Best Of 2010

Everyday: Reader's Picks 


03.17.10


Best Art Supply Store

Marin

Perry's Art Supplies & Framing

128 Greenfield Ave., San Anselmo.

415.454.3317.

Napa

Cartons & Crates

3250 California Blvd., Napa.

707.224.7447.

Sonoma

Rileystreet Art Supply

103 Maxwell Court, Santa Rosa.

707.526.2416.

Honorable Mention

Art & Soul of Sebastopol

156 N. Main St., Sebastopol.

707.824.4837.


Best Framing Shop

Marin

Art & Frame Works

1 Blackfield Drive, Belvedere Tiburon.

415.383.6154.

Napa

Fastframe Napa

1346 Trancas St., Napa.

707.226.3422.

Sonoma

Pelican Art Gallery & Custom Framing

143 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

707.773.3393.

Honorable Mention

My Daughter the Framer

1617 Terrace Way, Santa Rosa.

707.542.3599.


Best Gift Shop

Marin

At Home at Sweet Things

1 Blackfield Drive, Tiburon. 415.388.8566.

Napa

Mudd Hens

1348 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga.

707.942.0210.

Sonoma

Heebe Jeebe General Store

46 Kentucky St., Petaluma.

707.773.3222.

Honorable Mention

Milk & Honey

123 N. Main St., Sebastopol.

707.824.1155.


Best Independent Copy / Biz Services

Marin

Copy Express

715 Fourth St., San Rafael.

415.454.8240.

Napa

Copy Corner

2200 Jefferson St., Napa.

707.258.1835.

Sonoma

Sprint Copy Center

175 N. Main St., Sebastopol.

707.823.3900.

Honorable Mention

Clone Digital

618 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.

707.527.6565.


Best Bookstore—New

Marin

Book Passage

51 Tamal Vista, Corte Madera.

415.927.0960.

Napa

Copperfield's Books

www.copperfieldsbooks.com

Sonoma

Copperfield's Books

www.copperfieldsbooks.com

Honorable Mention

Readers' Books

130 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

707.939.1779.

Best Bookstore—Used

Marin

Book Passage

51 Tamal Vista, Corte Madera.

415.927.0960.

Napa

Copperfield's Books

www.copperfieldsbooks.com

Sonoma

Copperfield's Books

www.copperfieldsbooks.com

Honorable Mention

Treehorn Books

625 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

707.525.1782.


Best Jewelry Store

Marin

Rafael Jewelers

1200-B Fourth St., San Rafael.

415.453.3580.

Napa

Silver Sensations

1273 Napa Town Center, Napa.

707.252.8953.

Sonoma

Hollingsworth Jewelers

5 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

707.769.0221.

Honorable Mention

Artisana

146 N. Main St., Sebastopol.

707.829.3036.


Best Antique Shop

Marin

Dove Place

160 Sir Francis Drake Blvd.,

San Anselmo. 415.453.1490.

Napa

Antiques on Second

1370 Second St., Napa.

707.252.6353.

Sonoma

Whistlestop Antiques

130 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

707.542.9474.

Sonoma

Honorable Mention

Pierre's Art & Antiques

110 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

707.789.9553.


Best Resale Store

Marin

Home Consignment Center

863 E. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael.

415.456.2765.

Napa

LoLo's

1120 Main St., St. Helena.

707.963.7972.

Sonoma

Sack's Hospice of Petaluma

128 Liberty St., Petaluma.

707.765.2228.

Honorable Mention

Launch

971 Gravenstein Ave., Sebastopol.

707.829.3312.


Best Musical Instruments Store

Marin

Bananas at Large

1504 Fourth St., San Rafael.

415.457.7600.

Napa

All Star Guitars

2522 Jefferson St., Napa.

707.224.6577.

Sonoma

Tall Toad Music

43 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

707.765.6807.

Honorable Mention

People's Music

122 N. Main St., Sebastopol.

707.823.7664.


Best Clothing Store—Men's

Marin

First Place Tie

Louis Thomas Fine Men's Apparel

211 Corte Madera Town Center,

Corte Madera. 415.924.1715.

Gene Hiller

729 Bridgeway, Sausalito.

415.332.3636.

Napa

First Place Tie

Mario's

1223 Main St., St. Helena.

707.963.1603.

A Man's Store

1343 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga.

707.942.2280.

