Best of Boulder 2018 — Retail

0
pedestrian shops’ Assistant Manager Whitney Maurer loves shoes!
Sue France

Shoe Store

PEDESTRIAN SHOPS

1425 Pearl St., 303-449-5260

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Unit E-33, 303-449-7440

Silver: Boulder Running Company

Bronze: Brown’s Shoe Fit Company

Take care of your feet. Seriously. Have you thought about what those things do for you every day? The daily runs, the weekend hikes, the housework, playing with the kids in the yard… your feet are your foundation and you should be as good to them as they are to you. That’s why our readers go to Pedestrian Shops for the most comfortable shoes around. Brands like Columbia, Rockport, Sperry, Timberland, Ariat, Birkenstock and Merrel are just a few of the dozens of trusted names you can peruse at Pedestrian Shops. If you can’t make it in to the brick and mortar, hop online and get free standard shipping with every order.

CD/Record Store

BART’S RECORD SHOP

1625 Folsom St., 303-444-1760

Silver: Albums on the Hill

Bronze: Absolute Vinyl Records & Stereo

Write-in: Little Horse Books & Vintage

Sometimes you want to feel your music; you want to dust off that record and drop the needle on your favorite tunes. Sometimes you want to pull out the cover of a CD and read the liner notes. When our readers want to get physical with their music, they head to Bart’s Record Shop, a little slice of heaven right here on Earth. Bart’s sells new and used vinyl and CDs from a variety of genres, not to mention posters, turntables and much more. After 25 years in business, it’s clear Bart’s knows what Boulder County music lovers want.

Courtesy of Christina’s Luxuries

Lingerie

CHRISTINA’S LUXURIES

2425 Canyon Blvd., Suite 100, 303-443-2421

Silver: Victoria’s Secret

Bronze: MayBee by Fascinations

With dozens of products from the industry’s top brands, Christina’s Luxuries is our readers’ choice when they’re looking to slip into something a little more comfortable. Christina’s proclaims on its website that “beautiful lingerie is no longer a needless luxury or frivolous delicacy. It is both a tradition and a way of life.” But Christina’s also has a wide selection of bridal wear, leisure wear, maternity clothes, swimwear, accessories and toiletry. So the next time you need something to spruce up your wardrobe, stop by Christina’s and see what catches your eye.

Collection of Colorado-Made Products

SPINSTER SISTER MERCANTILE

1102 Pearl St., 720-618-1642

There’s almost too much to love about our beautiful state. Think about it: World-class dining options? Check. Breathtaking outdoor scene? Check. Inspiring art and groundbreaking music? Check. These are the reasons everyone is moving here, right? Well, all of these facets of Coloradan awesomeness is perhaps best celebrated at Spinster Sisters Mercantile, a must-stop shop on Pearl Street. With goods from more than 20 Colorado makers, there’s no better way to support and celebrate some of the hardest workers in our state. The shelves are full of jewelry, clothing, body care products, art of all kinds, local honey and so much more.

Susan France
Aspen eyewear, locally owned and operated, offers a diverse selection of great-looking frames.

Optical Store

ASPEN EYEWEAR

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite E-23,

303-447-0210

Silver: Boulder Vision Center

Bronze: Envision Boulder

Write-in: Warby Parker

The folks at Aspen Eyewear have been helping Boulder County residents get 20/20 vision (and look cool while they’re doing it) since 1985. Their staff opticians are board certified by the American Board of Opticianry, and all of their employees are trained to understand your prescription and help you find the best glasses (or contacts!) to suit your needs. To top it all off, they’re locally owned and operated. Trust our readers when they say Aspen Eyewear is the best place to go for all of your eye care needs and great looking frames to boot.

Natural Foods

NATURAL GROCERS BY VITAMIN COTTAGE 

2685 Pearl St., 303-402-1400

100 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette, 303-926-1600

1745 N. Main St., Longmont,

303-684-8200

Silver: Lucky’s Market

Bronze: Whole Foods Market

atural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage is a company built on five principles: educating communities about nutrition, offering the highest quality products at their stores, keeping prices affordable, serving their local community and taking care of their employees. With a mission statement like that, it’s east to see why our readers chose Natural Grocers as best natural food store. Natural Grocers sets standards for all their goods, like their dairy products, for instance. Natural Grocers doesn’t accept dairy products from confinement dairies. That means their products come from animals that have grazed on a pasture for a minimum of 120 days during grazing season. They won’t sell artificial colors or flavors, MSG, irritated foods or GMOs. They weren’t kidding when they say they are natural grocers.

Sue France
Bolder Ink staff, left to right: C.J. Shea, Mijo, Lance Talon and Aaron Dunnell

Tattoo/Piercing Parlor

BOLDER INK

2735 Iris Ave., Suite A, 303-444-7380

Silver: Tribal Rites Tattoo & Piercing

Bronze: Claw and Talon Tattoo

Write-in: Metamorphosis Tattoo and Piercing Studio

Tattoos tell stories. They show the world who you are and what you’ve lived through. As the old saying goes, “Show me a man with a tattoo, and I’ll show you a man with an interesting past.” As Boulder’s oldest tattoo parlor, Bolder Ink has been helping people express themselves through body art for decades. With experienced artists, these guys specialize in custom tattoos that stand the test of time. That’s why once again they are our readers top pick for best tattoo business.

