Best of Boulder 2010: Retail


Fascinations 2560 28th St., 303-442-7309
Runner-up: Pleasures

Here`s a news tip: Sex has gone mainstream. So if
you’re feeling a little freaky, there isn’t a better place to hang out
than Fascinations. Don’t be embarrassed either, because the
people hanging out in there are just as freaky as you. And if you’re
worried about being spotted walking into the store, don’t fret; the
store is open until 1 a.m. (2 a.m. on weekends), so you can slink in and
slink out while your friends and neighbors are fast asleep. We got to
keep our secrets, right? What you’ll find inside the store is almost
every type of toy, for males and females, and a helpful staff that won’t
giggle or look at you sideways if you have questions about how a
certain plaything works. Not only will you find the latest adult toys,
there are plenty of books, magazines, movies and other types of
relationship (or solo) “enhancements.” So whether you’re planning a
bachelorette party or just trying to spice up your relationship,
Fascinations is as classy as you can get when it comes to adult stores.
If you’re low on cash but still need some spice, Pleasures is the place
to go for adult toys that are affordable.

McGuckin Hardware 2525 Arapahoe Ave, 303-443-1822
Runner-up: Michael’s Arts and Crafts
Honorable Mentions: Guiry’s,
Hobby Lobby

We already know where you’re going to go when it’s
time to pick up that PVC pipe for the sprinkler, the juicer for your kid
at school, a new fly zapper, some flowers for the side yard and
something nice for the dog. But McGuckin Hardware’s mind-bending
selection extends to art supplies and hobby stuff, too. We get a real
kick, for example, out of browsing the 24th scale model kits (cars,
ships, etc), reminding ourselves of what fun in the pre-PC Stone Age was
like, when gluesniffing was merely incidental. Origami paper, drafting
scales, airbrush guns, sketching pencils, printmaking brayers (when was
the last time you looked for one of those at Target?), pottery tools,
model railroad track cleaner … Be afraid, very afraid, if these guys
start selling pizza and skis. McGuckin Hardware is a Boulder institution
in the best sense of the word. Michael’s, located in the Thunderbird
shopping center at Baseline and Foothills, is also a perennial favorite,
packed with home décor and hobby stuff. Guiry’s, with its huge
selection of paints, and Hobby Lobby, with all manner of hobby, craft
and floral supplies, rounds out a crowded field this year.

Boulder Toyota 2465 48th Ct., 303-443-3250
Runner-up: Flatirons Acura and Subaru
Honorable Mention: Fisher

For one thing, Boulder Toyota has a popcorn
machine. Those are always key, especially if you have the kids with you
while you are browsing/negotiating for a new vehicle. And they have a
cool little accessories shop where you can buy everything from Toyota
hats to old user’s manuals. There’s also a machine that doles out free
coffee. But this award is about the vehicles and the staff, and the
quality of both is sky-high at Boulder Toyota. Boulder County residents
know they’ll be treated well at Boulder Toyota and that they’ll come
away with a vehicle that will perform well for your family for years.
And thanks to runner-up Flatirons Acura and Subaru, Subarus are about as
common in Boulder as joggers. And honorable mention Fisher has been
serving the area for 42 years, so it’s doing something right!

Blue Spruce Auto Sales
4403 N. Broadway, 303-938-0580
Runner-up: Boulder Toyota Honorable Mention: Fisher
Chevrolet/Geo/ Honda

In Boulder, buying a car is the third biggest
investment you can make, after your home and your Roubaix SL2 Saxo road
bike. And that car will probably end up having to carry around
Investment No. 2, so you’d better make sure it’s a good one. So when
it’s time to pick out a new bicycle transporter, pedal on over to Blue
Spruce Auto Sales
and drive away happy. With more than 14 years of
experience in helping drivers pick out their second favorite set of
wheels, Blue Spruce carries a great selection of Subarus — one of the
quintessential Boulder County cars — as well as several other makes.
Each and every car at Blue Spruce has been thoroughly reconditioned
in-house and comes with a complete invoice and Carfax history. The
prices at Blue Spruce are pretty hard to beat too, so you can make up
for that financial damage you did dropping a few grand on your
two-wheeler. Boulder Toyota specializes in — wait for it — Toyotas of
all models, new and used. Fisher Chevrolet/Geo/Honda has been offering
great deals at their family-owned and operated dealership since 1968.

Hoshi Motors
2504 Spruce St., 303-449-6632
Runner-up: Super Rupair

It`s too bad cars aren’t more like computers.

When your PC starts
doing strange things and making weird noises or just stops doing
anything at all, shutting it down and firing it up again solves the
problem a good 90 percent of the time. Restarting your car doesn’t seem
to have much effect on a flat tire or a busted fuel pump, however.
Stupid car. At least there’s Hoshi Motors to take care of your
mechanical mishaps. Just turn off your car, let their mechanics work
their magic, and next time you turn the key, the problem will be all
gone, just as if it were a computer. Hoshi specializes in Honda, Acura,
Subaru and Toyota autos, and because they’re located pretty much in the
heart of Boulder, it would be hard to break down too far from their
shop. Super Rupair, the most reliable Subaru repair shop this side of
the Rockies, will keep your Subie running for those trips into the
mountains, rain, snow or 300-plus days of sunshine.

1647 Pearl St., 303-442-5164 2700 Broadway, 303-442-0589
645 S. Broadway, 303-867-3400
Runner-up: Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary

People stink. No, really.
It’s all part of being mammals, active, outdoorsy mammals at that. That
wouldn’t be a problem if we weren’t also social creatures who enjoy
getting together in big groups. What’s a body to do? One solution is to
rub a whole bunch of odorbusting chemicals on your body, like sodium
lauryl sulfate and aluminum zirconium, the stuff in most deodorants. But
that seems just a bit harsh for our poor, porous skin. For a gentler
solution that will still have you smelling fit for civilized company,
try browsing the shelves of Pharmaca, a one-stop shop for
natural, organic and, most importantly, gentle bath and beauty products.
Stocking everything from sea salt body scrubs to aluminum-free
deodorants, this store is proof that you don’t have to subject your body
to chemicals you can barely pronounce just to smell sweet and look
great. And don’t worry if you don’t know your sunflower from your
sassafras oil. Pharmaca’s experts are there to make sure you get the
right product for the right body part, or to just answer any questions
you might have about which ingredient does what.