Sonoma

Louis Thomas Fine Men's Apparel

150 Kentucky St., Petaluma.

707.765.1715.

Honorable Mention

Arboretum

332 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.

707.433.7033.


Best Clothing Store—Women's

Marin

First Place Tie

Bella

1332 Fourth St., San Rafael.

415.457.1066.

Viva Diva

1327 Fourth St., San Rafael.

415.256.8380.

Napa

Attitudes

1333 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga

707.942.8420.

Sonoma

Arboretum

332 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.

707.433.7033.

Honorable Mention Tie

Nan Winters

23 Fourth St., Petaluma.

707.778.0163.

StarStruck Boutique

123 Kentucky St., Petaluma.

707.766.6199.


Best Vintage Clothing Store

Marin

First Place Tie

Magpie Consignment

1822 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Fairfax.

415.258.0200.

Shadows

429 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo.

415.459.0574.

Napa

Wild Cat!

1210 First St., Napa.

707.257.8702.

Sonoma

Aubergine

755 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol.

707.827.3460.

Honorable Mention

Hot Couture

101 Third St., Santa Rosa. 707.528.7247.


Best Shoe Store

Marin

Shoe Envy

85 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley.

415.388.3001.

Napa

Bella Tootsie

1373 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga.

707.942.8821.

Sonoma

Sole Desire

441 Coddingtown Center, Santa Rosa.

707.571.8643.

2411 Magowan Drive, Santa Rosa.

707.542.1690.

Honorable Mention

Rainsong Shoes

117 Plaza St., Healdsburg.

707.433.8058.

2410 Magowan Drive, Santa Rosa.

707.576.8919.


Best Costume Shop

Marin

Belrose

1415 Fifth Ave., San Rafael.

415.454.6422.

Napa

Wild Cat!

1210 First St., Napa. 707.257.8702.

Sonoma

Disguise the Limit

100 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

Honorable Mention

Heebe Jeebe General Store

46 Kentucky St., Petaluma.

707.773.3222.


Best Appliance Store

Marin

Martin & Harris Appliances

2158 Fourth St., San Rafael.

415.454.2021.

Napa

Harbison Appliance

333 Third St., Napa. 707.253.2141.

Sonoma

Tee Vax Home Appliance & Kitchen Center

422 Wilson St., Santa Rosa.

707.545.1195.

Honorable Mention

Asien's Appliance

1801 Piner Road, Santa Rosa.

707.838.7822.


Best Culinary Store

Napa

First Place Tie

Shackford's Kitchen Store

1350 Main St., Napa.

707.226.2132.

Culinary Institute of America

2555 Main St., St. Helena.

707.967.0600.

Sonoma

i Leoni

120-B. Kentucky St., Petaluma.

707.762.9611.

Honorable Mention

Hardisty's homewares

1565 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa.

707.545.0534.


Best Furniture Store

Marin

Sunrise Home

831 B St., San Rafael.

415.456.3939.

Napa

Casa Design

1419 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga.

707.942.2228.

Sonoma

Bluestone Main

120 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

707.765.2024.

Honorable Mention

Pedersen's Furniture

707 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.

707.542.1855.


Best Home Improvement

Marin

Jackson's Hardware

435 Du Bois St., San Rafael.

415.454.3740.

Napa

Silverado Ace Hardware

1450 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga.

707.942.4396.

Sonoma

Friedman's Home Improvement

4055 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.584.7811.

1360 Broadway Ave., Sonoma.

707.939.8811.

Honorable Mention

Garrett Ace Hardware

10540 Old Redwood Hwy., Windsor.

707.433.6590.

1340 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.

707.433.5593.


Best Solar Retail

Marin

Marin Solar

1945 Francisco Blvd. E., San Rafael.

415.456.2800.

Sonoma

Solar Works

400 Morris St., Sebastopol.

707.829.8282.


Best Home Furnishings

Marin

Mary's Futons

4100 Redwood Hwy., San Rafael.

415.472.2919.

Napa

Martin Showroom

1350 Main St., St. Helena.

707.967.8787,

Sonoma

First Place Tie

Cokas Diko

529 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

707.548.4044.

Pedersen's Furniture

707 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.

707.542.1855.

Honorable Mention

Mayfield & Co.

127 Kentucky St., Petaluma.

707.776.4950.


