959 Walnut St., 303-443-2850
Second Place: Theatrical Costumes,
Etc. & Trendy Boutique
Third Place: Goldmine Vintage
Write In: ARES Thrift Store
You know how it is, every so often you’ve just got to act on that superhero or pirate fantasy. Whatever your imagination can conjure up — and our readers have some crazy fantasies — The Ritz is the best place for all your costume needs. And remember, it doesn’t have to be a holiday or even a special event to play dress up. This is Boulder, Colorado where you can walk down the Pearl Street Mall any day of the year dressed like Underdog, Wonder Woman or Mr. Potato Head just because you got up on the creatively goofy side of the bed. So go for it. Drop by The Ritz and let their friendly staff help you make every night one to remember.
Clothing Store — Children’s
CHILDISH THINGS BOUTIQUE
3183 Walnut St., 303-442-2703
Second Place: Once Upon A Child
Third Place: Gymboree
Fourth Place: Nest Children’s Boutique
As the saying goes, kids grow like weeds. One minute they’re in onesies, the next minute they’re dressing themselves in a Batman costume and heading to kindergarten. When our readers want to keep their little ones looking sharp without breaking the bank, they head to Childish Things Boutique for shirts and dresses, shorts and pants, swimsuits and sandals, raincoats and hoodies — even infant furniture and cloth diapers. Childish Things even lets you shop online if you’re too busy raising those little bundles of joy to come into the shop and peruse. Owned and operated by a Boulder mom, Childish Things knows just what parents need.
ROBB’S BOULDER MUSIC
2691 30th St., 303-443-8448
Second Place: Woodsong’s
Third Place: Wildwood Guitars
Fourth Place: Lafayette Music
Fifth Place: The Boulder Drum Shop
As John Oliver once said, “Democracy is like a tambourine: Not everyone can be trusted with it.” While there’s more truth to this statement than anyone of us may like to admit, don’t be the subject of anyone’s joke. Head on over to Robb’s Boulder Music for the best in new instruments, repairs and lessons for the novice and aficionado alike. A Boulder staple for more than three decades, whether you’re looking for your first tambourine, advice on how to play that ukulele you’ve had sitting around, or your next foray into the world of music, Robb’s can meet all your musical needs.
RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC. (REI)
1789 28th St., 303-583-9970
Second Place: Neptune Mountaineering
Third Place: Jax Mercantile Co.
Fourth Place: Patagonia Outdoor Clothing & Gear
Fifth Place: Boulder Ski Deals
It’s no secret that Coloradans love the outdoors, and Boulder County folk perhaps more than the rest of them. Whether a native or a transplant, the people of the Centennial State aren’t shy about spending as much time as they can outside, rain or shine, snow or heat. So whether you just want to head out on a short summer hike or train for next year’s Grand Traverse, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) is the place to get all the outdoor gear you could ever want or need. From skis, bikes and tents to backcountry food, wicking clothes and gadgets, it’s easy to get lost for hours perusing the great selection, which is why our readers voted it best of the best once again.
STEVE’S CARPET CARE
557 Burbank St, Unit J, Broomfield,
Sometimes it’s the dog’s fault. Sometimes it’s the kids’ fault. Sometimes it’s your significant others fault. And every once in a while, it’s even your… naw it’s still their fault. No matter whose fault it is, your carpet is always the one on the receiving end. Whether it’s that clumsy wine drinker, spot’s need to visit every room in the house immediately following a muddy walk, little Lisa’s first attempt at contemporary art on a horizontal surface, young Darin’s great idea to grease his bike chain in the living room so he wouldn’t miss his favorite cartoon or just plain old everyday ground in dirt from ordinary foot traffic, the good folks at Steve’s Carpet Care are here to save the day. They’ll have your carpets clean as new in no time using only the most eco-friendly, state-of-the-art technology available. That’s why we picked ‘em.
2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite E-23, 303-447-0210
Second Place: Boulder Vision Center
Third Place: Envision Boulder
Fourth Place: College Optical
Fifth Place: Wink Optical
Write In: Eyeworks Louisville
Getting new glasses or contacts can be a mind-boggling experience. There are just so many choices. But that’s not the case at Aspen Eyewear. Of course there is still a large and amazing selection, but with the helpful and knowledgeable staff at this Best of Boulder winner you’ll get just the right glasses or contacts without all the stress and confusion. The service-oriented folks at Aspen Eyewear have been helping Boulder see better while looking better at this family-owned business for three generations. Most prescriptions are filled in one to three days. They’re happy to do repairs that other stores don’t want to tackle, and they have the only on-site custom lens-finishing lab in Boulder. They also have an independent optometrist located in the store to provide eye exams. All this makes Aspen Eyewear the clear winner for all your clear vision needs.
PC’S PANTRY FOR DOGS AND CATS, INC.
2828 30th St., 303-245-9909
Second Place: Humane Society of Boulder Valley
Third Place: PetSmart
Fourth Place: Whole Pets Natural Food & Supplies
Fifth Place: Only Natural Pet
Write In: The Happy Beast
Mary Lee began PC’s Pantry for Dogs and Cats, Inc. in a small house on Walnut Street in Boulder in 1998. They’re on 30th Street these days, but the love for pets is exactly the same. All of its biscuits and meatloaves are freshly baked on site daily. All ingredients are human grade and natural with no salt, sugar or any preservatives. Does your fuzzy pal have a birthday coming up? PC’s makes “Barkday” cakes too. So bring your pet in and find something they’ll love, whether it’s a new bed, a new outfit or some tasty treats.
MILE HIGH PIPE
1144 Pearl St., 303-443-7473
Second Place: The Fitter
Third Place: Buddha’s and Goudha’s
Fourth Place: Freaky’s Smoke Shoppe and Tattoo
Fifth Place: The Little Dog
Winning the best pipe shop in Boulder is like winning the best theatrical production on Broadway or winning tallest man at the Orlando Tall Man Competition. You have to have a great selection at affordable prices, with a staff that’s accommodating and friendly to win this category. Our readers say that Mile High Pipe & Tobacco is the go-to shop for a whole host of items, including bubble bags, cigars, digital scales, glass pieces, vaporizers, grinders, incense, tobacco, papers, posters, tapestries and a lot of other things. A regional chain, Mile High has all the resources of a big box retailer, with all the dedication and knowledge of a local shop.