For a wider selection of
fragrances than you could find in a whole field of wildflowers,
Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary offers natural and organic herbal products
in all forms: lip balms, facial toners, body scrubs and powders and so
much more.

University Bicycles 839 Pearl St., 303-444-4196
Runner-up: Full Cycle Honorable Mention: Boulder Cycle

Invented in 1817 by Baron von Drais, the first bicycle looked a
lot like a modern-day bike: two same-size wheels, the front one able to
be steered, mounted in a frame that the rider straddled. The only
difference was that it was made of wood. Oh, and it didn’t have pedals.
You moved it along by pushing against the ground with your feet, rolling
the contraption forward in a sort of gliding motion. Bicycles have
definitely come a long way since then, and Boulder bicycles have come
further than most others. With miles of trails and seemingly more bike
racks than parking spaces, it’s no wonder Boulder is known for its bike
culture. University Bicycles has been supporting that culture for
more than 20 years, offering everything from road bikes to street bikes
and mountain bikes, all with pedals and none made of wood. Their
selection is only part of the story. The store’s full-service repair
shop and experienced staff have made University Bicycles, which started
as a used bike shop in a basement, into one of the busiest and biggest
bike stores in town. They carry models for all walks of riders, from
racers to cruisers and everyone in between. Runner-up Full Cycle has
three locations throughout Boulder, so no matter where you are when you
get a flat, you’re probably not too far from their service shop. Or
while you’re there, just buy a whole new bike from their huge selection.
And Boulder Cycle Sport, our honorable mention this year, puts wheels
under riders of all levels, from Sunday cruisers to elite-level racers.

Atlas Flooring, Inc. 4920 28th St.,
Runner-up: Ellie’s Eco Home Store Honorable Mention: Go

In Greek mythology, a Titan named Atlas was forced to hold up the
entire world on his shoulders as punishment for waging war against the
Olympian gods. While the floors in your home generally don’t have to
bear quite such a heavy burden, they do endure punishing wear and tear
day in and day out. Enter Atlas Flooring, Inc., whose carpet,
wood, laminates and tiles have been holding up Boulder for more than 50
years. If it goes on the floor, chances are Atlas can install it. And
don’t let the “flooring” in their name fool you. Atlas does pretty much
everything from the ground up: hardwood floors for your den, a tile
backsplash for your kitchen and the cabinets and granite countertops for
your bathroom. And while their storefront isn’t as imposing as some of
the big box stores, their selection is wider and their prices just as
reasonable. Atlas’ level of knowledge and experience, along with their
excellent customer service, are a few of the things you won’t find
at the Wal-Mart version of flooring stores. In business at the same
location for half a century, Atlas has developed a loyal customer base
and an understanding that only comes with decades of service. At Ellie’s
Eco Home Store, you can find a selection of natural flooring and
building materials, like bamboo and cork floors, natural linoleum and
Wheatsheets, a particleboard made from plant fibers. And if you’re
looking for linseed oil-based Marmoleum flooring, along with a range of
other natural flooring options, check out Go Green Flooring.


Eads News & Smoke Shop
1715 28th St., 303-442-5900
Runner-up: Johnny’s Cigar & Martini Bar
Honorable Mention:
Smoker Friendly

No matter how techno the world gets, sometimes it’s
just nice to browse through rack upon rack of good old-fashioned,
printed-on-paper, hold-in-your-hands magazines and newspapers. Forget
Google News, RSS feeds and political blogs. When you want to go back to a
simpler (dare we say better?) time, drop by Eads News & Smoke
and pick up a copy of Rolling Stone, a pack of smokes and enjoy
some serious down time. Or stroll into their walkin humidor for loose
tobacco or a stogie or two. While some of the laws and etiquette about
smoking have changed since Eads opened shop in 1913, the pleasure of a
good drag never will. For those who like a drink while they puff, visit
Johnny’s Cigar & Martini Bar. Smoker Friendly has a full line of
smokes to suit any mood you’re in.

Rocky Mountain Kids 2525 Arapahoe Ave., # H12a, 303-447-2267
Runner-up: Savers Honorable Mentions: Little Mountain
Outfitters, Childish Things

Little kids sometimes have a unique sense of
fashion. Plaid shorts with striped sweater? Sure. Purple skirt over
zebra-print pants?

Sounds great. Red cape with just about anything? You
bet. That’s the great thing about kids: they know what they like and
aren’t about to apologize for it. If you want to give them a little
style guidance, however, Rocky Mountain Kids can help you find a
new favorite to replace that velour tank top your little one just can’t
give up. In one quick stop you can make sure your tot is dressed in the
cutest styles. Because they grow up so fast, at Savers you can donate
the pants that fit two weeks ago and find a replacement pair at the same
time without having to break out the plastic. Little Mountain
Outfitters has all the clothing and gear children need for their
mountain adventures, and Childish Things offers a constantly changing
selection of all things child.

1805 29th St., 303-449-4575
Runner-up: Coldwater Creek
Honorable Mention: Urban Outfitters

changes a woman’s look and gives her a confidence boost like a new
hairstyle. Most women, though, only have so much hair to work with, and
once those locks have been cut, colored and coiffed, it’s time for
phase two: clothes. Put all those hours of playing dress up with Barbie
to good use and be your own fashion plate at Anthropologie. Go
for the whimsical bohemian look for a weekend outing to the farmers’
market, or dress it up for the (not too) sexy librarian look for the
working week. You can only change your hairstyle so many times each
week, but your closet could easily have a revolving door.