Best Real Estate Agent / Company

Marin

Carol Scott Bradley Real Estate

700 Fifth Ave., San Rafael. 415.258.4141.

Napa

Tony Pereira

www.napalandman.com

Sonoma

Jeffrey Seligson

Prudential Realty of Sebastopol

7300 Healdsburg Ave., Sebastopol.

707.824.4543.

Honorable Mention

Frank Howard Allen Realtors

460 Mission Blvd., Santa Rosa.

707.537.3000.


Best Bank

Marin

Tamalpais Bank

www.tambank.com

Napa

Napa Community Bank

700 Trancas St., Napa.

707.227.9300.

Sonoma

Redwood Credit Union

www.redwoodcu.org

Honorable Mention

Exchange Bank

www.exchangebank.com


Best Internet Provider

Marin

Telescience Networks

www.telescience.net

Napa

NapaNet

www.napanet.net

Sonoma

Sonic.Net

www.sonic.net

Honorable Mention

BroadLink Communications

www.broadlink.com


Best Auto Dealer—New

Marin

Sonnen BMW

1599 E. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael.

888.639.2697.

Napa

First Place Tie

Jenson Motor Center

495 Soscol Ave., Napa. 707.253.9100.

Jimmy Vasser Toyota & Chevrolet of Napa

466 Soscol Ave., Napa. 707.927.4466.

583 Soscol Ave., Napa. 707.255.7600.

Sonoma

Freeman Toyota

2875 Corby Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.542.1791.

Honorable Mention

Hansel Prestige

2800 Corby Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.545.6602.


Best Auto Dealer—Used

Marin

Marin Acura

5860 Paradise Drive, Corte Madera.

415.927.5664.

Napa

Epps Chevrolet & Pontiac

555 Main St., St. Helena. 707.200.4297.

Sonoma

Freeman Toyota

2875 Corby Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.542.1791.

Honorable Mention

Hansel Prestige

2800 Corby Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.545.6602.


Best Motorcycle Shop

Marin

Golden Gate Harley Davidson

13 San Clemente Drive, Corte Madera.

415.927.4464.

7077 Redwood Blvd., Novato.

415.878.4988.

Napa

Napa Valley Classics

820 Third St., Napa.

707.253.8185.

Sonoma

Michael's Harley Davidson

7601 Redwood Drive, Cotati.

707.793.9180.

Honorable Mention

Santa Rosa BMW Motorcycles

800 American Way, Windsor.

707.838.9100.


Best Scooter Shop

Marin

MotoMarin

511 E. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael.

415.454.2041.

Napa

First Place Tie

Parriott Motors

1027 Pope St., St Helena.

707.963.3190.

Big Kid Toys

467 Soscol Ave., Napa.

707.256.3300.

Sonoma

Revolution Moto

518 College Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.523.2371.

Honorable Mention

Sorento Imports

455 W. Napa St., Sonoma.

707.938.0800.


Best Auto Detailing

Marin

RAB Motors

540 Francisco Blvd. W., San Rafael.

415.454.0582.

Napa

First Place Tie

Napa Valley Hand Car Wash

1745 Soscol Ave., Napa.

707.224.9566.

Classic Car Wash

1050 Freeway Drive, Napa.

707.255.5655.

Sonoma

Freeman Toyota

2875 Corby Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.542.1791.

Honorable Mention Tie

Mission Car Wash257 College Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.579.9274.

59 Mission Circle, Santa Rosa.

707.537.2040.

Advanced Auto Detailing

2549 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.526.2200.


Best Auto Repair

Marin

Peter & Wolf Car Co.

44 Hoag Ave., San Rafael.

415.453.3501.

Napa

Porter's Auto Garage

1020 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga.

707.942.0178.

Sonoma

Out West Garage

321-B Second St., Petaluma.

707.769.0162.

Honorable Mention

Earth in Upheaval Auto Repair

198 S. High St., Sebastopol.

707.823.3777.


Best Nursery

Marin

Sloat Garden Center

www.sloatgardens.com

Napa

Whiting Nursery

738 Main St., St. Helena.

707.963.5358.

Sonoma

Harmony farm supply & Nursery

3244 Gravenstein Highway N., Sebastopol. 707.823.9125.

Honorable Mention

King's Nursery

1212 13th St., Santa Rosa.

707.542.4782.


Best Grocery Store

Marin

Woodlands Market

735 College Ave., Kentfield.

415.457.8160.