Mattress

DENVER MATTRESS COMPANY

1945 28th St., 303-413-1314

48 Ken Pratt Blvd., Suite 100, Longmont, 303-774-1150

Silver: Urban Mattress

Bronze: Verlo Mattress

When the time comes to plop down cash for something to plop down on, our readers turn to Denver Mattress Company. These stores possess a wide variety of mattresses from a wide variety of makers at a wide variety of prices, so you can rest assured (pun intended) you’ll get something that’ll help you rest easy at night. Firm or soft, memory foam or spring, king-sized or twin, whatever your preference is, the kind people at Denver Mattress will help you get into a bed that will allow you to dream freely.

Treasure Hunting

WISE BUYS ANTIQUES

190 Second Ave., Niwot, 303-652-2888

You don’t have to be a pirate, own a ship or even live near water to hunt for treasure in Boulder County. Wise Buys Antiques in Niwot is a 3,500-square-foot treasure-trove of antiques, retro-collectibles and vintage artwork. It even boasts “the largest on-site selection of wood fireplace mantels in all of Colorado.” After all, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” as the old adage goes. You could spend hours here, sorting through the eclectic offerings of vintage glassware, restored furniture and classic posters. Be sure to check out the trunk collection to find the perfect receptacle for all the booty you find.

Law Firm

BERG HILL GREENLEAF & RUSCITTI LLP

1712 Pearl St., 303-402-1600

Silver: Holland & Hart LLP

Bronze: Frascona, Joiner, Goodman & Greenstein, P.C.

Alright, imagine this: You’re the head of a Fortune 500 textile company when the head of the textile company that’s your direct competitor dies, and you sense an opportunity for a buyout. Everything’s in place and then, boom, Uncle Sam slaps an anti-trust lawsuit on you and the deal is cooked. If you ever find yourself in that unfortunate situation (and who hasn’t been there?), turn to the folks at Burg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti. Their lawyers specialize in a variety of law, from business to criminal defense to environmental to intellectual property and more. Seek their council and win your lawsuit.

Sue France
The Ritz employee Margret Skowronski displays their array of costumes.

Costume Shop

THE RITZ

959 Walnut St., 303-443-2850

Silver: Theatrical Costumes, Etc. & Trendy Boutique

Write-in: ARES Thrift Store

When it’s mid-March and someone tells you to take off your fairy wings and top hat because, “It’s not Halloween,” turn around and walk away from that negativity. You don’t need it in your life. The people over at The Ritz know that costume-wearing shouldn’t be limited to one night a year, so they offer a selection of accessories and head-to-toe costumes year round. Stop in when you want to spice up a business meeting with a pair of large sunglasses or you think that first date would be better dressed as Homer Simpson. The world needs more people like you.

Gift Shop

PEPPERCORN

1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847

Silver: Jacque Michelle

Bronze: Bliss

Write-in: Sweet Ruckus

What makes Peppercorn such a great place for our readers when it comes to finding just the right gift? We can’t say for sure, but it could be that there are like 25,000 really cool things to choose from in the first 30 feet of the store, and another 100,000 or so things should you make it further into this massive universe of kitchen and food-related gifts. Espresso makers by the dozens, cook books by the hundreds, specialty sauces and ingredients by the thousands. Where else can you get a fun metal rooster, a hand-blown glass platter, a jar of raspberry hot sauce, a book that tells you what to do with it and a thingy that froths your milk to the perfect temperature, all within 20 feet of the front door? Oh yeah, and some chocolate covered bacon. Your friends and family will love you for gift shopping for them at Peppercorn. And besides, it’s pretty much a foodie cornucopia for the shopper as well, so everybody’s a winner.

Furniture

WOODLEY’S FINE FURNITURE

1400 S. Main St., Longmont, 303-651-1015

Silver: Clutter Consignment

Bronze: American Furniture Warehouse

No wonder Woodley’s Fine Furniture is our readers favorite place to buy their household furniture staples. It’s like the farm-to-table of furniture stores. Of course, Woodley’s carries a wide variety of the nation’s leading brands, but one of the things that separates them from their competition is the fact that they have their own factory where they take raw materials and lumber and let their skilled craftspeople turn it in to something unique. Woodley’s makes its furniture right in Longmont — it’s Colorado furniture made by Coloradans and sold in stores in Colorado. That’s good for the local economy and good for you.

Place to Swim Outdoors

OUTDOOR POOL AT MEMORY SQUARE

801 Grant St., Louisville, 303-666-7909

Colorado is known for its outdoor beauty: majestic peaks, pristine meadows, wild landscapes and flowing rivers. But one thing Colorado is not known for is places to swim, even though we do have a few good options. On a hot summer day, there’s nothing quite like jumping in a swimming pool to cool off, splash around and have fun. And since we’re also water conscious in Colorado, community pools are way better than filling up inflatable pools in your backyard or, worse yet, digging a pool to keep all to yourself. So during Colorado’s swimming season (Memorial Day through Labor Day) the outdoor pool at Memory Square in Louisville is the place to be. You can get your laps on in the swim lanes, let your kids run wild in the splash pool, whizz down either of the facility’s two water slides or take brief dips in the shallow end between sun-tanning sessions on the pool deck.

Sue France
Lester Binegar, General Manager of University Bicycles, shows off a favorite set of wheels.