Coldwater Creek has
fashions for all of Boulder’s unpredictable seasons, and Urban
Outfitters takes care of our %uFFFDber-hip side.

Ocean First Divers
3015 Bluff St., 303-444-PADI (7234)
Runner-Up: Weaver’s Dive & Travel Center

You might be wondering why
there’s a dive shop in a land-locked semi-arid state like Colorado.
Seems kind of like having a mountaineering store in Kansas, doesn’t it?
Don’t forget, though, that the beaches of California are only a short
plane ride away, Bermuda makes a great spring vacation, and it’s always a
good idea to learn how to swim. Ocean First Divers can take care
of all those needs, with swimming classes for all ages and abilities,
snorkeling lessons and scuba certification from beginner to pro, as well
as classes you’ll want to take before going on that Caribbean vacation,
like underwater photography. And it seems there’s enough market in a
veritable desert for not one, but two great dive shops. Weaver’s Dive
& Travel Center can teach you how to dive and plan your vacation faster than you
can say “Which way to the beach?”

Art Cleaners
4800 Baseline Rd., 303-494-2709 1715 15th St.,
303-440-8600 1631 Pace St., Longmont, 303-684-8585
Runner-up: Environmental Cleaners Honorable Mention:
Boulder Cleaners

We´ve all done
it at least once. Looked at a garment, looked at the tag that clearly
reads “Dry Clean Only,” looked back at the garment and thought, “What
the hell.” What comes out of the washer half an hour later hardly looks
like a piece of clothing, let alone our favorite silk dress or cherished
designer shirt. If we had just went to Art Cleaners, this
wouldn’t happen. When you get your garment back from them, it won’t look
like something you picked out of the lint trap. These guys first
started keeping Boulder neat and tidy in 1921, and have been doing the
same for Mother Nature since 2003, when they switched to the Green Earth
Cleaning System. For a list of their six shops, visit Boulder
Cleaners has also been keeping us clean since the 1920s, and
Environmental Cleaners offers a range of laundry services. Isn’t it nice
to live in such a clean, environmentally conscious place? After all,
what’s the point of having clean clothes if you dirty up the

Ellie’s Eco Home Store
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-952-1004
Runner-Up: Patagonia
Honorable Mention: Rebecca’s Herbal

It seems almost wrong to call this category Best Eco-Friendly
Retailer. After all, when there’s this much passion and devotion,
shouldn’t it be called eco-love? Ellie’s Eco Home Store is
wrapped up in a torrid affair with all things green. Environmentally
conscious county consumers are certainly falling fast for this store.
Ellie’s makes smart and sustainable shopping easier because they carry
just about everything a shopper could ask for. While some
environmentally friendly stores focus on a niche market — and that’s
great, we love specialists — Ellie’s stocks everything from natural cork
flooring to organic lip balm. The store’s selection of recycled and
renewable products, as well as water- and energy-saving devices, makes
this store a must for anyone who wants to shop for a cleaner conscience.

Patagonia and
Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary are the specialists to Ellie’s generalist,
and for good reason. Patagonia carries top-of-the-line clothing and gear
and uses some of their hard-earned money to support local environmental
efforts. Rebecca’s provides Boulder with some of the best-selling and
best-smelling organic herbs, teas, tinctures and oils.

Whole Foods Market 2905 Pearl St., 303-545-6611 2584 Baseline
Rd., 303-499-7636
Runner-up: Sunflower Farmers Market Honorable Mention:
King Soopers

Fashion supermodel Kate Moss once reportedly said, “It
was kind of boring for me to have to eat. I would know that I had to,
and I would.” Poor Kate. She’s obviously never been to a Whole Foods
grocery store. There are lots of ways to describe their food,
but boring ain’t one of them. You can pick up all the ingredients for a
delicious seafood paella or take the easy way out and grab one of their
ready-to-eat rotisserie chickens. They also have one of the largest
selections of glutenfree and organic ingredients in the county. If you
want apples and oranges grown as nature intended, or beef and chicken
raised with more care than science, then this is the store for you. Next
time Ms. Moss feels compelled to choke down some life-sustaining
nutrients, maybe she’ll decide to give Whole Foods a try and learn to
love flavor like the rest of us.

Sunflower Farmers Market’s airy and well-lit
store is known for its great selection of fruits and vegetables. And if
you need anything from batteries to butter, cat litter to cake mix, King
Soopers is open 24 hours a day to keep your larder stocked.

Mr. Pool
2347 South St., 303-776-7876
Runner-Up: Mountain Mist Pool & Spa
modern American bathtub is a

functional and straightforward piece of work. A person-sized container
to hold water with a drain to let it all out when we’re done. Nothing
like the deep, sunken tubs common in Japan, where they take their
soaking seriously, or the claw-footed, capacious pieces of art from the
19th century. Maybe it’s because our modern American bathrooms just
can’t accommodate such luxury. If you want a long, relaxing soak, move
outdoors and into a customized hot tub from Mr. Pool, Boulder’s
premier water wizards. Whatever your landscape, they can create a
getaway worthy of a luxury hotel. Picture yourself relaxing in a
bubbling Jacuzzi as snow gently falls around you, or an intimate evening
for two on a steamy (and about to get steamier) summer evening. And
after the experts from Mr. Pool have set up your wet wonderland, they
can provide maintenance as well, so your little piece of paradise is all
play and no work. If you want to browse a well-stocked showroom and
take a dry run in more 20 models of spas, then be sure to visit Mountain
Mist Pool & Spa.