Napa

First Place Tie

Vallergas Market

3385 Solano Ave., Napa.

707.253.2621.

Cal Mart

1491 Lincoln Ave., Calistoga.

707.942.6271.

Sonoma

Oliver's Market

www.oliversmarket.com

Honorable Mention

Andy's Produce Market

1691 Gravenstein Hwy. N.,

Sebastopol. 707.823.8661.


Best Ethnic Market

Marin

First Place Tie

Asian Market

5 Mary St., San Rafael.

415.459.7133.

Azteca Market

555 E. Francisco Blvd., San Rafael. 415.459.0669.

Napa

Vallarta Market

1009 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga.

707.942.8664.

Sonoma

Asia Market

1110 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa.

707.546.9618.

Honorable Mention

Lola's Market

1680 Petaluma Hill Road, Santa Rosa.

707.571.7579.

440 Dutton Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.577.8846.


Best Natural Foods Store

Marin

Good Earth Natural & Organic Foods

1966 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Fairfax.

415.454.0123.

Napa

Golden Carrot Natural Foods

1621 W. Imola Ave., Napa.

707.224.3117.

Sonoma

Community Market

1899 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.546.1806.

Honorable Mention

Oliver's Market

www.oliversmarket.com


Best Cigar / Pipe Shop

Marin

Telford's Pipe & Cigar

664 Redwood Hwy., Mill Valley.

415.388.0440.

Napa

Baker Street Downtown

1018 First St., Napa.

707.255.4434.

Sonoma

Mighty Quinn

3372 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.545.5081.

1099 Fourth St., San Rafael.

415.457.2420.

Honorable Mention Tie

A Man's World Cigar Shop

106-A Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

707.778.1444.

Peacepipe

622 Santa Rosa Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.541.7016.


Best Hair Salon

Marin

Sproos Hair Salon

552 San Anselmo Ave., San Anselmo.

415.457.4900.

Napa

360 Hair & Nail Salon

2450 Foothill Blvd., Calistoga.

707.942.6188.

Sonoma

Elle Lui

205 Fifth St., Santa Rosa.

707.575.1474.

Honorable Mention

Daredevils & Queens

122 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

707.523.4313.


Best Tanning Salon

Napa

First Place Tie

Club Tan

575 Lincoln Ave., Napa.

707.226.2200.

Splash

3367 Solano Ave., Napa.

707.252.3105.

1403 Lincoln Ave., Napa.

707.254.0767.

Sonoma

Sonoma Tanning—The Studio

4795 Old Redwood Hwy., Ste. D,

Santa Rosa. 707.546.1452.

Honorable Mention

Bronze—A Tanning Studio

52 Mission Circle, Santa Rosa.

707.538.1580.

6500 Hembree Lane, Windsor. 707.837.7331.


Best Body-Art Place

Marin

Spider Murphy's

1006 Lincoln Ave., San Rafael.

415.460.6979.

Napa

Garage Ink

1525 Lincoln Ave., Napa. 707.738.0497.

Sonoma

Buddha's Palm

974 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol.

707.829.7256.

Honorable Mention

Monkey Wrench Tattoo

1066 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

707.575.0610.


Best Day Spa

Marin

Asante Day Spa & Holistic Health Center

1003 Third St., San Rafael.

415.460.6506.

Napa

Calistoga Massage Center & Day Spa

1219 Washington St., Calistoga.

707.942.6193.

Sonoma

Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary

209 Bohemian Hwy., Freestone.

707.823.8231.

Honorable Mention

Akoia Day Spa

452-B Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg.

707.433.1270.


Best Resort & Spa

Marin

Cavallo Point Healing Arts Center & Spa

601 Murray Circle, Sausalito.

415.339.4767.

Napa

Solage

755 Silverado Trail, Calistoga.

866.942.7442.

Sonoma

Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa

100 Boyes Blvd., Sonoma.

707.938.9000.

Honorable Mention

Kenwood Inn & Spa

10400 Sonoma Hwy., Kenwood.

707.833.1293.

Best Med Spa


Marin

Robert G. Aycock, MD

575 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Greenbrae.

415.925.1771.

Napa

Spa Gaia

3600 Broadway St., American Canyon.

707.674.0168.

Sonoma

First Place Tie

Chocolat' MedSpa

509 Seventh St., Ste. 101, Santa Rosa.

707.577.8888.

