full-time job in Colorado. There are those accidental sunburns from any one of our 300 days of sunshine. There are desiccating Chinook winds. And there’s the dry air that makes lips crack and your skin feel like the Sahara. Most soaps on the market are made out of chemicals and harsh fragrances that can be harmful to the skin. So are you stuck looking like a lizard? No. Head to Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary. This organic body shop is the best place in town to take a healthy approach to cleanliness. Rebecca’s helps Boulder clean and moisturize in the most natural ways possible. This is a place that takes medicine and body care back to its roots with, of course, roots. The store maintains the city’s best selection of oils, soaps, salts, steams and any other herb that is beneficial to your body. In addition, Rebecca’s offers a variety of courses in the basics of herbal care, with everything from aromatherapy to medicinal herbs. Runner-up The Body Shop wins out with their wide selection of makeup and body care products combined with their convenient Pearl Street location. Honorable mention Lush gets our attention with their handmade cosmetics and green ethics.
CAR DEALER — USED
Blue Spruce Auto Sales
4403 Broadway St., 303-938-0580
Runner-up: Boulder Toyota
Honorable Mention: Fisher Chevrolet/Geo/Honda
Joe Morelli, the owner of Blue Spruce Auto Sales, has made a lot of friends during the years he has been at the helm of the best place in Boulder to buy a used car. How has he done this within an industry that has a reputation for, shall we say, lacking the best in ethical standards? As Joe says: “I’m just not that good of a car salesman.” That’s an interesting way to put it, don’t you think? What he means by that, of course, is that Joe won’t sell you a car he wouldn’t sell to his own daughter. Now that’s our kind of car salesman, and Blue Spruce is one of the most deserving of our many deserving BOB winners. And there’s big news brewing at the North Boulder neighborhood Joe shares with Super Rupair (see Auto Service category) owner, Gary Chambers. Joe and Gary have just shaken hands on a deal that will unite their two great independent businesses, thereby creating a NoBo auto sales and service empire. Specializing in economical and Front Range friendly vehicles, such as Subarus, other Japanese and European cars, as well as all varieties of SUVs and light trucks, this auto “dream team” will make the life of Boulder car owners, well, Super.
CARPET / FLOORING
Go Green Flooring By The Carpet Line
5485 Western Ave., 303-440-4429
Runner-up: Carpet Exchange
Honorable Mention: Carpet Mill, Boulder Stove and Flooring
If you think that being environmentally conscious means recycling aluminum cans and taking the bus, you lack ambition. There are so many ways to be eco-conscious, from your habits and lifestyle right down to the floors in your home — literally. And there are so many reasons to consider green flooring: it’s recycled and reduces dependency on oil; it can last longer than conventional flooring, which means less waste; and it’s recyclable, so when it is time to replace it, your floors don’t have to end up in a landfill.
Go Green Flooring By The Carpet Line, this year’s Best of Boulder County winner for Best Carpeting and Flooring, has been focusing on environmentally friendly flooring products for the past 15 years. The green products they offer include: 100-percent wool broadloom, recycled synthetic carpets, low VOC pads, cork flooring, bamboo, Marmoleum, and natural stone. Their friendly knowledgeable service, expert installation and commitment to quality — which means that they look at what happens over the entire life of a product — make Go Green Flooring By The Carpet Line an obvious choice for Boulder’s green flooring needs.
Eads News and Smoke Shop
1715 28th St., 303-442-5900
Runner-up: Johnny’s Cigar &
Honorable Mention: Smoker Friendly
Ah, smoking. There’s no better way to piss off the health-conscious liberals of Boulder than by lighting up a delicious cigarette and sucking down the tasty goodness that lies within. Despite all the Orwellian regulations that have been recently passed in Colorado, there are still a few spots in town where smokers are welcomed with open lungs. If you’ve got a jones for nostalgia, Eads News and Smoke Shop has taken the idea of the old-fashioned newsstand and upgraded it. They have an absolutely enormous selection of magazines from around the world and all the tobacco-related supplies you could ever want. Eads has both imported and domestic cigarette brands, as well as a nice assortment of fine cigars and gourmet pipe tobaccos. Speaking of cigars, if you’re a novice smoker and want to try your hand at it, Johnny’s Cigar & Martini Bar has a knowledgeable staff and a ventilated smoking room. It’s also the best place in town to listen to live jazz while you enjoy a well-made martini. Another spot that greets smokers with a smile is Smoker Friendly. They have more than 300 stores throughout the United States, and all of them are stocked with the latest and greatest in tobacco products.