St. Julien Hotel & Spa
900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Runner-up: Hotel Boulderado Honorable Mention: Boulder
Outlook Hotel & Suites

Want to live like Brangelina but don’t have the
looks, the acting chops, or the lottery ticket? For a taste of what
it’s like to be a zillionaire celebrity, head to the luxurious St.
Julien Hotel & Spa.
With their beautiful suites,
10,000-square-foot spa and gourmet restaurant Jill’s, St. Julien will
provide the pampering you need for a romantic getaway or the perfect
place to put up your out-of-town guests. At the St. Julien, you can pass
the time sipping martinis in their T-Zero lounge, swimming in their
pool, or getting a massage in their awardwinning spa. And if you are one
of the 0.01 percent who already lives like a celebrity already,
consider booking a room anyway. Variety is the spice of life, after all,
and maybe you’ll stumble across a good recipe to take home to your
chef. If you want to spend the night in a time machine, check in at the
Hotel Boulderado, which welcomed its first guests on New Year’s Day in
1909 and hasn’t changed much since. The Boulder Outlook Hotel &
Suites, the county’s first zero-waste hotel, can give you a good night’s
sleep or keep you rockin’ all night with their full music calendar.

Angie Star Jewelry
1807 Pearl St., 720-565-0288
Runner-up: Art Soul Gallery
Honorable Mentions: Bill Cronin,

Buying toilet paper is easy. Find what’s on sale, throw it in the
cart, move on to the next item on your list. Jewelry is another matter.
Sure, there’s a chance you’ll walk into a department store and fall in
love with the first ring you see. If you have an iota of personal taste
and discernment, however, you’re probably not going to be satisfied with
an off-theshelf design, especially if that ring is going to be the one
you put on when you say, “I do.” Angie Star Jewelry can help you
design a one-of-a-kind work of art, so you’ll never have to worry about
showing up at a party wearing the same ring, necklace or earrings as
someone else. Winner of the Best Jewelry category every year since 2005,
the metal workers at Angie Star make jewelry that’s not only beautiful
but environmentally sensitive, too, created from either recycled or
responsibly sourced material.

Art Soul Gallery displays collections from a
number of designers, so you have your choice of beautiful and unique
rings, bracelets and more. Bill Cronin and his staff at Cronin Jewelers
have been designing and fabricating in gold and silver and platinum, and
Hurdle’s Jewelry is now in its third generation of familyowned

Two Men and a Truck 6280 Arapahoe Ave., 303-569-6748
Runner-up: Taylor Moving

Unless you’re serving life in prison without
the possibility of parole, chances are you’re going to have to move at
some point in your life. Maybe several. For college students, the yearly
domicile shuffle is just one more end-of-the-term hassle. For the
working adults with kids, pets and a garage full of belongings, moving
is less frequent but waaaay more stressful. Whoever said getting
there is half the fun obviously wasn’t driving a U-Haul. So quick
stressing and call Two Men and Truck. Not just any two men with
any old truck, but the nation’s largest franchised local moving company.
Whether you’re going down the block or up the coast, they can make sure
your stuff gets there. (Getting yourself there is still your
responsibility. Hey, they can’t do everything.) Taylor Movers,
locally owned and operated by the Taylor family, can box up your stuff
and deliver it to your new home, or they can store it in their
climate-controlled, secure facilities until you’re ready to have it

Clutter Consignment
1909 9th St. Ste. 130, 303-386-3423
Runner-up: People’s Choice Wellness Center
Honorable Mentions:
Atlas Purveyors, Mod Market

There’s a touch of irony in the fact that this year’s
“Best New Business” winner is actually in the business of reusing old

specializes in highend, unique consignments for the
home. One of the best things about consignment stores is the
ever-changing selection. If you don’t like what you see one week, come
back next week and see who’s decided to clear the collectible treasures
out of their attic. After all, one person’s clutter is another person’s
long-sought treasure.

People’s Wellness Center has started out their business on the
right foot: giving patients what they need at a price they can actually
afford and offering them an alternative to highpriced Big Pharma
products. Talk about power to the people. And if you want to try some
new food and drink, check out Mod Market’s specialty flatbread pizzas
and salads, or stop in for a pot of tea at Atlas Purveyors, Pearl
Street’s newest — and coolest — spot for a cuppa.

Aspen Eyewear 2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-447-0210
Runner-up: Boulder Vision Center
Honorable Mention: College

We´re not sure when wearing glasses went from the nerdy Velma
look to the more sexy Daphne-as-a-librarian one, but we’re certainly not
complaining. Heck, being able to see and look good at the same time is a
necessity. How else will you be able to tell if the guy hitting on you
at the bar is more of a Shaggy (if you like that casual, grunge look), a
Fred (if you’re more into that clean-cut, ascot look), or the Villain
of the Week (if you have a thing for masks). Aspen Eyewear has
some of the hottest styles in frames because they carry hundreds of the
best brands in eyewear. A family-owned and operated business now in its
third generation, Aspen Eyewear boasts an onsite custom lab, as well as
an independent doctor of optometry to update your prescription. Boulder
Vision Center handles all things ocular, from exam and glasses to laser
corrective surgery. College Optical is located so close to campus, you
have no excuse not to stop by and have an exam next time you skip class.

Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI) 1789 28th St.,
Runner-Up: Boulder Army Store
Honorable Mention: Neptune

To hear some tell it, Boulderites don’t even have
houses. We spend every waking moment we’re not at work running, hiking,
cycling, climbing, skiing or snowboarding. And those non-waking moments,
we’re camping under the stars. While that’s not entirely true (we do
occasionally venture indoors for happy hour), we do require a healthy
amount of outdoor gear to get us through the year. Recreational
Equipment, Inc.
— REI to true outdoor enthusiasts — has enough
equipment to fit you out for a Sunday run or an Everest
expedition. You can go light and pick up just a map, compass and water
bottle, or spring for a pair of carbon fiber walking sticks and handheld
GPS device. They even have those new-fangled five-toed running shoes
all the kids are talking about. And while most people know about REI’s
great gear, not everyone realizes that REI is the nation’s largest
consumer co-op. For just 20 bucks, you can join in and own your own
piece of the dream. Oh, and get some great savings, too.