Allegro MedSpa

4625 Quigg Drive, Santa Rosa.

707.537.2123.


Best Acupuncturist

Marin

Stephen Zilber

Whole Health Associates Center for Integrative Medicine

880 Las Gallinas Ave., Ste. #1,

San Rafael. 415.492.9355.

Napa

Dr. Ho Lam Tsang

2005 Delpha Drive, Napa. 707.255.5152.

Sonoma

Saxena Clinic

633 Fourth St., Ste. H, Santa Rosa.

707.575.4826.

Honorable Mention

Dr. Bill Prange

1020 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol.

707.829.1991.


Best Chiropractor

Marin

Barbara Reitz, DC

520 Tamalpais Drive, Ste. 205,

Corte Madera. 415.927.2383.

Napa

Ann Ernish

www.itsyogasthelena.com.

Sonoma

Majid Zeinal

511 S. Main St., Sebastopol.

707.829.9009.

Honorable Mention

Jacob Quihuis, DC

1819 Fourth St., Santa Rosa.

707.523.9850.


Best Orthodontist

Marin

Gorton & Schmohl Orthodontics

6 Loch Loman Drive, San Rafael.

415.459.8006.

Napa

DR. Dale G. Fessenden

176 Main St., St. Helena.

707.963.1203.

Sonoma

Dr. Rael Bernstein

515 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa.

707.575.0600.

Honorable Mention

Drs. Woo & DeBerardinis

1476 Professional Drive, Ste. 506, Petaluma. 707.762.0211.


Best Esthetic Dentist

Marin

Dr. Deidre Burke

1321 S. Eliseo Drive, Greenbrae.

415.461.8735.

Napa

Browns Valley Dental

3257 Browns Valley Road, Napa.

707.257.2800.

Sonoma

Dr. John Buzza

2448 Guerneville Road, Ste. 1200,

Santa Rosa. 707.573.0600.

Honorable Mention

Dr. Clyde L. Schultz

10 W. El Rose, Petaluma.

707.762.9784.


Best Holistic Practitioner

Marin

Ronit Gesundheit

Healing Arts of Marin

7075 Redwood Blvd., Ste. L, Novato.

415.250.4009.

Napa

Janet Garvey-Stangvik

Napa Valley Center for Spiritual Living

1227 Coombs St., Napa.

707.252.4847.

Sonoma

Dr. Sunjya K. Schweig

616 Petaluma Blvd. N., Ste. C, Petaluma.

707.778.3171.

Honorable Mention Tie

Dale White, LAc

1205 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol. 707.824.8381.

Dr. Bill Prange

1020 Gravenstein Hwy. S., Sebastopol.

707.829.1991.


Best Hospital / Healthcare Clinic

Marin

Greenbrae Surgery Center

575 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ste. 3, Greenbrae. 415.925.8900.

Napa

First Place Tie

St. Helena Hospital

10 Woodland Road, St. Helena.

707.963.3611.

Queen of the Valley Hospital

1000 Trancas St., Napa.

707.252.4411.

Sonoma

Palm Drive Hospital

501 Petaluma Ave., Sebastopol.

707.823.8511.

Honorable Mention

Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital

1165 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa.

707.546.3210.


Best Laser Surgery Center

Marin

Mt. Tam Laser & Skin Care

1030 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ste. 130, Kentfield. 415.482.3888.

755 Baywood Drive, Ste. 190, Petaluma.

707.778.3888.

Napa

Eye Care Center

895 Trancas St., Napa.

707.252.2020.

Sonoma

Pacific Laser Eye Care

130 Stony Point Road, Ste. E, Santa Rosa.

707.544.2020

Honorable Mention

Laser Vue Eye Center

3540 Mendocino Ave., Ste. 200,

Santa Rosa. 707.522.6200.


Best Optical Store

Marin

Optica Optometry

807 D St., San Rafael.

415.454.3443.

Napa

First Place Tie

Site for Sore Eyes

1333 Napa Town Center, Napa.

707.224.7483.Eyeworks

1006 First St., Napa.

707.254.2020.

Sonoma

Sonoma Eyeworks

534 Larkfield Shopping Center, Santa Rosa.

707.578.2020.

Honorable Mention

Wong Gordon, OD

66 E. Washington St., Petaluma.

707.778.1048.