Bicycle Shop

UNIVERSITY BICYCLES

839 Pearl St., 303-444-4196

Silver: Full Cycle

Bronze: Bicycle Village

Write-in: Sports Garage Cycling

It all started in 1985. Doug, a Boulder cyclist, secured a small basement on the west end of Pearl Street and began repairing any bike he could get his hands on. It only took eight months before his business grew so large he had to move the operation to a ground-level brick and mortar on Pearl Street, where University Bicycles still resides today. Now, more than 30 years later, it’s our reader’s favorite bike shop. In addition to repairs, accessories and rentals, you can purchase a new bike and enjoy free adjustments forever, as in, you know, forever — not a bad life cycle.

Auto Dealer — New

LARRY H. MILLER TOYOTA BOULDER

2465 48th Court, 888-699-0552

Silver: Flatirons Subaru

Bronze: Gebhardt BMW & VW

Write-in: Audi Boulder

They say buying a new car is the second most important purchase a person makes in their lifetime (the first is buying a house). With the stakes so high, you want to make sure you’re getting and giving the attention the purchase deserves. Our readers say Larry H. Miller Toyota Boulder is the best place to get personalized care and advice on your big buy. Making big life decisions is hard, but between Boulder Toyota’s easy scheduling platform and their stellar auto servicing offers, car-buying is a little bit easier for residents of Boulder County.

Sue France
Buffalo Exchange buyers, left to right: Katie Farney and Lana Shores

Clothing Store — Used

BUFFALO EXCHANGE

1813 Pearl St., 303-938-1924

Silver: Rags Consignment

Bronze: arc Thrift Store

Write-in: Crossroads Trading Co.

There’s nothing like going into a consignment shop and finding that special something you didn’t even know you needed. It’s like a little treasure hunt. That’s why our readers shop at Buffalo Exchange, where they say you can find the best pre-owned clothing in the county. Buffalo Exchange offers stylish clothes for every occasion, with brand name, high-quality clothing at prices that won’t make you sweat as you walk to the cash register. The store has spent more than 40 years in the business of making people look good while giving clothes a second life; that’s good for you and good for the environment. And don’t forget, they buy great clothes as well.

Sue France
Munson Farm employee Amy Sembower greets customers
with a smile.

Farm

MUNSON FARMS

Valmont Road and N. 75th St., 720-971-8847

Silver: Cure Organic Farm

Bronze: Anderson Farms

Write-in: 7th Generation Farm

We are blessed with a plethora of farms right here in our beautiful county. And they provide an abundance of fresh food ideal for any and every meal. When it comes to which of these great farms is best, our readers have spoken and they chose Munson Farms. Munson Farms has a lot to brag about. For more than 40 years they’ve been providing Boulder with fresh produce, including tomatoes, peaches, pumpkins and their famous sweet corn. In all, they boast more than 100 acres of locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Best Place to Watch the Sunrise

SUGARLOAF MOUNTAIN

(40.02689°N, 105.41854°W)

You’ll probably have to wake up a bit earlier than you normally do… but trust us, it’ll be worth it. Set your alarm about an hour before sunrise, hop in the car, drive up Boulder Canyon and take a right onto Sugarloaf Road. Then follow signs for the Switzerland Trailhead, which takes you to a little dirt cul-de-sac. Take the trail on the east side of the parking lot. You’re looking at about a half-mile of trail in front of you to the top of Sugarloaf Mountain — a little steep, yes, but it’s short and you’re going up to an impressively vast view, after all. By the time you start hiking, first light should already be upon you, so have no fear of hiking in the dark. Once you crest the summit, pick one of the boulders stacked atop the hill, park your view east, and let the golden sun ray show begin as the sun peeks over the horizon. The best part is you can still be at work on time.

Sue France
at Hazel’s Beverage World, Rob Linhart supervises the Wine Department.

Liquor

HAZEL’S BEVERAGE WORLD

1955 28th St., 303-447-1955

Silver: Liquor Mart

Bronze: Superior Liquor

Write-in: B Town Wine + Spirits

Our readers say Hazel’s Beverage World is the place to go when they need to stock up on alcohol. It’s no wonder why: Hazel’s is a veritable warehouse of spirits, mixers, wine and beer. Rows and rows of vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, rum, cordials and more ensure that you’ll leave with something you’re eager to pop open. A knowledgeable staff also helps direct guests toward what their taste buds are craving. And best of all, there’s a giant plane hanging from the ceiling. Or no, best of all are the free tastings. Yeah, definitely the free tastings.

Auto Service/Repair Shop

HOSHI MOTORS

2504 Spruce St., 303-449-6632

Silver: Super Rupair

Bronze: Boulder Bump Shop

Write-in: Swedish Motors

Fewer things in life are more frustrating than car problems. Thankfully, our readers say if you drive a Honda, Acura, Toyota or Subaru, you can drop off your car at Hoshi Motors on any day, and whala! Pick it up when it’s done, and it’s like a magic fairy came and wiped all your troubles away. Hoshi Motors has been repairing Boulder vehicles for more 30 years now, and they boast 100 years of collective experience in their shop. So, maybe it isn’t magic after all…

Computer — Retail

APPLE STORE

1755 29th St., 720-479-9451

Silver: Best Buy

Bronze: Costco Wholesale

One hundred thousand years in the future, when archaeologists and anthropologists dig up the bones of modern man, they will most likely find us in a prone position clutching onto our laptops as our last means of survival. Just as the hammer and chisel were so important to the caveman, computers are the vital tool of our time. If you’re looking to update your tool, our readers tell us to head on down to the Apple Store. Get yourself something fancy that will make the future researchers jealous.