For Boulder’s widest
selection of tin mess gear and canvas army bags, as well as
state-ofthe-art camping and backpacking gear, there’s the Boulder Army
Store. For those who’d rather go vertical than horizontal, Neptune
Mountaineering has all the gear you could ask for. It’s where the
county’s hardcore climbers congregate.

PetSmart 1850 30th St., 303-449-0201
Runner-up: PC’s Pantry
Honorable Mentions: Humane Society of
Boulder County, Only Natural Pet Store

Deep and fulfilling human
relationships are the cornerstone of a happy life. Getting to know
someone through and through, talking for hours on end about everything
from politics to reality TV — it’s damned exhausting, really. There are
times when you just want someone to love you because you share your
potato chips with them or gave them a saucer of milk. We’re talking
nearly unconditional love, dependent only on how much you like to throw a
tennis ball or dangle a piece of string. That’s why we have pets. When
we need a sympathetic ear that won’t second-guess anything we say, we
turn to our dogs or cats or whatever little critter we’ve taken into our
home. And when we want to spoil them or just pick up some necessities,
like a new toy or studded pink collar, then we go to PetSmart. If
you don’t have a four-legged or feathered confidant to tell all your
secrets to, PetSmart also adopts out pets from shelters like the Boulder
Humane Society and sells others from responsible guardians. Walking
into PC’s Pantry smells like walking into a life-sized gingerbread
house, except that there’s no evil witch and all of their fresh-baked,
natural goodies are for your furry little friends, not for you. Speaking
of natural, that’s all you’ll find at Only Natural Pet Store, the place
for organic, natural and raw dog and cat food. And if the Humane
Society of Boulder County doesn’t know pets and pet care, then we don’t
know who does.

RE/MAX of Boulder Inc. 2425
Canyon Blvd. Ste. 110, 303-449- 7000
Runner-up: Keller Williams Realty

Real estate is a
hot topic these days. You hear about it in the news, read about it in
the papers and talk about it at the water cooler. All this talk of real
estate raises the question, Is there fake estate? Imposter estate?
Unreal and ephemeral estate? We’ll leave those philosophical questions
to the deep thinkers out there and stick to what we know. Well, we don’t
know that much about real estate, either, but we know who does: RE/
MAX of Boulder,
widely recognized as one of the most successful
firms in the business. If you’re looking to buy a home in one of the
best (according to dozens of different lists by dozens of different
groups) areas in the country, then it’s a good idea to talk to someone
who’s been in the business locally since 1977. You don’t want to lie
awake at night years after you’ve signed wondering if you really got
your money’s worth. That’s just as true for selling, too. Your home and
property are some of the most valuable assets you have, so you want to
be pretty darn sure you’re getting fair value for them. Keller Williams
Realty, as the third largest real estate franchise in the United States,
is another real player in Boulder County’s real estate game.

Boulder Running Company
2775 Pearl St., 303-786-9255
Runner-up: Pedestrian Shops

Horses` hooves are made up of a sturdy wall of
hard keratin up to half an inch thick. They’ve evolved over 50 million
years, give or take a millennium, to walk, canter and gallop over all
sorts of terrain. If even these noble and sure-footed creatures need to
wear shoes, then it’s no wonder that we tenderfooted bipeds go shod
almost every waking moment of our lives. While comfy kicks are a plus
for any activity, they’re an absolute essential for running, especially
on Colorado’s rough and rocky terrain. But just like horses need a
trained farrier to make sure their shoe fit, human animals need a
trained specialist to make sure they buy the right sneaker. Boulder
Running Company
gives each customer the attention most people would
be happy to get from their doctor. If you’re not sure what kind of
stride you have or how your foot strikes the ground, then hop on their
treadmill and get your feet video-analyzed by one of the shop’s shoe
gurus. And while they won’t nail the shoes to your feet, they’ll make
sure the fit is so good you’ll never want to take them off. Pedestrian
Shops, with two Boulder locations, will put you in a pair of shoes so
comfy you might forget you’re wearing them.

Discount Tire Company
3215 28th St., 303-440-6811
Runner-up: Barnsley Tire Company
Honorable Mention: Big O

tires can be stressful. You want something safe, something durable,
something that won’t launch you into your own personal recession.
Wouldn’t it be great if there were somewhere you could go that made
tire-shopping easy? A company somewhere that specialized in selling
quality tires at discount prices? What do you think a place like that
would be called? Maybe we should ask the folks at Discount Tire
Oh, that’s right! They are that kind of place. It
says so right in their name. What their name doesn’t say is that this
local company also has some of the best selection and customer service
in the county. When you’re in Longmont, look for the Barnsley Tire
Company sign. They sell great tires at great prices, too. Big O Tires
sells tires, but also offers oil changes, break service and car repair,

AAA Travel Agency
1933 28th St., 303-753-8800
Runner-up: Boulder Travel
Honorable Mention: James TravelPoints

Have you ever been
to Paris? If you’ve never strolled down the Champs- Elysees holding
hands with your lover and listening to the romantic strains of an
accordion, then AAA Travel Agency has a deal for you. You’d
prefer London? They can do that, too. Want to visit the land Down Under
and see Melbourne? Sure thing, mate. AAA won’t just get you to your
destination, they’ll make sure you have fun while you’re there, too. And
if you’re not ready for world travel yet, they can reroute you to
Paris, Texas, the second biggest Paris in the world. If you have a
deathly fear of koala bears, then head to the beaches of Melbourne,
Florida. And there’s always London, Ohio, if you’d rather not drive on
the left side of the road.

Boulder Travel handles not only the fun vacations, but
the less fun corporate travel too, so business trips don’t have to be
painful as well as dull. James TravelPoints can set you up with a
vacation in the sunny Caribbean one week and a snowy ski resort the
next. Just don’t get your suitcases mixed up.