Best Plastic Surgeon

Marin

Dr. Kimberly A. Henry

481 Via Hidalgo, Ste. 1, Greenbrae.

415.924.1313.

141 Lynch Creek Way, Petaluma.

707.778.2313.

Napa

Dr. John P. Zimmermann

3443 Villa Lane, Ste. 10, Napa.

707.258.6077.

Sonoma

Dr. David E. Marcus

1128 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.575.1626.

Sonoma

Honorable Mention

Dr. Francisco Canales

4625 Quigg Drive, Santa Rosa.

707.537.2111.


Best Attorney

Marin

Robert H. Powsner

11315 Shoreline Hwy., Ste. C,

Pt. Reyes Station. 415.663.1035.

Napa

Frank G. Toller, Jr.

1407 Main St., St. Helena.

707.963.5547.

Sonoma

Jeremy Olsan Perry, Johnson, Anderson, Miller & Moskowitz

438 First St., Fourth Floor, Santa Rosa.

707.525.8800.

Honorable Mention Tie

Bridget Mackay

100 Fourth St., Petaluma.

707.769.9975.

Chris Andrian

1100 Mendocino Ave., Santa Rosa.

707.527.9381.


Best Nonprofit

Marin

Hospice by the Bay

17 E. Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Larkspur.

415.927.2273.

Napa

First Place Tie

VOICES

1801 Oak St., Napa.

707.251.9432.

ParentsCAN

3299 Claremont Way, Napa.

707.253.7444.

Sonoma

Mentor Me Petaluma

35 Maria Drive, Ste. 852, Petaluma.

707.778.4798.

Honorable Mention

Food for Thought Food Bank

www.fftfoodbank.org


Best Spot to Dig the Dirt

For every "Garden Center" with the same selection of cheap birdbaths made in China and basic plant needs, Santa Rosa has a deep agricultural heritage of nurseries like Imwalle Gardens, Prickett's and your honorable mention for Sonoma County nurseries, King's Nursery.

With an unbeatable selection of roses, peonies, bulbs, hanging baskets and iron trellises, King's also excels in the usual springtime acquisitions. Throw the fertilizer, potting soil, vegetable plants and herbs on one of their flatbed wagons, and a backyard garden is just a couple of dirt-covered arms away. And for the clueless husband buying rose bushes for his wife on their first anniversary, the staff will be happy to offer tips on digging, planting and proper fertilizing.

The business goes back to the 1800s, when George F. King started King's as a grocery store. Four generations later, after an 1896 move to the present location and a jettisoning of milk and eggs, it's been passed down to current owner Fred King. And the constant presence of women providing customer service and tending to the plants is a nice touch, and far more welcoming for most than the beefy guy at Home Depot spraying chemicals on the petunias.—G.M.


Best Use of family for local marketing

On the corner of Trancas and Big Ranch Road, Napa motorists last year were greeted by a rather large banner reading "Miles McArdle's Father Works Here!" Who is Miles McArdle, you ask? Just a regular old Napa eighth grader with a good batting average. "The idea behind it was we're a small-town community organization, and family and all those things are important to us as a bank," explains Patrick McArdle, vice president of Napa Community Bank, your pick for best bank in Napa, and father of the now-famous Miles. "A lot of people came in and didn't know who Miles McArdle was, and didn't know who I was, but they opened accounts once they understood the message behind the sign."

McArdle didn't think of the banner himself, but agreed to the idea and had the sign made—without telling Miles. "We drove by the bank one day, and he saw the sign, and he was shocked and didn't know how to take it at first," McArdle says. "But then he started getting all kinds of phone calls, and he kind of enjoyed it after that."—G.M.


Best Bulwark between gouache and gauche

Bigger is not always better, as Perry's Art Supply proves. How many times have you been inside a big-box "arts and crafts" store, dumbstruck at the lack of customer service? Where fake flowers outnumber gouache watercolors? Where finding someone who knows the best adhesives and acrylics is all but impossible?

Perry's is your readers pick for best art-supply store in Marin, and it's certainly not for size. The small space houses a staggering selection of art supplies, though, and even more importantly, a wealth of product knowledge and customer service. Where other stores might not much care that you're shopping there, let alone allow themselves to be interested in your art project, Perry himself takes a personal investment in the customer's specific needs and has a host of hard-to-find supplies to fit the bill.—G.M.





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