Auto Dealer — Used

SUPER RUPAIR

1309 Yarmouth Ave., 303-442-6508

Silver: Fisher Honda Acura

Bronze: Audi Boulder

uper Rupair is your one-stop shop for all things Subaru, whether you’re looking to buy or repair. The shop’s extensively trained technicians can practically take apart an engine and put it back together again while blindfolded. That means if you’re looking to buy one of the used Subarus in Super Rupair’s inventory, you know you can trust that the car has had the best maintenance possible. With outstanding customer service and several financing options to help you get into best car for your lifestyle and budget, our readers say there’s no better place to go than Super Rupair.

Sue France
GrandRabbit’s toy shoppe employees, left to right, Linda Jones and Deb Beberniss, hold some favorite toys.

Toy Store

GRANDRABBIT’S TOY SHOPPE

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite H-3, 303-443-0780

Silver: Into the Wind

Bronze: GameStop

Write-in: Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys

Remember the toy stores of yesteryear? Mom and pop shops, chock-full of plush stuffed animals, games, books and costumes. They were wonderful to explore, places to let the imagination run wild. Then came big-box stores, with fluorescent lights, wide aisles and tall metal shelves… void of the awe and wonder of shops of old. Luckily for Boulder County, Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe is an independently owned business for children and parents alike. Since 1977, it has been the place to discover, learn and grow. Arts and crafts, educational learning, baby toys, active play and sports, Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe has it all.

Moving Company

TAYLOR MOVING AND STORAGE, LLC

4949 N. Broadway, Suite 110, 303-443-5885

Silver: The Good Move, LLC

Bronze: A Bolder Moving Company, Ltd.

Write-in: Boulder All Star Movers

Moving is stressful. You have to pack up all those boxes, load them into a truck, move to your new house, and then spend days complaining about how old you are because you’re back is seriously killing you. To avoid all that, hire Taylor Moving. Their staff will pack, move and unload for you. The company even has a climate controlled warehouse to store your stuff. Taylor Moving is big enough to handle anything within the state or across the country, whether it’s commercial or residential. So don’t stress: call Taylor Moving and let the pros take care of everything for you.

Sue France
at mcguckin hardware, friendly and knowledgeable staff help with all your project needs.

Hardware

MCGUCKIN HARDWARE

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite D1, 303-443-1822

Silver: Home Depot

Bronze: Ace Hardware

Someone once described McGuckin Hardware as the only store in the world where with one stop, you could find everything you need to build a rocket to Mars. It could be true; as far as we know nobody’s actually tried it yet. But the point is, McGuckin transcends its assigned category as a hardware store. It’s like calling a Stradivarius a fiddle. It seems bizarre that in a well-traveled, well-educated, well-healed place, a hardware store in Boulder, Colorado, can be held in such high esteem. But it’s not bizarre at all. Seriously, people love to just go in and walk around. And when you do need to find that exact this or that, McGuckins probably has it… and in several colors. Hardware store? It’s so much more than that.   

Hot Tub/Jacuzzi

MOUNTAIN MIST POOL & SPA

1240 Ken Pratt Blvd., Suite 4, Longmont, 303-772-1125

Silver: Mr. Pool, Inc.

Bronze: Heat Wave Stove & Spa

Stress is bad. Sitting in a hot tub or Jacuzzi gets rid of stress. Therefore, hot tubs and Jacuzzis are good. Our readers say Mountain Mist Pool & Spa is the best place to get a hot tub or a Jacuzzi because it’s good. Mountain Mist sells Hot Springs spas, Dynasty spas, swim spas, saunas… even Big Green Egg Grills and Yeti coolers so you can complete your relaxing backyard experience. They offer spa repair, spa moves, parts and cleaning and maintenance. We could stop right there because we know that our smart readers already understand the other 1,000 or so reasons why going to Mountain Mist for your hot tub purchase is a good idea.

Clothing Store — Women’s

NORDSTROM RACK

1601 29th St., 720-887-3588

Silver: Anthropologie

Bronze: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)

Write-in: Chelsea

Some of the best clothing stores are one-stop shops. In a fast-paced society, it’s nice to be able to get shoes, clothes, underwear and accessories all in one location. Thankfully, Boulder County has Nordstrom Rack, where our reader’s go for their favorite offering of women’s clothing. Whether shopping for a big night on the town or a lazy Sunday, Nordstrom Rack has an outfit for any occasion. Stock up on the essentials for any closet and then treat yourself with a new pair of sunglasses or a handbag. You deserve it.

Sue France
Hurdle’s Jewelry employees From Left to Right: Jerome Kelty, Traci Carlson, Nicole Hurdle, Marisa Ackerman (seated), Keith Hurdle, Jessica Higgins, Patrick Byars

Jewelry Store

HURDLE’S JEWELRY

1402 Pearl St., 303-443-1084

Silver: Walters & Hogsett Jewelers

Bronze: Todd Reed

Write-in: J. Albrecht Designs

Is there any occasion for which jewelry is not a suitable gift? Our readers say Hurdle’s Jewelry is the best place to get a well-made piece of jewelry for a fair price. Bridal jewelry, custom designs, fashion items, antiques and more are all offered by the fine folks at Hurdle’s. The list of designers they carry also exceeds expectations. Family owned and operated since 1947, trust these experts with your next jewelry purchase.