CLOTHING STORE — USED
1717 Walnut St., 303-938-1924
Runner-up: Rags to Riches
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. More appropriately in this case might be: One person’s old powder-blue polyester sports coat is another person’s ironic retro fashion statement. Shopping for used clothing is a great way to recycle what might otherwise end up in that great time-capsule called the landfill, and Buffalo Exchange is Boulder’s best spot to rescue quality worn wear from the depths of the trashcan. Buffalo Exchange showcases the hippest used clothes and apparel. The fashion gurus behind the counter are skilled in their ability to pick out the highest quality in both men’s and women’s wear and redistribute them at reasonable prices. In addition, if you’re ever feeling a bit low on cash, this is a great place to clean out your closet for either cash or store credit. The store’s recent remodeling gives retro shoppers even more reason to frequent its doors and pick out used relics. Runner-up Rags to Riches is another excellent spot for recycled fashion. A consignment shop, Rags to Riches specializes in offering brand names and designer wear at low prices. Their clothes are like-new, so there’s no way to tell the difference between the store-bought and the used, except for the price tag.
CLOTHING — KIDS’
Rocky Mountain Kids
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-447-2267
Honorable Mention: Ginger & Pickles
Letting your kids dress themselves in the morning can be a mixed bag. While they might happen to magically coordinate a cheek-pinching ensemble, chances are they’ll walk down the stairs in their Halloween superhero get-up or that favorite shirt filled with holes and stains. In these situations, a march back upstairs is inevitable. If your kid is in need of some new garb, Rocky Mountain Kids can help you out. A mother/daughter team of owners is on hand to help you get the little ones their new favorite shirt. In addition to clothes, Rocky Mountain Kids also has a wide variety of accessories and shoes. The amiable sales staff will measure your fast-growing tot to ensure a perfect fit in their top-quality threads. Speaking of growing, runner-up Savers is a great place to get inexpensive, used clothing for kids who go through clothes quickly. Ginger & Pickles, this year’s honorable mention, has a great assortment of infant and toddler wear, in addition to their fun selection of toys.
CLOTHING — WOMEN’S
2670 Broadway, 303-786-7628
Honorable Mention: Christina’s
It’s not always easy being a lady. Clothing companies and social stereotypes have long bombarded us with ridiculous and often uncomfortable styles of dress. Take a look at the portraits of our sisters in the 19th century. How could they even breathe wearing those corsets? Thankfully, we’ve come a long way since the days of ribcage-squeezing undergarments. Women’s clothing winner Jacque Michelle succeeds in dressing us up in the latest fashions — comfortably. Their fun attire is easy to dress down or up, and is stylish for women of all ages. Patterns and bright colors showcase their friendly vibe and strong spirit. Runner-up Chelsea rocks the pants off Pearl Street with the hippest styles and cuts in jeans, skirts and tops. Chelsea also makes it easy to find matching accessories for your style. Christina’s, this year’s honorable mention, catches our glance with their sultry, sexy lingerie selection.
CLOTHING — MEN’S
Starr’s Clothing Company
1630 Pearl St., 303-442-3056
Runner-up: Urban Outfitters
Honorable Mention: Buffalo Exchange
When you see the category of Best Men’s Clothing in our BOB survey, your reaction is probably something like: Men? Shop? Indeed, men are notorious for their antipathy toward shopping, even going so far as to procrastinate until fundamental articles of clothing, such as socks and underwear, deteriorate to the point of their essential molecular structure. Steve Martin, in his first book, Cruel Shoes, had this to say about the subject in his bit, “When Men Shop”: When men shop the clerks come out in awe. The splendid men stooping for scarves and cologne. Forget the bargains and the layaways, for when men shop they go directly to the goods. “I’ll take it with me!” say the men. “Don’t need no help, I’ll take this to the car myself!” Men can scarcely conceal how casually they regard their purchases. They toss them on the back of car seats, often breaking them before they get home. The wives are never dismayed when they see what their man has bought. When men shop they set things right in their household. What’s the bowl without the spoon? What’s the TV without the remote control whistle switch? And what will you do when you see him coming, approaching the counter with his checks and ID? Bring out the best, the back counter stuff and watch what happens when men shop. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Starr’s Clothing Company, as well as Urban Outfitters and Buffalo Exchange for coming in a close second and third.