Feather Thy Nest
1825 Pearl St., 720-406-8781
Runner-up: Humane Society Thrift Store
Honorable Mention: Buffalo

the difference between an American and a European? To a European, 200
miles is far. To an American, 200 years is a long time. While Feather
Thy Nest
probably doesn’t carry too many pieces that are more than
200 years old, at least they’re not 200 miles away. In fact,
they’re on Pearl Street, adding their own unique vibe to the eclectic
district. And just because our friends across the pond wouldn’t call the
used furniture, jewelry and collectibles here “old,” that doesn’t mean
the selection isn’t among the best in Boulder. An ever-changing mix of
old and new, the shop has an exciting, energetic atmosphere for both
buyers and sellers.

you want to shop and save — save lives, that is — then the Boulder
Humane Society Thrift Store, where proceeds support the shelter’s work,
is the place for you. Fashionforward, cost-conscious shoppers in the
know can be found at Buffalo Exchange, either buying or selling the
latest styles.

Mike’s Camera
2500 Pearl St., 303-443-1715
Runner-up: Photo Craft Laboratories
Honorable Mention: Jones Drug
& Camera

The past 20 years have brought massive changes to the
world of film and video.

High-quality gear was once so expensive that it priced
everyone but professionals out of the game. Now you can get yourself an
HD video camera for less than a half-ounce of a certain popular herbal
medicine. Whether you’re going for a fully manual D-SLR or just trying
to track down some Ektachrome, Mike’s Camera can help. This
Boulder mainstay has nearly everything you could want gear-wise plus a
slew of classes to help turn the listless point-and-shooter into a
well-armed amateur photographer. Runnerup Photo Craft Laboratories
offers everything you’ll need to print and process your photos and also
helps with those old photo slides. And don’t forget honorable mention
Jones Drug & Camera, which offers a surprisingly diverse selection
of filters, film and accessories. Snap out of your photo funk and check
out Boulder’s selection of camera stores as soon as you’re able.

Video Station
1661 28th St., 303-440-4448
Runner-up: Blockbuster

You don’t go to a chain video store to rent a
generic blockbuster, just like you wouldn’t go to a Domino’s store to
eat in. Some things are just better delivered. That’s why the former
kings of movie rentals are losing so much ground to Netflix while
continuing to use such antiquated business ideas like “overdue fees” and
“physical storefronts.” But the Video Station continues its long
success story in a rapidly changing industry climate that has claimed
the lives of many of its multi-store competitors. Video Station offers
two stories of hard-to-find gems, like Wim Wender’s 1987 masterpiece Wings
of Desire or Fritz Lang’s classic M. Nothing beats the
experience of driving down to your local video shop to talk Krzysztof
Kieslowski’s early years with a knowledgeable clerk, either. Much better
than Blockbuster, which somehow is still in business.

Munson Farms
7355 Valmont Rd., 303-442-5330
Runner-up: Abbondanza Organic Seeds & Produce

It`s a fact: Most produce
consumed in the United States travels 1,500 miles before being eaten.
And with most produce in grocery stores coming from out of the country,
it’s rare that you are able to find fresh, locally grown produce at
affordable prices. But there are signs that things are changing: For
example, the fact that it’s not unusual to hear someone question the
carbon footprint of a tomato shows that people are increasingly
interested in where their food comes from and where to find the most
sustainable, locally friendly produce. Speaking of delicious tomatoes, Munson
offers all types of produce for the eco-conscious Boulderite
looking to stick it to the corporate farming man. For two generations
now, Munson Farms has grown tasty fruits and vegetables in the shadow of
the Valmont Butte. The farm also delights the county’s children with a
cornucopia of bright pumpkins come Halloween. Their produce stand is
open every day during the summer and offers the best of that week’s
harvest. For those looking to start a garden of their own, Abbondanza
Organic Seeds & Produce has a great variety of seeds, as well as an
excellent produce selection.

The Peppercorn
1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847
Runner-up: Feather Thy Nest

Looking for a sensory
overload to go along with that cordless teakettle you’ve been meaning to
buy? There’s no better place than The Peppercorn to overwhelm
your shopping senses. With over 12,000 square feet packed with just
about every cool gadget and item you could ever dream of putting in your
home, The Peppercorn is a Boulder landmark and a hell of a way to spend
an hour on a hot summer afternoon. Offering everything from Frasca Red
Pepper Jelly to a book describing how to raise a Jewish dog, a visit to
The Peppercorn is sure to leave you wishing you had the money to buy
things you previously didn’t know existed. The store looks like your
grandma’s kitchen spread over two stories; there are more fantastic
trinkets in there than there are trustafarians by the courthouse. You
truly have to see it to believe it. For those searching out unique home
furniture that goes beyond those at the IKEA store, Feather Thy Nest
stocks all sorts of chic, fashionable furnishings, all available on
consignment. Whichever store you choose, you’re sure to emerge with
something to make home living easier — or at least a little more

Way To Grow
6395 Gunpark Dr., 303-473-4769
Runner-up: Boulder Hydroponics

Hydroponics stores
seem to have exponentially multiplied these last few years as people
have become more involved with growing their own food and herbs.
Hydroponics is simply the name given to growing plants without using
soil. The technique, whatever the fashionable modern application, has
been around for centuries. Sir Francis Bacon and John Woodward were
writing about growing plants without soil in the 17th century, and
University of California Professor William Frederick Gericke first
coined the term while promoting the technique — as a means for achieving
high agricultural yields — in 1937. Many greenhouses use hydroponics
technology to this day, as do serious orchid-growing hobbyists. Our
readers have spoken and have crowned cleverly named Way to Grow, near
63rd Street and Lookout Road, as Boulder’s best source for everything
hydroponic. It has everything you’d want from a hydroponics store, from
equipment to a wide variety of fertilizers and boosters to all types of
soil-less growing mediums for your favorite plants. Plus, the store’s
knowledgeable staff is happy to answer any growing questions you may
have. Another great choice is runner-up Boulder Hydroponics, offering a
great selection of hydroponics gear while showing off the many types of
plants (including some tropical ones) that can be grown hydroponically.
In this town, you’re never short on ways to grow your own food. Now get
out there and grow.