Hydroponic Store

WAY TO GROW

6395 Gunpark Drive, 303-473-4769

Silver: Victory Hydro Gardening

Bronze: Green Piece Pipe and Hydro

Hydroponic gardening has taken off in recent years. If you haven’t checked out all the advantages of this style of growing, then it’s past time to drop by Way to Grow and talk to the expert growers and take a first-hand look at their impressive selection of lights, soil, nutrients and hydroponic equipment. Whether you want to grow indoors or out, this hydroponics store has the tools to get your plants growing. Way to Grow can hook you up with everything from organic compost teas to bat guano and fluorescent and HID lighting. Great products, knowledgeable staff and first-rate customer service are what have kept Way to Grow at the top of this category for several years now. Check them out and get growing.

Carpet/Flooring

ATLAS FLOORING

4920 N. 28th St., 303-442-3221

Silver: Carpet Exchange

Bronze: Go Green Flooring

You may not realize it, but the flooring in a room is important. For instance, if a room is small, lighter colored flooring will make the space appear bigger, while darker colored flooring creates a cozy look. Flooring can even shape our moods and thoughts. So when our readers want to set the right mood or make the most of the space they have, they turned to Atlas Flooring. Locally owned since 1958, Atlas Flooring features one of the largest stocks of wood, tile and carpet inventories in the state. If you’d like a professional to help with installation, Atlas has a list of stellar independent contractors who can help. So whether you’re springing for those fancy wood floors you’ve always wanted or you’re ready to replace that shag carpet from the ’70s, head over to Atlas Flooring to get the job done right.

Video/DVD/Games

GAMESTOP

2760 Canyon Blvd., 303-440-1282

545 W. South Boulder Road, Suite 154, Lafayette, 303-666-7192

965 Hover St., Longmont,
303-651-9877

Silver: Game Force

Bronze: 2nd & Charles

GameStop is the place for consoles, collectibles, video games and more. Feeling nostalgic? Find Sonic the Hedgehog on Sega Genesis or Mario & Luigi on an old GameBoy. Need the latest release? Get the newest Call of Duty or God of War as soon as it comes out. Building up your Star Wars collection or want to see the latest in virtual reality? Head on over to GameStop. With literally hundreds of games, toys and systems to choose from, you can’t go wrong at GameStop.

Bookstore

BOULDER BOOK STORE

1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074

Silver: Barnes & Noble Booksellers

Bronze: The Bookworm

If there’s a good place to get lost in downtown Boulder, it’s in Boulder Book Store. You could walk heel-to-toe for hours, browsing shelves filled with acclaimed bestsellers, new releases, local authors, all-time classics, genre bests and Colorado-themed fiction and nonfiction. They sell both new and used books and host a recurring lecture series with authors and intellectual creatives sharing their insights with the community. Pop in anytime and odds are you’ll leave with something that expands your mind.

Sue France
Mandy Grady, florist at Sturtz & Copeland

Florist

STURTZ & COPELAND

2851 Valmont Road, 303-442-6663

Silver: Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop and Garden Center

Bronze: Boulder Blooms

Write-in: A Florae

You wouldn’t pop into the grocery store to find that perfect diamond ring on the way over to your lover’s house, would you? So why would you consider such a thing when it comes to your floral needs? Florists are who we turn to for help and inspiration when it comes to showing our love, celebrating life, conveying our sympathy or just sharing a smile and brightening up a room. When it comes to the joy and comfort that only flowers can bring, no job is too big or small for our readers’ favorite florist, Sturtz & Copeland. Whether it’s the need for that perfect wedding arrangement or an original bouquet that lets someone know they are really special, this is the place to turn for all your floral needs.

Sue France
ListenUp Sales Consultant Todd Phillips listens to quality sound.

Stereo/Electronics

LISTENUP

2034 Arapahoe Ave., 720-744-3732

Silver: Best Buy

Bronze: Apple Store

It’s hard to keep up with technology these days. Robot vacuum cleaners, self-driving cars, biometric locks on your smartphone. But it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. The folks at ListenUp have been helping locals figure out their stereo and electronic needs since 1981. They can help you set up a home theater system perfect for your family or a home automation system that lets you lock your doors, turn on lights and music, adjust the climate or check your surveillance cameras with the push of a button. As they say, they “have created some of the most sophisticated systems in the country.” Still not sure? Stop by the store and check out their demonstration areas to experience the future in person.

Kitchen Supplies

PEPPERCORN

1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847

Silver: McGuckin Hardware

Bronze: Sur La Table

You can get lost in Peppercorn, and we wouldn’t blame you. There’s just so much to look at, or better yet, take home to your kitchen, spice cabinet or book shelf. You want artisan juniper berries? Go to Peppercorn. You want a new Le Creuset crock pot? Peppercorn. You want some boxed German cookies filled with blackberry jam? Peppercorn. Kitchen decorations, utensils, bakeware, cast iron pots… there’s just so much you’re going to want when you step into Peppercorn, so be forewarned.