PUDDLE CAR WASH
3100 28th St., 303-447-9274
Second Place: Alpine Auto Detailing
Third Place: Black Diamond Car Wash
Fourth Place: Boulder Auto Detail
Fifth Place: The Works
Got a date tonight? Decided to drive for Lyft to make a little extra cash? Is your clean-freak mom coming into town and you’ve got to pick her up at the airport? Then head to Puddle Car Wash to get your car as clean as it was on the day it was delivered to the dealership’s lot. Puddle is another one of Boulder’s family-owned businesses, so you can feel good about supporting your local economy. Puddle’s has a range of services from interior and exterior detailing to the ultimate “white glove” treatment. Get your seats shampooed and your leather conditioned and show your mom that not everything in your life is a total mess.
Place to further your handicraft
SHUTTLES, SPINDLES & SKEINS
635 S Broadway, Suite E, 303-494-1071
When the yarn bug bites you, it usually bites you hard. Suddenly one scarf turns into another sweater, then an afghan, a teddy bear, baby shoes, and before you know it, you immediately need a ball of yarn in every color and various sizes of knitting needs and crochet hooks. If this sounds like you, then ignore the concerned laments from loved ones telling you, “You don’t need royal blue yarn, you have sky blue, cobalt, cerulean and turquoise.” Get that royal blue yarn, and get it at Shuttles, Spindles & Skeins. They have all your needs for handicrafts, and they’ll be more than happy to help you with your new obsession.
Green Business — “The Boulderganic Award”
1651 Broadway, Boulder, 720-420-8400
785 E. South Boulder Road, Louisville, 303-457-5100
Second Place: Eco-Cycle
Third Place: Ocean First Divers
Fourth Place: Namasté Solar
Fifth Place: Momentum
We could wax poetic for days about Alfalfa’s Market’s commitment to being a green business, but we wouldn’t be able to say it any better than they have: “It is our mission to serve, educate and inspire our customers through our tireless support of local, organic and innovative food, wellness products and culinary creations. Alfalfa’s is a marketplace where products that are good for people, for producers and the planet are celebrated.” Alfalfa’s has made a business model out of sustainability, and our readers know that’s important for the future of our planet. Thanks Alfalfa’s, from those of us here today and from our grandchildren in the future.
2735 Iris Ave., Suite A, 303-444-7380
Second Place: Rising Tide Tattoo Emporium
Third Place: Tribal Rites Tattoo and Piercing
Fourth Place: Claw and Talon Tattoo
Fifth Place: K&K Piercing & Jewelry
Here’s a fun factoid for you: Three in 10 Americans reportedly have tattoos these days. Famous athletes, actors and actresses, elected officials and maybe even your boss. Hell, even Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tattoos. The once taboo sign of individuality and even rebellion, tattoos are now widely accepted pretty much everywhere, except maybe grandma’s house, but we can’t say for sure since we don’t know your grandma. Once again Boulder Ink is Boulder County’s favorite tattoo/piercing parlor. As the city’s oldest tattoo shop, Boulder Ink houses five talented artists ready to meet all your skin-art needs.
4571 Broadway, 303-447-0300
Second Place: SolarCity
Third Place: Flatiron Solar
Fourth Place: Custom Solar
Fifth Place: Independent Power
It feels good to be powered by the sun. Using solar energy to power your home or office drastically reduces your carbon footprint, lowers your energy bill over time and sends a message to the community that renewables are doables. But sometimes installing and managing solar systems can be daunting, and our readers say they turn to Namasté Solar more than anyone else to help them get over the hump. Specializing in residential, commercial and maintenance operations, Namasté works with clients to find the right rig at the right price. They offer free quotes for residential homeowners, so check them out today.
Guinness World Record
SAUL, THE WORLD’S LARGEST STICKER BALL
On January 13, 2016 — National Sticker Day, by the way — a crowd gathered at Wibby Brewing Co. to watch Saul the Sticker Ball enter the Guinness World Record book as the largest sticker ball, with 171,466 individual stickers and weighing in at 231.6 pounds and 8.8-feet in circumference. Green Mountain Surveying certified its girth. Guinness required that the ball remain spherical, which was apparently a problem while creating the ball, so the folks who created Saul had to roll him around a lot. Don’t ever let anyone tell you your dreams can’t come true — just look at Saul.
1425 Pearl St., 303-449-5260
2525 Arapahoe Ave., Unit E33, 303-449-7440
Second Place: Boulder Running Company
Third Place: Brown’s Shoe Fit Company
Fourth Place: Two Sole Sisters
Fifth Place: Shoe Fly
They take you to work, to the store, on that trail you love to hike. They haul you through the uncomfortable first date or a long night out on the town. They carry you through life, holding steady through all the ups and downs, the milestones and accomplishments. You’d never get to do most of what you enjoy doing without the help of shoes — a steadfast friend as ever there was. Boulder County residents have been getting their favorite shoes, boots, clogs and sandals at Pedestrian Shops for 45 years and they have once again chosen them as the best shoe store around. Offering a plethora of brands, and with a commitment to making the world a better place through environmental responsibility, Pedestrian Shops takes it’s corporate responsibility as seriously as it does your feet.
1402 Pearl St., 303-443-1084
Second Place: Todd Reed
Third Place: Artmart Gifts
Fourth Place: Walters & Hogsett
Fifth Place: Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery
Write In: Classic Facets Antique and Vintage Jewelry
Jewelry is an important part of culture the world over. It’s about more than just aesthetics — jewelry helps people communicate who they are at a glance. Let Hurdle’s Jewelry help you find the perfect pieces — from watches to cufflinks, from custom rings to beautiful pocketknives — to express yourself. Hurdle’s has been family owned and operated for four generations. From simple repairs to the most intricate custom work, Hurdle’s goal is to provide clients the very best experience and value. And that’s why our reader’s say they’re the best.