Weaver’s Dive & Travel Center
637-V S. Broadway, 303-499-8500
Runner-up: Ocean First Divers
The late Jerry Garcia, spiritual leader of the Grateful Dead, once pronounced, “If we had known about diving in the ’60s, we’d never have needed drugs.” So, lock up your stash and head down to Weaver’s Dive & Travel Center, where you can go from novice to expert, get outfitted with the finest gear and apparel, and plan the adventure of a lifetime, all in one dive shop super-center.
Considering the unavoidable land-locked nature of Colorado, our state is certainly blessed to have PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) Master Instructor Steve Weaver in our community. Steve has been certifying divers for more than a quarter of a century, and he is recognized by the diving industry as a true expert in the field. But the expertise at Weaver’s doesn’t end here in Colorado. Their dive travel agency, Dreamweaver Travel, specializes in group dive adventures to the most beautiful and exotic locations around the world, including the Caribbean, Mexico, the South Pacific, Hawaii and Australia. It has been said that Jerry loved diving so much because his celebrity status never allowed him much peace and that being on a dive was the only time he could be alone. If you need some solitude, Weaver’s is the place to start.
Several locations in Boulder,
Runner-up: Environmental Cleaners
Honorable Mention: Boulder Cleaners
In the mid-19th century, French dye-works owner Jean Baptiste Jolly noticed that his tablecloth became cleaner after his maid spilled kerosene on it. Realizing the potential for using petroleum-based solvents to remove soil and stains from fabric, he decided to develop a service to clean people’s clothes in this manner. He called it “nettoyage à sec,” translated to “dry cleaning” in English. By the mid-1930s, the dry cleaning industry had adopted tetrachloroethylene — try saying that five times fast — as the “ideal solvent.” It’s stable, nonflammable, gentle for most garments and has excellent cleansing power. Unfortunately, it was also the first chemical to be classified as a carcinogen by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. That classification was later withdrawn, but the dry cleaning industry is beginning to move toward other chemicals and methods, nonetheless. Among them, is Art Cleaners — your friendly neighborhood full-service dry cleaner since 1921. In 2003, they converted to the Green Earth Cleaning System — a new, revolutionary cleaning system that is safe for people, clothes and the environment. With six locations and a free pick-up and delivery service, Art Cleaners is a great way to keep your clothes clean without dirtying up the environment.
Sturtz & Copeland
2851 Valmont Rd., 303-442-6663
Runner-up: European Flower Shop
Honorable Mention: Boulder Blooms
Since the beginning of time, flowers have been used to express human emotions. Flowers have been found in Neanderthal graves (no joke!) and have played an important role in many cultures and religions around the world. Flowers brighten our days and cheer our hearts. And this year’s Best of Boulder County winner, Sturtz & Copeland, a long-time favorite, thinks flowers can express a message that goes beyond words. That’s why they have eight experienced full-time floral designers who can create beautiful arrangements in a style that suits any occasion. The local florist has been providing beautiful floral arrangements to the Boulder community since 1929. The original location, at 1500 Arapahoe, had to be closed with the expansion of Boulder High School in 1981. That’s when Sturtz & Copeland moved to its current location at 2851 Valmont Rd. While they offer quality flowers and excellent designs for the most momentous occasions, they also recognize that sometimes flowers just say, “thanks” or “I love you.” And if you want to say both of those things, you can stop in on a Friday for their two-for-one Friday Flowers Special and get a great deal on select cut flowers. What a beautiful way to express your own homo sapiens emotions.
NATURAL FOOD STORE
Whole Foods Market
2905 Pearl St., 303-545-6611
Runner-up: Vitamin Cottage
Honorable Mention: Wild Oats
We’ll start with the bad news: The food industry isn’t in the best of shape. If you haven’t taken a close look at it recently, you might be in for a sickening surprise. Many of the world’s leading food manufacturers produce our meals out of laboratories or use mass-production techniques that compromise the nutrition in the ingredients. Then there’s the hormones, genetic “enhancements” and poor treatment of animals we keep hearing about. In other words, reading the ingredients label on your food might give you the feeling that what you’re about to consume isn’t actually food. The good news? Boulder has an abundance of funk-free food. Whole Foods Market makes it to the top of the charts as this year’s best place to get fresh produce and goods. Whole Foods has a ridiculously expansive selection, including its own 365 brand that markets health food at a reasonable price. In addition to the grub, Whole Foods is a hot spot to get other organic and natural items like makeup, skin care and vitamins. Runner-up Vitamin Cottage gets props for being a Colorado-based resource for fresh and organic produce, skin care and, get this, vitamins. We especially love Vitamin Cottage’s promotion of local farmers and artisans.