Hotel

ST JULIEN HOTEL & SPA

900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696

Silver: Hotel Boulderado

Bronze: Colorado Chautauqua

It doesn’t matter where you are from — New York, Paris, Hong Kong — St Julien Hotel & Spa in Boulder will hold up as a world-class experience for all visitors. Our readers have traveled the world themselves so when they say that this is the best hotel in the area, they know what they are talking about. But you don’t have to travel from far away to enjoy this exquisite hotel spa. There’s no reason we locals can’t use the St Julien as the perfect staycation location. And it’s not just our readers who say this place is great, the St Julien has won numerous other awards from the likes of Conde Nast, Travel + Leisure and Forbes. So if the idea of staying in a hotel with its own award-winning spa and restaurant that also happens to boast an infinity pool and the views of the Flatirons, then this is the spot for you.

Clothing Store — Children’s

CHILDISH THINGS BOUTIQUE

3183 Walnut St., 303-442-2703

Silver: Once Upon a Child

Bronze: Gymboree

Write-in: Clothes Pony & Dandelion Toys

Dressing kids is tough. Yes, it’s hard to get your cherub bundled up and out the door in time for school when you can’t find the mate to their favorite pair of shoes, but it’s even harder to keep your little sweetie in clothes that fit without having to re-mortgage your house. That’s why our readers go to Childish Things Boutique, where they can find gently used children’s clothing for prices that will make you weep from joy. Childish Things has a variety of styles for a range of age groups. And we’re talking high-end brands, like Gap, Gymboree and Charlie Rocket, for example. Plus, Childish Things offers a play area for your kids to use while you shop.

Ski/Snowboard Shop

EPIC MOUNTAIN GEAR (FORMERLY BOULDER SKI DEALS)

2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite E-10, 303-938-8799

Silver: Christy Sports

Bronze: Crystal Ski Shopn

Write-in: Alpine Base & Edge

You can do almost anything right outside your back door in Boulder County. Hiking, biking, even skiing. With locals favorite Eldora Mountain less than an hour away and several other prime ski areas less than two hours away (without traffic), there’s no reason not to hit the slopes at least once a week. Formerly Boulder Ski Deals, Epic Mountain Gear is the go-to spot for our readers, offering tuning, waxing, boot fitting and rentals for both skiers and snowboarders. Plus, the junior trade program allows families to purchase skis for the season at discounted rates, with further credit if you trade the set-up in the next season as the kiddos grow. And the preferred customer program gets you even further deals and discounts.

Trail

LION’S LAIR TRAIL

501 Sunshine Canyon Dr.

So, yeah, this one was hard. Trails have personality, you know? It’d be like picking your favorite child, or your favorite flavor of gelato, or the one thing you love most about your Mom. Just one answer is hard! All contenders running for spot numero uno are great in some way or another, and usually in very different ways. So, we tried to reframe the question: What is the one trail we could hike every single week and never grow weary of? The answer is the Lion’s Lair, a 2-ish-mile trail that winds up the backside of Mt. Sanitas, and connects to the Centennial Trailhead via a 1.25-mile trail called the Sunshine Canyon Trail. It’s got the rugged feel of a backcountry experience, a killer view once you nail the summit and multiple options for your descent: Head back down the way you came, walk the southern ridge, or descend the eastern slope toward the valley floor. Just don’t forget where you parked.

Sue France
Kristin Reynolds, Sales Associate at lush handmade cosmetics, is a Charity pot super star.

Bath & Body Shop

LUSH FRESH HANDMADE COSMETICS

1513 Pearl St., 303-444-5874

Silver: Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply

Bronze: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy

Every product sold at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics is made from fresh ingredients, sourced ethically, 100-percent vegetarian and never tested on animals, which makes shopping there for all your bath & body needs a no-brainer. Anything you buy will nourish your skin and hair in a wholesome, safe way that’s free of chemicals you can’t pronounce. Check out Lush’s Charity Pot lotion varieties; a portion of the proceeds from these lotions goes to both local and international organizations. It’s easy to see why our reader’s say Lush is their go-to for bath and body products.

Grocery Store

LUCKY’S MARKET

3960 Broadway, Suite 104, 303-444-0215

695 S. Broadway, 303-218-4875

700 Ken Pratt Blvd., Suite 201, Longmont, 303-827-3684

Silver: King Soopers

Bronze: Whole Foods Market

Write-in: Atlas Valley Purveyors

For a whole generation of Boulder County folks, Lucky’s Market feels like an old friend. It was all about “local” before such a concept was considered cool. While other stores feel corporate and fast paced, Lucky’s feels personalized. Samples are abundant, there’s always something new and interesting, and somebody who can answer your questions about food or health remedies is never far away. And the lines at the register, when they do exist, seem more like a chance to mingle and joke around than a wait to be endured. While there may be three Lucky’s Markets in our county these days (two in Boulder, one in Longmont) it’s still fair to say that each one is truly a neighborhood market and reflects the values that such a description implies. We understand why our readers chose Lucky’s as their favorite grocery store.

Music Store

WOODSONGS

3101 28th St., 303-449-0516

Silver: Wildwood Guitars

Bronze: The Boulder Drum Shop

Write-in: Larry’s Guitar Shop

Is there anything quite like a great music store? A place where you can go in an and noodle around on an instrument or shoot the breeze with an affable store employee and discuss how much Eric Clapton sucks? Clapton notwithstanding, Woodsongs is a great place to pick up an instrument and explore sonic avenues. They have guitars, amps, ukes, band instruments and more. They also sell used instruments, rent out instruments and teach lessons. It’s one of those places you can step into and not come out for hours.