Clothing Store — Women’s
1601 29th St., 720-887-3588
Second Place: Anthropologie
Third Place: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
Fourth Place: Christina’s Luxuries
Fifth Place: Urban Outfitters
Write In: ARES Thrift Store
While we don’t accept the stereotype that all women love shopping, we will admit that all women need clothes. Whether its athletic wear, formal attire, business casual, undergarments or just an everyday pair of jeans, Nordstrom Rack has it all. Which is great if you’re not a shopper but still need… clothes. The store offers top-of the line brands at a discounted price (up to 70 percent off) from the Nordstrom department store. As the company says, it’s “where style meets savings.” You don’t have to kill the pocket book to look great and feel fabulous.
Place to buy a hat
Goorin Bros. Hat Shop
943 Pearl St., 303-443-4287
The late, great comedian Mitch Hedberg coined the term “cranial accessories” to describe a fan whose preferred method of expression was multiple head decorations. To make a bold fashion statement, honestly the best place to start is with your head. But if you’re looking for something a little more permanent than a dye job or a piercing, try a hat. Goorin Bros has a wide collection of all your hat needs. Whether you’re keeping it chill for brunch with friends or trying to impress that certain someone with your dapper style, Goorin Bros has you covered… or at least your head.
4920 N. 28th St., 303-442-3221
Second Place: McDonald Carpet One Floor & Home
Third Place: Carpet Exchange
Fourth Place: Go Green Flooring
Fifth Place: Lafayette Flooring
For 56 years Atlas Flooring has been providing Boulder County folks with foot-friendly carpet, tile and wood to walk on in their homes. And they are apparently doing a heck of a job because our readers have once again chosen them as the best of the best in our area. One thing for sure when it comes to flooring and carpet, the nice people at Atlas wouldn’t keep being our readers’ favorite in this category if they weren’t providing outstanding service, fair prices and a great selection. The truth is, it takes something pretty special for any business to be around for more than a half a century. Congrats Atlas, and our feet thank you once again.
VAMPIRE GRAVE IN LAFAYETTE
Deep in the heart of Lafayette (not really, the Lafayette Cemetery is just 15 minutes from Boulder on N. 111th Street) lies a mysterious gravestone: “Fodor Glava, Born in Transylvania, Austro-Ungaria, Died in 1918.” From the middle of the grave a tree has grown, clearly from the stake that killed the vampire who rests in eternal damnation below. It’s the only stone in the “paupers” graveyard (though others are buried there). People have left voodoo dolls at the grave, and people claim to have seen the vampire sitting on top of the gravestone. No records actually tell us about the person buried in the grave, but many suspect that Fodor was an immigrant worker who died in the influenza epidemic of 1918.
STURZ & COPELAND
2851 Valmont Road, 303-442-6663
Second Place: Boulder Blooms
Third Place: Fiori Flowers
Fourth Place: Lafayette Florist Gift Shop & Garden Center
Fifth Place: Longmont Florist Inc.
Flowers, or bee pillows, are the perfect gift for numerous occasions. Anniversaries, birthdays, job promotions, hospital stays, you name the occasion and a bouquet of flowers will surely suit it. For all their local floral needs, our readers chose Sturtz & Copeland as their favorite place to get the good stuff. House plants? They’ve got them. Wedding arrangements? Got ’em. Fragrant edible citrus plants? You better believe Sturtz & Copeland has them. With a large garden center that displays everything from plants to ornamental structures, as well as a friendly staff, this is the place to get your floral needs accommodated.
BOULDER SKI DEALS
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-938-8799
Second Place: Christy Sports
Third Place: Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI)
Fourth Place: Crystal Ski Shop
Fifth Place: Larry’s Bootfitting
Do you live to ski? Shred the gnar every weekend on your snowboard? Maybe you’re just learning. Maybe you’ve never hit the slopes in your life. No problem, because Boulder Ski Deals has you covered. From skiing and riding equipment, down to that little cloth you use to clean your goggles, Boulder Ski Deals can get you totally outfitted for a day on the slopes whether you want to rent or buy. They’ve got ski brands like Volkl, K2, Salomon, Atomic and Rossignol (and so many more!) and snowboarding gear from Burton, Ride, Gnu, Lib Tech, Nitro, LTD and Rome and many others. If anyone advertises a lower price, Boulder Ski Deals will not only match it, it’ll beat it. Can’t beat that.
1620 30th St., Unit A, 303-449-7089
179 W. South Boulder Road, Lafayette,
301 Martin St., Longmont, 303-772-2323
Second Place: Johnny’s Cigar Bar
Third Place: The Fitter
Fourth Place: Mile High Pipe & Tobacco
Fifth Place: The Little Dog
The tobacco shop is an American institution. In the olden days, folks used to stop in to buy cigarettes or loose tobacco along with the daily paper. Not much has changed at Smoker Friendly, our readers’ choice for best tobacco shop, even though they first set up shop in 1989. Customers can peruse a variety of tobacco products and ask the knowledgeable staff about new releases, rare brands and smoking methods. From cigars to pipes, Smoker Friendly has what smokers need to light up. With locations in Boulder and Gunbarrel, customers are never too far from what Smoker Friendly has to offer.
2034 Arapahoe Ave., 720-744-3732
Second Place: Best Buy
Third Place: Apple
Fourth Place: The Boulder Home Theater Company
Fifth Place: Car Toys
Boulder County is fortunate to have ListenUp in our midst. Not only does this business, founded in 1972 and located in Boulder since 1981, offer up some the best stereo equipment in the world, it has also been an innovator and early adopter of all things tied to how we experience music. In addition, it sells home automation systems from Control4, Crestron and Savant and even lighting control and automated shades from various vendors like Hunter Douglas, Lutron and Crestron). Founded by college friends Walt Stinson, Mary Kay Stinson and Steven Weiner, ListenUp has made quite an impact for a small store. Consider that in 1983, ListenUp was instrumental in the U.S. rollout of the Compact Disc. This little Boulder store sold more CD players than any other dealer in the entire nation. And back in 2009, ListenUp co-founder Walt Stinson was inducted into the Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame in the same class as Apple’s Steve Jobs. No wonder our readers voted hands down that ListenUp is the best stereo/electronics store in these parts. Congratulations ListenUp on a brilliant 45 years in business.