Boulder Ski Deals
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-938-8799
Runner-up: Christy Sports
Honorable Mention: Neptune

Ground zero for winter sports fanatics, Boulder Ski
has everything you need for snow sports. Grown up from a
scattered corner lot once slacking its way through the season at Pearl
and Folsom, Ski Deals has now long claimed the southwest reach of the
Village Shopping Center in the space once occupied by the late lamented
Gart Sports. Skis, boards, headgear, handgear, clothing, shades, rentals
… the place is a dizzying Valhalla of subzero smackdown that helps
anchor Boulder’s reputation as base camp for some of the best skiing and
riding on the planet. Awesome salespeople and scary-big selection make
this place the pre-eminent ski shop in Boulder. Christy Sports takes
second place this year — a class act top to bottom for winter sports
that sheds its cold weather skin and becomes Boulder’s patio/summer
chill retailer of choice. And Neptune Mountaineering has long been one
of Boulder’s most respected retailers for all things alpine.

Robb’s Music
2691 30th St., 303-443-8448
Runner-up: HB Woodsongs

A good, independent guitar store is a diamond
amongst quartz. It offers more than just musical instruments; it offers
an experience. Ask a musical great where they spent their childhoods,
and many will answer their local guitar shop. The wide array of brand
spanking new guitars and effects pedals at any guitar store is just as
tempting a sight to musicians as a pile of cocaine is to Amy Winehouse. Robb’s
is that candy store to many aspiring musicians around town,
and despite a change of ownership and a move across town, the store
remains as popular with Boulder Weekly readers as ever, snagging the
award for the umpteenth time. It’s a great place to get your strings
changed or your amp humming, and it offers everything from shakers to
mics to harmonicas. We can only thank our lucky stars for being so
fortunate as to have not one, but two fantastic, locally owned music
stores in town. Runner-up HB Woodsongs has all things acoustic guitar
you could dream of, and their impeccable customer service will have you
coming back for more. So whether you’re buying your kid’s first guitar
or getting that vintage hollow-body electric you’ve been fantasizing
about, Boulder’s guitar stores are your one-stop shop for your musical

Mile High Pipe & Tobacco
1144 Pearl St., 303-443-7473
Runner-up: Eads News and Smoke Shop
Honorable Mention: The Fitter

There are
few categories whose winner is so up in the air from year to year before
the voting finishes. But after the smoke cleared this year, Mile
High Pipe & Tobacco
emerged to take the winner’s crown, just
beating out Eads News and Smoke Shop. These two have been jockeying for
first place for so many years now that almost everything to say has
already been said. We imagine a conversation between these two rivals
would go something like this: Mile High Pipe & Tobacco: “Ha! I win
this year! And rightfully so, since I’ve got more pipes than the New
York City plumbing system.” Eads News and Smoke Shop: “Oh yeah? Well
I’ve got more cigars than a Cuban coffee shop.”

And so on and so on. Mile
High is the best stop in town for all of your glass smoking needs, with
hundreds of colorful pipes, bats, water pipes, pollen collectors and
vaporizers. With all that selection, you’re sure to find the right piece
to fit the mood of your tobacco craving. And we have to give a shout to
The Fitter on the Hill, which offers enough hippie gear to frighten
Bill O’Reilly. Keep on truckin’, fellas.

Boulder Bookstore 1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074
Runner-up: Barnes & Noble
Honorable Mention: Bookworm

Boulder Bookstore
is a city staple. They’ve been in business for
close to 40 years, they have a 20,000-square foot building with more
than 100,000 books and is the go-to spot for indie and mainstream
authors to sign or read excerpts from their books. In the past year the
store hosted appearances by T.C. Boyle, Jon Krakauer, Dick Kreck, Darren
Littlejohn and a host of others. The store also hosts readings and
activities for children and an open mic night for aspiring poets. And if
you’re the book club type, there is a fiction and poetry book club that
meets monthly. There isn’t much more you can ask for from your local
independent community bookstore. Our runner-up this year is Barnes &
Noble. Sure, it’s your average corporate bookstore, but they have a
host of events for kids, teens and families as a whole. It’s no question
that Bookworm is the county’s best used bookstore — that’s UBS in hip
reader lingo — and the best place to take your old and used books.

Albums on the Hill
1128 13th St., 303-447-0159
Runner-up: Absolute Vinyl

Yeah, you can download all
the tunes you want from the Internet, but while you’re staring at your
computer screen, can you chat in person with a knowledgeable clerk about
a local band’s performance last night? Can you slip the liner notes off
the vinyl or out of the jewel case and flip the pages to peruse your
favorite guitarist’s contributions? Can you hear that satisfying “clack”
and “fwap” as you flip through the bargain bin? Can you score some free
stickers and posters while inhaling a subtle scent of patchouli? Didn’t
think so. Music is not just about hitting the download button for the
track you just heard on Pandora. It’s about anticipating the new release
of your favorite artist, waiting until “New Music Tuesday,” peeling off
the plastic, carefully placing the disc into your CD player, and
hitting play to hear the album from start to finish, as the artist
intended it. Albums on the Hill is now the venerable grandfather
of the local music scene, and it deserves some props. With the recent
death of Bart’s CD Cellar, runner-up Absolute Vinyl has filled the gap
as the other go-to destination for some of that old-fashioned aural

1789 28th St., 303-583-9970
Runner-up: Patagonia
Mention: Weekends

Ok, the trip is on. Board the dog, hibernate the
Crackberry, find a battery for the satphone. … But where ya going to go
to be sure you’ve got the threads? One of the things we’ve always liked
about REI is that while the clothing is top quality, it doesn’t
always scream with label pretentiousness. Functional and usually
understated with style, the stuff you need for that three-week Nepal
trek, ice-coring in Greenland or season seats at Mile High stadium is
usually there at REI, a store and a co-op franchise that just seems to
have been invented with a place like Boulder in mind. Maybe it is like
a catnip patch for the bikeracked Subie crowd, because we wouldn’t shop
for boots, fleece, hoodies, winter gear, paddling neoprene or cycling
stuff anyplace else. And this year, most of you agreed with us. The
Patagonia store is another Boulder fave, located downtown on the mall, a
little slice that outdoor enthusiasts have known about for years.
Weekends, with its cool selection of casuals-around-town stuff, makes a
good honorable mention this year.