Auto Detailing

PUDDLE CAR WASH

3100 28th St., 303-447-9274

Silver: Boulder Auto Detail

Bronze: Buffs Wash

There’s a reason people in shampoo commercials always look so happy: Getting all cleaned up feels great. You’ll feel even greater when you take your car to Puddle Car Wash to get it all spruced up. Drop your wheels off and opt for the interior detailing, and you’ll return to a car with freshly washed carpets and seats, clean and conditioned leather and vinyl, cleaned ashtrays, mats and windows, a vacuumed trunk, and a bonus exterior car wash. Add on the full exterior detailing, however, and you’ll see a paint and clear coat restoration and wax, along with clean fender wells, rims, tires, bumpers, trim and windows, too. It won’t be hard to look happy as you drive away.

Arts & Crafts Supplies

MICHAELS

1830 30th St., Suite E, 303-800-3852

205 Ken Pratt Blvd., Suite 200, Longmont, 720-494-2673

Silver: McGuckin Hardware

Bronze: Meininger Art Supply

We live in a crafty day and age; Pinterest has turned many of us into DIY warriors, inspiring us to make everything from the centerpieces for our own weddings to our first child’s baby blanket. So when you’re looking to get the best supplies for your project, whether you need glitter for your Halloween costume, an air brush kit to decorate out-of-this-world cakes, or just-the-right fabric to patch up your great grandmother’s appliqué quilt, our readers say you should head to Michaels. At Michaels you’ll find everything you need, plus have access to the store’s knowledgable staff so you can make a project you’re proud of.

Camera/Video/Photofinishing

MIKE’S CAMERA

2500 Pearl St., 303-443-1715

Silver: Costco Wholesale

Bronze: Photo Craft Imaging

If a picture is worth a thousand words, Mike’s Camera puts Stephen King to shame — it’s facilitated the preservation of hundreds of thousands of memories in the 51 years it’s operated. Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time our readers have celebrated Mike’s knowledgable staff, extensive selection of camera and video products, and in-depth education services. Take a video production class, buy a new camera, find help with your device or print your photos at Mike’s.

Clothing Store — Men’s

RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC. (REI)

1789 28th St., 303-583-9970

Silver: Nordstrom Rack

Bronze: Patagonia Outdoor Clothing & Gear

Write-in: ARES Thrift Store

When you live in Colorado, you know the weather can be… unpredictable. It may be a great morning for a bike ride, but we’ve all seen the winds pick up and the clouds roll in by mid afternoon. Let’s not even get into those 75-degree days that end in an evening dusting of snow. That’s why our readers’ favorite spot to shop for men’s clothing is Recreational Equipment Inc., where they can get stylish clothes to handle whatever Colorado’s weather throws at them. REI has clothes for all activities under the sun, and probably even the moon. Plus, most of their clothes are multifunctional and stylish enough to be worn out to social events. Two birds, one store.

Sue France
Hayden Noel, Assistant Bar Manager, at The Tune-up at Full Cycle

New Business

THE TUNE UP AT FULL CYCLE

1795 Pearl St., 303-440-1002

Silver: Sweet Ruckus

Bronze: AR Workshop Boulder

Whether you’re looking for a hot cup of coffee before your bike ride or a cold beer afterwards, The Tune Up at Full Cycle has you covered. Over the past year, The Tune Up has become the go-to meeting and gathering place — for those on two wheels and those just looking for a great atmosphere. They have sustainably grown coffee, exceptional service and a diverse beer selection. They have 16 rotating taps with a varied lineup of local and craft beers, wines and ciders on draft. There’s a wide selection of canned craft beers, non-alcoholic kombucha and soda, and, of course, coffee. If you’re hungry they serve fresh pastries, paninis, empanadas, quiches, hot pretzels, and chips and salsa all day long. That’s why our readers voted them this year’s best new business.

Computer — Repair

APPLE STORE

1755 29th St., 720-479-9451

Silver: Boulder Mac Repair

Bronze: The Mac Shack

When your computer is sick, it makes you kind of sick… to your stomach. The Genius Bar at the Apple Store is as close to a computer emergency room as you can get. Specially trained Apple employees, “Geniuses,” will put you at ease while they nurse your computer back to health with hardware or software repairs. Make a Genius Bar reservation at your favorite Apple Store and get help from an Apple expert.

Dry Cleaner

ART CLEANERS

1715 15th St., 303-440-8600

Various other locations around Boulder County

Silver: Boulder Cleaners

Bronze: John’s Dry Cleaners

Write-in: Plaza Cleaners

Your relationship with your dry cleaner is very important. It’s based on trust and reliance. Dry cleaners work on some of most cherished and even expensive items, so you need to know that your business suits or little black dresses will come back in pristine condition. Our readers say that Art Cleaners is the best in Boulder County. Just listen to its slogan: “Where cleaning is art.” Seriously, try saying it out loud. They treat your items as a valuable piece of art — that’s the level of trust you want with your garments.

Sue France
P.C’s Pantry for dogs and cats is here for all of your furry friends’ needs.