2830 Arapahoe Ave., 303-440-0288
Second Place: Denver Mattress Company
Third Place: Verlo Mattress
Fourth Place: Boulder Furniture and Mattress
Fifth Place: Mattress Firm
Write In: Sleep Number
It is said that one should invest, more than anything, is a good mattress as we spend one-third of our lives asleep. A good mattress promotes a healthy life, and if you think that’s overblown, then you’re probably sleeping on a bad mattress. When people around here need a good bed, they say the place to go is Urban Mattress. It’s no wonder why: The company provides a wide-range of mattresses at a variety of prices. People appreciate that the staff actively seeks to accommodate sleep needs, space concerns and budgetary restrictions. For a good night’s sleep, Urban Mattress is the first stop for our readers.
Best New Addition in Niwot
7960 Niwot Road, Suite D-15, 303-652-0439
We love when new businesses move in. Every new shop has the opportunity to weave a new thread into the fabric of our community. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to ShopGirl in Niwot. The new store boasts a selection of handpicked items, and through consignment they choose only the most fashionable pieces from clothing to accessories. Any fashionista should stop in and pick up a few cool duds.
2425 Canyon Blvd., Suite 100, 303-443-2421
Second Place: Victoria’s Secret
Third Place: MayBee by Fascinations
Coverage isn’t the first word that comes to mind when talking about lingerie, but Christina’s Luxuries sure has Boulder covered in that department. From the perfect-fitting bra, to comfortable sleepwear and maternity undergarments, Christina’s offers high-end designs to accentuate and celebrate all things feminine. Whether you’re shopping for yourself or that special someone, the experts at Christina’s are ready to offer a helping hand. While lingerie can be surprising, it’s no surprise that our readers once again voted Christina’s as the best lingerie store in Boulder.
GRANDRABBIT’S TOY SHOPPE
2525 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-0780
Second Place: Into the Wind
Third Place: GameStop
Fourth Place: Time Warp Comics
Fifth Place: Atomic Goblin Games
There are toys and then there are toys. Some toys entertain for about as long as it takes to unwrap them while great toys can become multi-generational heirlooms. Great toys can educate as well as entertain. And when it comes to great toys, our readers tell us Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe is the best place to find a great selection of great toys. Grandrabbit’s Toy Shoppe offers a wide selection of collectables, educational and just plain joy-inducing toys, from arts and craft supplies to magic kits to train sets. Lynne Milot, founder of Grandrabbit’s, places a premium on offering high quality, aesthetically pleasing toys. And the store even offers open play hours so parents can shop while their kids safely play.
2760 Canyon Blvd., 303-440-1282
545 W. South Boulder Road, Suite 154, Lafayette, 303-666-7192
965 S. Hover St., Longmont, 303-651-9877
Second Place: Game Force
Third Place: Karliquin’s Game Knight
Have you ever had a need to destroy thousands of zombies? Or outrun turtle shells? If you’re looking to escape reality (and most of us are these days), video games provide the perfect outlet. Head on over to GameStop for all your gaming needs, including pre-owned consoles, videos and more. They also offer quite a selection of electronics, collectibles and retro classics. Plus, with the growing number of virtual-reality programs, escaping reality now feels more real than ever.
Worst use of a bale of hay
When you think of hay, and we know you do, you might be thinking about how a hay bale can feed a cow. Or maybe you’re thinking you could hang a target on a hay bale and shoot arrows into it. Perhaps you’re even thinking that putting hay bales into the back of a truck in winter to improve traction is a good use for these square wonders of the world. Or better yet, perhaps you’re even pondering how building an energy efficient house is a stellar use of hay bales. They really are rectangular little miracles in the hands of sane people. But not everyone is sane. Starting pretty soon, unless the activists win, the biggest use for hay bales in Boulder County will be to build giant walls around giant oil and gas extraction/fracking operations. Someone should tell the industry it doesn’t work. Those rigs stick up way above the hay so we still know what’s going on in there. It’s like trying to hide by closing your eyes. It doesn’t really work. Nope, not everybody is sane.
839 Pearl St., 303-444-4196
Second Place: Full Cycle
Third Place: Bicycle Village
Fourth Place: Boulder Cycle Sport
Fifth Place: Community Cycles
Boulder sure is a cyclist’s town and as such there’s no shortage of bike shops around. Once again our readers have voted University Bikes the best of the best. With a commitment to “unrelenting friendliness” and expert service, the team at University Bikes is there to help, whether you need repairs, a bike fitting or are looking for that next bike purchase. Plus the rental and demo programs offer everyone a chance to try something new like the transition from pavement to dirt or testing out a fat bike for the first time or taking the kids on an adventure they won’t soon forget.
HAZEL’S BEVERAGE WORLD
1955 28th St., 303-447-1955
Second Place: Liquor Mart
Third Place: Superior Liquor
Fourth Place: North Boulder Liquor
Fifth Place: Boulder Wine and Spirits
Write In: B Town Wine + Spirits
Whether you’re having a cozy night with that special someone, or you’re about to throw the hootenanny of the year, drop by Hazel’s Beverage World for all of your adult beverage needs. Hazel’s has 76 coolers filled to the brim with beers from near and far. You can even create your own six-pack. Then there’s the wine — aisles of wines from around the world and a climate controlled cellar. And if it’s a cocktail you’re looking to whip up, you’ll find everything from absinthe to tequila, from bourbon to vodka. And what’s a good drink without a good cigar? Hazel’s has a great cigar humidor too.
2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite D1, 303-443-1822
Second Place: Jax Ranch & Home
Third Place: Home Depot
Fourth Place: Ace Hardware
Fifth Place: Table Mesa Hardware
Been meaning to finally start that garden this year? Or fix-up that old dresser? Ever wonder how to start your own composting operation? Or repair that pesky faucet drip? Can’t decide what color to paint the remodeled dining room or need help organizing the garage? The list really could go on and on because McGuckin Hardware has everything you may ever need for around the house chores, new projects and fresh starts. In addition to tools and hardware, McGuckin’s offers a wide variety of office supplies, housewares, pet supplies, and even toys and games. It’s no wonder our readers once again voted it best hardware store around.
MOUNTAIN MIST spas
1240 Ken Pratt Blvd., Suite 4, Longmont, 303-772-1125
Second Place: Mr. Pool Inc.