1755 29th St., Space 1084 720-479- 9451
Best Buy (Retail), Mac Shack (Repair) Honorable Mention: Mac
Shack (Retail), Boulder Mac Repair (Repair)

Apparently the  majority of
folks in Boulder are on Team Apple. Thanks to such gadgets like the Mac
Book Series, iPod, iPhone and now the iPad, lots of Boulderites are
spending their time in the Apple Store. Not only does the store
have the latest in all things Apple, but they also carry many thirdparty
accessories to make your “Apple experience” a great one. And in case
something goes wrong with one of your gadgets, it’s no problem to just
bring it in to get it repaired. The staff at the store are admitted
Apple nerds and junkies who can give you the ins and outs of almost
every product the company produces. Aren’t these the kind of people you
want to buy your next Mac Book Air from or have fix your busted iPod
Touch? For those who don’t want a Mac of any kind, Best Buy seems like
the logical choice to find all of your PC needs. And if the Apple Store
is not carrying some older items to fix your Apple-related product, the
Mac Shack is bound to have it. If a brand new Apple product is a bit too
pricey for you, the Mac Shack has a fresh variety of used and
refurbished Apple items available. Boulder Mac Repair is a great
alternative to some of the other store repair shops around town, with
low rates and speedy service.

The Ritz 959 Walnut
St., 303-309-2894
Runner-up: Candy’s

Why just play dress-up when
you can put on a whole new personality? Tired of being a typical 9-to-5
suit-wearing desk monkey during the week? Let The Ritz transform
you into a Vegas swinger in white platform boots, complete with
goldfish in the heels, for a weekend of hardcore fashion and flair.
Their selection of costumes includes, among many, many other things,
rock stars, beer girls, super heroes, pregnant nuns and sexy
firefighters. They even stock a selection of fake hairy chests and gold
chains for when you simply have to get your pimp on. These costumes
aren’t just for Halloween, either. Buy or rent complete outfits for
theme parties, murder mysteries, theatrical productions, parades or
first dates, if that’s how you roll. Bring your own unique vision of
glam and they’ll help you create it. And if Vegas swinger is your
9-to-5 persona, they also have political candidate costumes for that
thin veneer of respectability. You can also check out Candy’s Vintage
Clothing for some sweet kicks and rockin’ threads.

& Copeland Florists and Greenhouse
2851 Valmont Rd.,
Runner-up: Fiori Flowers Honorable
Mention: Boulder Blooms

In Victorian times, sending flowers was a
complicated affair. Send someone a red carnation, and you told them “My
heart aches for you.” Send them a yellow carnation, however, and the
message was, “You’ve disappointed me.” Pretty heavy meaning for such
delicate flowers. And just try to keep the different nuances straight:
acacias for secret love, daffodil for unrequited love and purple lilacs
for the “first emotions of love,” if you know what we mean. No, we don’t
either. But we do know that they sure are pretty, and Sturtz &
Copeland Florists and Greenhouse
has all the flowers you need to
send whatever message you wish to send, along with a truly amazing
selection of tropical and blooming plants for your home or office. And
if you don’t know your aster from your buttercup, their greenhouse
experts have more 80 years of growing experience to set you on the right
garden path. Not satisfied with excellence in the earth, they also
specialize in custom stationery, so they can take care of not only the
flowers at your wedding, but the invitations for your big day, too.
Fiori’s Flowers also knows a thing or two (or three or four…) about
flowers and specializes in original, long-lasting arrangements. And
Boulder Blooms offers eco-friendly, locally sourced flowers and plants.

Furniture Warehouse
10550 Jake Jabs Blvd., Longmont/ Firestone,
Runner-up: Concepts Furniture Honorable
Mention: HW Home

American Furniture Warehouse is the first stop
for many furniture shoppers due to the fact that they’ll most likely
have everything one could need and specialize in being affordable.
Bedroom sets, living room sets, dining sets, outdoor/patio sets,
home office and every other set you can think of. It’s no secret that
American Furniture Warehouse has the biggest selections in Colorado, so
there’s a good chance that you’ll find what you’re looking for. Concepts
is a great alternative for finding quality furniture for your bedroom,
dining area, or office. If you’re tired of seeing the same brands and
styles at the other furniture stores, there’s a chance HW Home will have
something different for that eclectic eye of yours.

1235 Pearl Street, 303-449-5847
Honorable Mention: Boulder Arts & Crafts

Independently owned
and operated since 1977, The Peppercorn has grown from a modest
cooking and gourmet kitchen supply outlet into one of Boulder’s most
unique and beloved retail operations, nicknamed “the Smithsonian of
Cookstores.” The shelves are loaded with unique kitchen implements,
imported ceramics, exotic and hard-to-find marinades and spices,
crystals, flatware and all manner of accessories that make repast a rare
and personalized event. It is a browser’s died-and-gone-to-heaven
experience, and we dare you to spend 15 minutes in there without exiting
with something extraordinary and probably hard to pronounce. For
longtime residents, it’s one of those places that has magnificently
defied the retail cruelties of the Pearl Street Mall. Further east on
Pearl, Bliss is rapidly gaining recognition as a genuine gift shop of
rare class and elan, and the Boulder Arts and Crafts Gallery is the
perfect place to discover crafted artworks ranging from metal to
photography, wood to glass.