Pet Store

P.C.’S PANTRY FOR DOGS AND CATS, INC.

2828 30th St., 303-245-9909

Silver: Humane Society of Boulder Valley

Bronze: PetSmart

Write-in: BlackPaw

There’s nothing we won’t do for our four-legged family members, so when we go looking for food, toys, treats and other things for our pets, we want the best. That’s why our readers go to P.C.’s Pantry For Dogs and Cats, Inc. When our readers go to P.C.’s, they’re not only getting the best toys and treats and accessories for their cats and dogs, they’re shopping at a locally owned business. Mary Lee, the owner and founder of P.C.’s Pantry, started the business in a small house on Walnut Street in Boulder in 1998. Pets have always been welcome to join their guardians in the store, and Mary Lee is a walking encyclopedia of information about cats and dogs, from weight management, allergies, lightning nervousness, raw diet and all the questions and concerns in between.

Outdoor Gear

RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC. (REI)

1789 28th St., 303-583-9970

Silver: Neptune Mountaineering

Bronze: Jax Mercantile Co.

According to REI’s main page, the average American spends 95 percent of their time indoors… but what about the average Boulder County resident? We’re betting it’s less… a lot less. And because our readers love to get outdoors in all the most extreme ways — ice climbing and ultra running and Continental-Divide hiking — they know exactly where to get the best gear for all of their adventures, and that’s at REI. It’s all right there in the name: Recreational Equipment, Inc. They have a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee on all of their products. Seriously, if you take a hike in your new boots and they just don’t work, take ’em back. Someone else will snatch those boots up at the next REI garage sale and they’ll be a match made in heaven. So whether our readers run, cycle, paddle, board, ski, hike, travel, climb or do yoga, they go to REI to get the tools and clothes to do the job right.

Pipe Shop

MILE HIGH PIPE & TOBACCO

1144 Pearl St., 303-443-7473

Silver: The Fitter

Bronze: Freaky’s Smoke Shop and Tattoo

Mile High Pipe & Tobacco is our readers’ favorite destination for glass pipes, hookahs, vaporizers, vapor pens, oil pens, blunts, papers and all sorts of smoking accessories. Mile High is a locally owned store offering products for every type of smoker and style of smoking. They are constantly updating their product line and following new technologies and developments to bring customers the latest and greatest smoking accessories. Mile High has exquisitely crafted blown glass pipes made by different artists from Colorado and around the world, and carries all the standard items you’d expect to find in a great head shop like incense, vaporizers, grinders and digital scales.

Real Estate Group

RE/MAX OF BOULDER

2425 Canyon Blvd., Suite 110, 303-449-7000

Various other locations around Boulder County

Silver: 8z Real Estate

Bronze: WK Real Estate

Write-in: Staufer Team Real Estate

Buying or selling a home is a big deal, which is why you want a real estate agency you can trust. Our readers turn to RE/MAX of Boulder when it’s time to buy a new home or when it’s time to sell their existing residence. RE/MAX of Boulder has been a long-standing icon in the Boulder County real estate market for 40 years. Established in 1977, the company is one of the first RE/MAX franchises in the country, and has been a model of success since the beginning. Employees keep abreast of industry trends and technology. They also stay up to date on the actions of the Real Estate Commission to be sure the agents are doing things by the book.

Tobacco Shop

SMOKER FRIENDLY

1620 30th St., Unit A, 303-449-7089

Various locations around Boulder County

Silver: Mile High Pipe & Tobacco

Bronze: The Fitter

moker Friendly can meet all your tobacco needs. They sell handmade and machine-made cigars, premium pipe tobacco, cigarettes and accessories. The friendly faces behind the counter can answer any questions you may have. Don’t miss the Smoker Friendly annual conference and tobacco festival each year where you can meet experts, learn more and have a good time. Since 1989, Smoker Friendly has been offering quality products at competitive prices, which is why our readers say it’s the best.

Solar Systems

NAMASTÉ SOLAR

6707 Winchester Circle, Suite 700, 303-848-3173

Silver: Flatiron Solar

Bronze: Tesla (Formerly SolarCity)

Boulder County residents are committed to going green, reducing our carbon footprint and switching to renewable energy. With global warming threatening life as we know it, what choice do we have? Luckily, we have great solar companies leading the charge to get us there. Namasté Solar offers residential and commercial solar panels, consultation and installation to get your home and business on the right track. They are also an employee-owned B-Corp which means they follow strict “standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.” Whether for your home or business, Namasté Solar’s got you covered.

Tire Shop

DISCOUNT TIRE

3215 28th St., 303-440-6811

740 N. Highway 287, Lafayette, 303-248-5680

379 S. Hover St., Longmont, 303-774-9869

Silver: Barnsley Tire Co.

Bronze: Big O Tires

Write-in: DLS Tire Centers, Inc.

Aren’t you glad humans invented the wheel? Sure makes those ski trips a lot easier. Speaking of ski trips, when the season rolls around you want to make sure you have a great pair of winter tires on your car. The folks at Discount Tire can help you find the best tires for your vehicle, install them, check the balance, rotate them when needed, repair flat tires, check the air pressure and more. Need a new wheel? They’ve got you covered there too, with an inventory of wheels for cars, trucks, trailers and ATVs. Bonus points: Discount Tire always has great deals. And besides, there’s always that “where the rubber meets the road” thing.