Third Place: Heat Wave Stove & Spa
Fourth Place: International Hot Tubs
Fifth Place: Quality Pools & Spas
Let’s be honest — we could all probably relax a little more. Mountain Mist Spas can set you up in a hot tub that will melt your troubles away. It also has saunas, gazebos and grills, which adds up to everything you need for that perfect relaxing time right in your own backyard. Heck, Mountain Mist even has a selection of specialty woodchips and sauces for your grilling. The crew will help you through sales, service and home delivery, and trained technicians are available to do repairs if problems arise. With service like that, we feel relaxed already.
Auto Dealer — New
5995 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-0114
Second Place: Fisher Honda Kia
Third Place: Larry H. Miller Toyota Boulder
Fourth Place: Audi Boulder
Fifth Place: Gebhardt Automotive
There are many places to buy a new car and many different makes and models from which to choose. Aside from buying a home, an investment in new car is likely the largest and most important purchase an individual or family will make this year. Buying a new car is not just about getting something with four wheels and an engine. Buying a new car is about finding a vehicle that fits your self-image, needs and reflects your views on everything from adventure to style to the environment. It’s also about finding a car that will keep you and your loved ones safe when the unexpected happens. Buying a new car is an important decision and our readers chose Flatirons Acura and Subaru for all the reasons stated above along with the fact that the folks at Flatirons are also really nice.
Arts & Crafts Supplies
2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite D1, 303-443-1822
Second Place: Michaels
Third Place: Meininger Art Supply
Fourth Place: Guiry’s Color Source
Fifth Place: Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores
So you’re trying to make a birdhouse for your garden. Or maybe you’re trying to make a scrapbook for your dog. We don’t know. But chances are, whatever you need, McGuckin Hardware has it. For years, when people in these parts have been stumped as to where to get a this-a-ma-joe or a that-a-ma-glormp, the answer is always McGuckin’s. And that’s because the staff is abundantly eager to help out, and the warehouse has goods for arts and crafts projects of any kind. And it’s even better that it’s locally owned and committed to bettering the community.
Used Turntables and Vinyl
LITTLE HORSE BOOKS & VINTAGE
820 Main St., Louisville, 303-242-5382
If you’re into the snaps, pops and deeply layered sound of vinyl, you’re gonna need a turntable. Little Horse Books & Vintage has you covered on both fronts. Little Horse has three locations in Louisville (all right near each other), two of which offer piles of super retro turntables, receivers and speaker systems. Little Horse 1 stocks more than 5,000 used and rare LP vinyl records and vintage stereo equipment (as well as used and rare books, unique objects and art pieces). From their awesome permanent-garage-sale-type unit just off of Main Street, Little Horse 2 is packing 2,000 more LP vinyl records and shelves of vintage stereo equipment. It’s where the cool kids go to get even cooler.
2500 Pearl St., 303-443-1715
Second Place: Costco Wholesale
Third Place: Photo Craft Imaging
Fourth Place: Walgreens
Fifth Place: Target
The camera store is a vital piece of how we express ourselves and communicate in 2017 America and that’s where Mike’s Camera comes in. It’s way more than a place to buy a great camera or camera accessories. Mikes can handle all your printing needs from blowing up a great shot for your wall to producing a photo book. They also teach classes on how to take that great shot. In other words, Mike’s is all things photo and video and it is staffed by an exceptionally knowledgeable group of people who are willing to help get the right equipment into your hands and show you how to use it. That’s why our readers chose them again this year.
Valmont Road and N. 75th Street, 415-298-1500
Second Place: Cure Organic Farm
Third Place: Anderson Farms
Fourth Place: Haystack Mountain
Fifth Place: Isabelle Farm
At the corner of 75th Street and Valmont, Munson Farms has been growing some of Boulder County’s most beloved produce for about half a century. Sweet corn, pumpkins and squash are favorites at the Boulder County Farmers Markets, and at restaurants throughout the county. Sadly, Bob Munson passed away in 2015, but the farm is still going strong. Our readers love to head to Munson for pumpkins in the fall and Christmas trees in the winter, because supporting local agriculture is so important.
AMERICAN FURNITURE WAREHOUSE
10550 Jake Jabs Blvd., Firestone, 303-684-2400
Second Place: Clutter Consignment
Third Place: Arhaus
Fourth Place: No Place Like Home New & Used Furniture
Fifth Place: Woodley’s Fine Furniture
Every market has its local TV commercial legend. In Colorado, it’s Jake Jabs whose campy animal-filled American Furniture Warehouse commercials have been a mainstay on the air and in print ever since Noah ran the ark aground on the top of that mountain. Whatever it is about Jabs’ ads, no one can dispute that they’re working. His AFW stores are the biggest and best-stocked furniture stores anywhere around and our readers tell us that these stores are their absolute favorite. So if it’s time to replace that old couch you burned on The Hill last year when the Buff’s football team actually started winning again or your mattress looks as wavey as high tide on Maui, wander on over to the nearest AFW, and these folks will be happy to help you find a new one at a fair price.
3960 Broadway, Unit 104, 303-444-0215
695 S. Broadway, 303-218-4875
Second Place: King Soopers
Third Place: Whole Foods Market
Fourth Place: Sprouts Farmers Market
Fifth Place: Alfalfa’s Market
Lucky’s Market was born in Boulder in 2003. Founders Trish and Bo Sharon thought it was crazy that they had to shop in so many places just to buy the fresh, healthy, pesticide and hormone-free food they knew was best for them and tasted the way food was meant to taste. Since they couldn’t find such a one-stop shop, they created one, and that’s how Lucky’s got its start. Lucky’s has grown into a Boulder County staple over the years and now has three locations in the County. What hasn’t changed over the years is Lucky’s commitment to providing healthy, tasty food for the masses. As they like to say, Lucky’s Market is “organic for the 99 percent.” And did we mention that Lucky’s is always teamed up with local nonprofits to make our communities better? Well, it is and it’s just one more reason our readers tell us this is their favorite grocery store.
2525 Arapahoe Ave., Suite D1, 303-443-1822
Second Place: Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply
Third Place: Green Ride Boulder
Fourth Place: The Boulder Home Theater Company
Fifth Place: Lillies
Llewellyn Commodore “Bill” McGuckin first opened McGuckin Hardware in 1955 with the belief in “personalized service, selection and first-hand experience” that has carried the company through the decades. Growing from a staff of just four to now more than 250, McGuckin’s continues to provide just the kind of dedication, knowledge and expertise it has since its inception. Still owned and operated by McGuckin’s business partner, there’s no question, McGuckin’s helps make Boulder County what it is today.