2560 28th St., 303-442-7309
Despite our conservative Protestant roots, the United States is far less prudish than one might think. Each year, U.S. consumers spend $1.2 billion dollars — that’s billion, with a “B” — on sex toys. Here in Boulder, we spend our share, too. And our favorite place to get our fix: Fascinations. The not-so-big shop proves that size really doesn’t matter, as long as you have a ton of toys. And this favorite Boulder sex-shop has a ton of fascinating “adult merchandise.” Offering sexy apparel, books and DVDs, flavored lubricants, sex toys, items for fetish and bondage play, games and more, there’s a variety of options available at Fascinations for adding a little spice to your bedroom (or whatever room you want). And even if you can’t handle it too hot, there are items mild enough for any, er… palette. So no matter whether you like it vanilla or with a bit of kink, you can find just the right thing to add a little excitement to your relationship or tide you over until you find your special someone. And once you’ve found your one and only, Fascinations can help make the bachelor or bachelorette party a night that everyone will remember. So come in, and indulge. You’re not alone. America likes sex.
Concepts Furniture & Accessories
1890 30th St., 303-443-6900
Runner-up: American Furniture Warehouse
Once your idea of décor was black light posters, cinderblock bookshelves and that old couch Mom and Dad gave you. But you gave up dorm living a long time ago. If you’re still sitting on that same gnarly couch, it’s time for a garage sale — and an upgrade.
Concepts Furniture & Accessories is committed to offering style and value to its customers. As the selection is ever changing, Concepts is a store at which you can shop on a regular basis and always find new treasures. You can purchase items right off the floor, from the warehouse or by special ordering the perfect piece to complete your home. Looking for functionality and style in a piece of furniture? Concepts can help you find the perfect combination, whether your style is contemporary, eclectic or traditional. And if you aren’t so style-savvy yourself, this is a furniture store that is willing to go the extra mile to help you find the ideal décor for you and your family. In fact, you can even have one of the Concepts designers meet you in your home to develop a home decorating plan. And we won’t tell about the black light poster, as long as you hang it in your basement.
1222 Pearl St., 303-443-8248
Runner-up: Jacque Michelle
Honorable Mention: Paper Doll
These days, gift-giving has been reduced to exchanging small squares of plastic — gift cards. These essentially tell people that we didn’t have enough time/interest/creativity to go out and actually select a gift for them. You don’t even have to pick a particular store or type of gift because many cards are good anywhere. Fortunately, for those of us who want personality and heart to be evident in the gifts we give, there are lots of options in Boulder. At the top of this year’s readers poll is Art Mart. “We’re so thrilled and thankful to your readers, who voted us number one,” said Art Mart’s Carolyn Westphall and Manager Lauren Grimditch in a group phone call. “We’re a Boulder fixture, locally owned by Boulder natives.” This huge retail outlet has been located on the Pearl Street Mall since 1989. Part souvenir stand, part museum, part gallery, Art Mart offers a wide selection of arts and hand-crafted items. They have an amazing array of gifts from photographs to glass to wood to jewelry from 150 artists, more than half of them from Boulder. They believe that’s part of the draw, especially for out-of-town visitors who want to bring home a piece of Boulder when they leave. Another draw is that a large selection of their offerings are reasonably priced, while collectors looking for gallery-quality artwork can also find something to their liking.
Whole Foods Market
Several locations in Boulder,
Runner-up: Vitamin Cottage
Honorable Mention: King Soopers
Journalists are supposed to pursue fact and expose the truth. And after much research, here’s one thing we know to be both factual and true: Everyone eats. And what you eat impacts how you feel. When buying food, it’s worth putting a bit of thought into what goes into your cart. That’s why so many Boulder Weekly readers load up on goodies at Whole Foods. It’s not just a grocery store. It’s an approach to shopping, cooking and eating that resonates with our readers. Whole Foods cares about product knowledge, organic standards, sustainability and the community. “Whole Foods Market believes that companies, like individuals, must assume their share of responsibility as tenants of Planet Earth,” explains a spokesman. And they don’t just believe it; they act on it. Whole Foods has purchased enough clean, sustainable American wind to offset 100 percent of the electricity used in all of its Colorado stores, as well as the bakehouse and the distribution center, making them the largest retailer in Colorado to be 100-percent wind powered. And it’s a company that knows that in order to keep its customers happy, it has to keep its employees happy. For the past 11 years, Whole Foods has been on Fortune Magazine’s list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” Vitamin Cottage, another health and environmentally conscious retailer, wins this year’s runner-up position, while King Soopers earns honorable mention.
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