HOLLAND & HART LLP
1800 Broadway, Suite 300, 303-473-2700
Second Place: Berg Hill Greenleaf & Ruscitti LLP
Third Place: Frascona, Joiner, Goodman & Greensteen, PC
Fourth Place: Stevens, Littman, Biddison, Tharp & Weinberg LLC
Fifth Place: Hutchinson Black and Cook LLC
Holland & Heart has become a global brand as a world-class law firm serving businesses of every stripe. Part of its success is understanding the particular needs of the communities it serves. Its Boulder office is a perfect example. The firm describes its operation at the foot of the Flatirons this way: “Sitting at the heart of one of our country’s technology hubs, the Boulder office houses many attorneys in the firm’s renowned intellectual property practice, serving clients with trademark, patent protection and enforcement, licensing and technology issues. Additionally, we’ve been able to capitalize on Boulder’s designation as the epicenter for the country’s growing natural food and organic scene, with local attorneys dedicated to advising clients in this burgeoning industry.” Once again it seems our readers made a wise choice.
Auto Dealer — Used
SUPER RUPAIR (FORMERLY BLUE SPRUCE AUTO SALES)
1309 Yarmouth Ave., 303-442-6508
Second Place: Flatirons Imports
Third Place: Green Eyed Motors
Fourth Place: Gebhardt Automotive
Fifth Place: Smooth Motors
Ah, the great West with its rugged mountains, expansive plains and endless wilderness to explore. And explore we will, as long as we have a reliable vehicle to do it in. Super Rupair (formerly Blue Spruce Auto Sales) is just the place to find your next adventure mobile, whether it’s a convertible to enjoy the highways of life or a rugged van to take you down desolate roads. If you need a commuter car to get you from your dream house in the canyon to the metro area or a truck to haul all your favorite outdoor gear, the team at Blue Spruce can help. Exploration awaits us here in Boulder County, the doorstep to many of the West’s greatest landscapes. Just makes sure you have the right vehicle to bring you home afterwards.
Auto Service/Repair Shop
PELLMAN’S AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE
2560 49th St., 303-938-4050
Second Place: Fisher Honda Kia
Third Place: Hoshi Motors
Fourth Place: Super Rupair
Fifth Place: The Boulder Bump Shop
Write In: Gene’s Auto Repair
OK, your car breaks down. You were on your way to your see Boulder’s favorite local celebrity Jared Polis give a speech, and now you’re uber-bummed because your car needs a tow and some repair. Have no fear. Folks in these parts have been going to Pellman’s Automotive Service for years, and that’s because of its great reputation, which is of paramount importance in the auto repair game. It indicates consistent, quality service and affordable pricing. The list of repair options is endless, so whether you need an engine overhaul or just a tuneup, Pellman’s is your spot.
Clothing Store — Men’s
RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC. (REI)
1789 28th St., 303-583-9970
Second Place: Nordstrom Rack
Third Place: Patagonia Outdoor Clothing & Gear
Fourth Place: Jax Outdoor Gear
Fifth Place: Buffalo Exchange
They say that clothes make the man. Which sort of lets men off the hook for a lot of bad behavior, as in, “Yeah, I stole your mail and opened it, but I’m wearing a sweet tuxedo, so no big deal, right bro?” Regardless, there is truth to the notion that the apparel you put on says a lot, but of course not all, to the world about who you are. Men around here go to Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) to find clothes that fit their active lifestyles. REI has a wide variety of apparel that suits a number of casual and recreation activities our readers enjoy. And heck, you’ll just look good wearing their clothes.
Bath & Body Shop
REBECCA’S HERBAL APOTHECARY
1227 Spruce St., 303-443-8878
Second Place: Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics
Third Place: Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy
Fourth Place: Bath & Body Works
Fifth Place: Sephora
Rebecca’s Herbal Apothecary & Supply is this year’s bath and body shop winner and it’s no wonder. Since 2004, founder Rebecca Luna has been building community around her retail store, which aims to provide everything a person needs to use or make botanical medicines. Rebecca’s business is thriving because it connects its patrons to the earth and their health, while generating profits, which are furthering environmentalism and sustainability. At the end of the day Rebecca’s goal is to make the world a better place while enjoying every minute. And, as you’d expect having won this category, Rebecca’s has a full line of handcrafted bed and bath products to help you feel better, smell better, relax better and enjoy every day more fully. You can’t beat that.
TAYLOR MOVING AND STORAGE
4949 N. Broadway, Suite 110, 303-443-5885
Second Place: Boulder Valley Transfer
Third Place: The Good Move, LLC
Fourth Place: A Boulder Moving Co.
Fifth Place: Flatirons Moving
They say the most stressful things in the world are a death in the family, divorce and moving, in that order. Well, the good people at Taylor Moving and Storage can’t do much to help you with those first two, but they can go a long way toward knocking that third one right off the stress list. So when it comes time to pack it all up and head on over to that new place, don’t make the mistake of trying to do it all yourself. Heck that’s how moving (stress ranking no. 3) can lead to divorce (stress ranking no. 2). And if you drop that piano on a loved one you’ll wind up with the stress trifecta. So for your next move, call Taylor Moving and Storage. It’s locally owned and operated, and the movers are experienced. So with their help, you can leave all your moving stress behind.
WAY TO GROW
6395 W. Gunpark Drive, 303-473-4769
Second Place: One Love Garden Supply
Third Place: Victory Hydro Gardening
Fourth Place: Green Piece Pipe and Hydro
Way to Grow has everything needed to turn even the plant-growing challenged among us into successful horticulturists. And if you’ve been thinking about giving hydroponics a try, they can hook you up like nobody else. And that’s not all they can do. Whether your crop needs perfectly balanced indoor grow lights or a dose of soil fortifying bat guano, Way to Grow has your back. And while you’re there you might as well go ahead and pick up some organic compost teas, fertilizers, water testers and pest controls (the environmentally friendly kind of course). Whatever your growing needs or hydroponic dreams may demand, these folks have one of the area’s best selections.
1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847
Second Place: McGuckin Hardware
Third Place: Sur La Table
Fourth Place: Bed Bath & Beyond
Fifth Place: Tundra Restaurant Supply
If you need kitchen supplies, you can’t do much better than stopping into Peppercorn. The place is a veritable warehouse of kitchen knickknacks, cookbooks, specialty food items, pots, pans, appliances and so much more. One can spend a whole afternoon lost inside the spacious Pearl Street establishment, oftentimes leaving with a whole bunch of stuff and not the thing they came in for. Fortunately, there’s a knowledgeable staff to help guide patrons throughout the store and get the exact right item for their needs, whether that’s a bottle of hot sauce or a set of checkered linen napkins.
Computer — Repair
1755 29th St., 720-479-9451
Second Place: Boulder Mac Repair
Third Place: The Mac Shack
Fourth Place: Boulder PC
Fifth Place: Data Doctors
Computers are a crucial part of our everyday lives. We work on them, we store our pictures on them, we use them to communicate with loved ones across the globe. So when a computer goes on the fritz, we want the best folks on the job helping us save that precious piece of machinery. Our readers head to the Apple Store when that beach ball of doom (or rainbow wheel of death, whichever term of endearment you prefer) refuses to stop spinning. You don’t have to lose that term paper you just cranked out last night seven hours before it was due, or all of those pictures from your wedding, or all of the financial spreadsheets for your business. Just head to the Apple store and fret no more.
BART’S RECORD SHOP
1625 Folsom St., 303-444-1760
Second Place: Albums on the Hill
Third Place: Absolute Vinyl Records & Stereo
Fourth Place: Recycled Records LP
Fifth Place: 2nd & Charles
There’s nothing quite like spending a leisurely afternoon perusing a record shop. The rows and files of albums, some beloved and others unknown, offer a degree of camaraderie often missing in today’s world of digital downloads and streaming sites. Sorry if we sound like your parents, we just can’t help it. In our estimation, nothing can quite replace the recommendation of a human being over an algorithm or pouring over the liner notes of your favorite artist’s new album with a dear friend. And our readers told us they agree by picking Bart’s Record Shop as the best record store around. With a large collection of LPs, CDs and a promise to order anything they may not carry in the store, Bart’s is the perfect place to visit old record friends and discover new ones.
ST JULIEN HOTEL & SPA
900 Walnut St., 720-406-9696
Second Place: Hotel Boulderado
Third Place: Chautauqua
Fourth Place: Boulder Marriott
Fifth Place: Boulder Adventure Lodge
You have some family, friends or business associates coming into town and you don’t know where to put them up. All they’ve told you is, “We want the best, and we want it now. No excuses. This isn’t going to be a repeat of Cleveland, is it?” Now even though our area is home to many fine hotels, one looms large in our readers’ minds: the St Julien Hotel & Spa. From the minute your car is valeted, the St Julien provides a luxurious experience. An open foyer and the adjacent bar is always lively. Rooms are spacious and comfortable, adorned with top-of-the-line amenities and furniture. And most rooms offer stunning views of the Boulder landscape.
Green Retail Business
RECREATIONAL EQUIPMENT INC. (REI)
1789 28th St., 303-583-9970
Second Place: Savory Spice Shop
Third Place: Jax Outdoor Gear
Fourth Place: University Bicycles
Fifth Place: Leanin’ Tree Museum and Sculpture Garden of Western Art
Since 1976, Recreational Equipment Inc. (REI) has given more than $77 million to nonprofits that promote outdoor stewardship. REI built the first, largest and most sustainable net-zero energy, LED-platinum distribution center in the country. Those are big feats, and it’s no wonder why it won best green retail business. The commitment to support the great outdoors is significant among businesses of its size. And it’s great to see a company that sells products meant for the outdoors actually investing that money back into the community to help protect the natural world for years to come.
Various locations in Boulder County
Second Place: Boulder Cleaners
Third Place: John’s Dry Cleaners
Fourth Place: Environmental Cleaners
Fifth Place: Dependable Cleaners
It’s now more important than ever to do your part in helping save our beloved planet. While environmental degradation has been happening for centuries, we now know more than ever what’s really at risk. And while the powers that be may be doing little to stop it, we take comfort in Boulder’s local businesses that do their part. Take Art Cleaners for example. Its non-polluting, non-toxic GreenEarth cleaning process is easy on your clothes and the environment. This is just one of the many reasons our voters say they are the best dry cleaner. With several convenient locations around Boulder County, head on over to the Art Cleaners nearest you to not only save your clothes, but our world in the process.
Clothing Store — Used
1813 Pearl St., 303-938-1924
Second Place: arc Thrift Store
Third Place: Rags Consignment
Fourth Place: Common Threads
Fifth Place: Humane Society Thrift and Gift Shop
The original Buffalo Exchange opened in Tucson in 1974. It was the first clothing consignment shop in the country. That means that nobody has more experience when it comes to buying and selling pre-owned clothing than Buffalo Exchange. This helps to explain why our readers consistently pick this store as their favorite in this category. Shopping at Buffalo Exchange is always a fun experience, you never know what treasures you’re going to uncover. The friendly and knowledgeable staff always keeps the store full of interesting items at great prices. That’s why it’s also a really good place to sell the clothes you’re no longer wearing so you can use your new-found cash to buy a new batch to take their place. Think of it like this: Buffalo Exchange is the cycle of life for clothes. It’s always a win/win.
It’s official y’all. The internet has taken another victim. After 35 years, our beloved Video Station finally closed up shop in March. (Hope you’re happy with yourself, Netflix.) It was always nice to have a local neighborhood video store, especially one that was so comprehensive. With 43,000 titles in its inventory, there wasn’t much missing from the collection. The owners are keeping the inventory in storage for now, and let’s all cross our fingers that maybe one day they’ll show up on our block again. Until then, we’ll miss ya Video Station. Here’s lookin’ at you kid.
Computer — Retail
1755 29th St., 720-479-9451
Second Place: Best Buy
Third Place: Costco Wholesale
Fourth Place: The Mac Shack
Fifth Place: University of Colorado Book Store
So, you need a new computer. You spilled a bowl of hot spaghetti on your last one, and the noodles scrambled your mainframe. It’s the third time this year. Fortunately, Boulder County has an Apple Store ready to fill the computer void in your life. The “geniuses” at the store are trained to help customers find the exact model computer to fit their needs. And we don’t need to tell you why many people prefer Apple computers to other brands, but we will tell you it has very little to do with spaghetti. That’s your own problem, Gordon.
Business with an Animal Sound as a Name
1118 13th. St., 303-442-8602
Listen up meow: When you’re looking for quirky earrings for your favorite auntie, a heartfelt card for your mom, a thoughtful leather-bound journal for your best friend, stylin’ sunglasses for your niece or a chic new outfit for yourself, Meow Meow is your one-stop shop. Some years ago, this gift shop on the Hill captured our weird, independent, alternative hearts at Boulder Weekly, and we’re pretty sure it’s captured yours too, considering it’s maintained its place in an area notorious for turning over businesses. Looking for a Harry Potter pendant? Yes’siree, it’s there. Prayer candles featuring Frido Kahlo, Diego Rivera and Charles Darwin? Check. Masks and veiled witches’ hats for Halloween? Got it. Eye-catching Nuevo-bohemian duds? Oh, yeah. Books on everything from cats to travel to cocktails and everything between and beyond? It’s here — right meow — at Meow Meow. Keep it weird and cool, Meow Meow.
BOULDER BOOK STORE
1107 Pearl St., 303-447-2074
Second Place: Barnes & Noble Booksellers
Third Place: The Bookworm
Fourth Place: Trident Booksellers & Cafe
Fifth Place: The Book Cellar
When you’re looking for a great book and also to support a local business, look no further than Boulder Book Store, Boulder’s largest independent bookstore. With three floors and more than 100,000 titles, you may find yourself spending a whole day checking out the vast selection. Boulder Book Store hosts some of today’s most influential authors, racking up more than 200 events each year in the upstairs ballroom or at other locals around town. Purchase a one-year Readers Guild membership and get a 10 percent discount on everything in the store each time you go in for a new book. Supporting local business has never felt so good.
1235 Pearl St., 303-449-5847
Second Place: Jacque Michelle
Third Place: Bliss
Fourth Place: Boulder Arts & Crafts Gallery
Fifth Place: Artmart Gifts
Ariel isn’t the only one who has gadgets and gizmos a plenty, whosits and whatists galore. Peppercorn is the one-stop shop for thingamabobs and any other gifts you may want to give, without leaving you wanting more. Dubbed “the Smithsonian of Cookstores,” Peppercorn offers a wide selection of housewares and kitchen supplies, with fun, fresh displays that makes buying gifts easy. Plus, with a gift registry option, the unique shop makes receiving gifts easier, too. So head down to this independently owned business to see what all the fuss is about.
NATURAL GROCERS by Vitamin cottage
2685 Pearl St., 303-402-1400
100 Public Road, Lafayette,
1745 N. Main St., Longmont,
Second Place: Lucky’s Market
Third Place: Whole Foods Market
Fourth Place: Alfalfa’s Market
Fifth Place: Sprouts Farmers Market
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage has five founding principles: 1) Nutrition education; 2) Highest quality products; 3) Affordable pricing; 4) Commitment to the community; and 5) Commitment to their employees. With values like that, it’s easy to see why our readers voted Natural Grocers the best for natural foods. They’ve got everything you need, from meat and dairy to bath and body, and everything is held to the highest standard to keep you, your family and the environment safe. It even holds events to help you understand how your body works and how to live a healthier life.
ARCANA FOOD MIGRATIONS & INSPIRATIONS
909 Walnut St., Boulder 303-444-3885
Second Place: Fixt Movement
Third Place: Orange Poppy Spa
Fourth Place: Pitter Patter
It’s no easy feat to burst onto the Boulder food scene and stand toe-to-toe with the culinary heavyweights on Pearl Street. But that’s just what ARCANA Food Migrations & Inspirations did this year, and it earned them the nod for best new business. Their food is rooted in the search for the identity of American cuisine. That’s why you’ll see on its menu influences from around the world, including cuisines whose impact is often forgotten in American high-end cooking, like those from West Africa, Native America and South America. ARCANA focuses on traditional, even historic, preparations of dishes to give diners an authentic experience.
Near the Lazy T Ranch, Longmont
They loom over highways and lurk in the shadows across America, square jawlines set, mufflers, six-shooters and double-sided axes in hand. They are the Muffler Men, the fiberglass giants of the 1960s and ’70s that were built to draw travelers into gas stations and repair shops across the country. Many have been lost forever, but hundreds have made their way to new homes, sometimes restored to represent their new digs. One such mysterious giant protects the Lazy T Ranch at the corner of Highway 66 and 61st Street. This is one of the “Cowboy” style Muffler Men with his big, white Stetson and pitchfork a reminder that the West is still a place for the rugged. We wish we had one in front of the paper.
Real Estate Group
RE/MAX OF BOULDER, INC.
2425 Canyon Blvd., Suite 110, 303-449-7000
Second Place: 8z Real Estate
Third Place: Colorado Landmark Realtors
Fourth Place: Wright Kingdom Real Estate
Fifth Place: Jennifer Egbert Modern Luxury Real Estate
For the majority of folks, buying a home is the single biggest and most important investment they will ever make. So when that critical time to buy or sell a home comes, you want and need a realtor who will be as helpful and supportive as any investment advisor. Our readers’ first choice for all their real estate needs is ReMax of Boulder, Inc. Their friendly and knowledgeable realtors will steer you right while keeping all the stress that can accompany the purchase of a home to a minimum.
3215 28th St., 303-440-6811
740 N. Highway 287, Lafayette, 303-248-5680
379 S. Hover St., Longmont, 303-774-9869
Second Place: Barnsley Tire Co.
Third Place: Big O Tires
Fourth Place: Louisville Tire Auto Care
Fifth Place: Firestone Complete Auto Care
Whether you ride solo, carpool with coworkers or drive your little ones to school and soccer practice, you want to feel safe in your car. Having tires with great tread is key. Whether it’s winter tires or all season, Discount Tire has what you need, offering high-quality, affordable tires from dozens of brand names you trust. Get your car shipshape with winter studding, tire pressure monitoring system checks and other wheel and tire services. Whether you drive a passenger car, medium sized truck, mini-van or SUV, you can trust Discount Tire to have you back on the road in no time.