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JEWELRY STORE
Angelo
Runner-up: Andrew Minton Jewelers
As much a modern art gallery as a jewelry store, Angelo, as readers know, combines owner Lee Marraccini’s original designs with work from other jewelry designers, local and further afield. In other words, it’s a true Downtown gem. Runner-up Andrew Minton’s been in business since 1978 and sells fine jewelry from his Seminole Square shop.

PLACE FOR USED BOOKS

Talk about lost in good books! Daedalus Bookshop wins again.

Daedalus Bookshop
Runner-up: Random Row Books
Clear a few hours from your schedule before you pop into Daedalus, again a winner this year. Browsing the labyrinthine store requires patience and curiosity. Owner Sandy McAdams fills the role of loveable curmudgeon, ready to tell you a story or point you in the direction of your new favorite book. In second place, Random Row Books—a veritable book mecca on West Main.

PLACE FOR FASHION ACCESSORIES
Anthropologie
Runner-up: Cha Cha’s
“Impulse buy” is not a term that’s lost on you readers. Anthro charms with its big, wooden tables filled to the brim with earrings, necklaces and bracelets with baubles as big as your fist. It’s just too easy to swoon over such lovelies and toss a few last-minute purchases at the cashier. Locals love Cha Cha’s, too, for its kitschy finds and sparkly jewels.

VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE
Glad Rags
Runner-up: Low Vintage (formerly Antics)
One of Charlottesville’s best kept secrets, Tamar Pozzi’s Commonwealth Drive shop —your winner this year—stocks a whole wall of vintage dresses, slips, coats and more. Plus, check out the huge vintage jewelry collection! In the runner-up spot, Low Vintage (the vintage store formerly known as Antics) packs an impressive selection in its below-ground space off the Downtown Mall.

BOUTIQUE CLOTHING STORE
Bittersweet
Runner-up: Eloise
You can say that again.

PLACE FOR A PARTY DRESS
Bittersweet
Runner-up: Eloise
Very funny! Bittersweet usurps the competition twice over this year with its extensive selection of TOMS shoes, Frye boots, jewelry, accessories and, yes, party dresses. Eloise follows close behind with beautiful choices from big names like Foley & Corinna, Milly, and Elizabeth & James.

PLACE TO BUY SHOES
Scarpa
Runner-up: Rack Room Shoes
If the shoe fits, buy it in every color. That’s the readers’ motto, anyway. Barracks Road shoe mecca Scarpa takes No. 1 again this year, offering a bevy of beautiful chaussures for every foot, whether you prefer sky-high heels or sensible flats. Folks who crave a bargain head to one of Rack Room’s two locations, rendering it runner-up again this year.

PLACE TO BUY ATHLETIC GEAR
Ragged Mountain Running Shop
Runner-up: Dick’s Sporting Goods
Runners stop by Mark and Cynthia Lorenzoni’s Elliewood Avenue shop for athletic gear, sure. But it’s more than that. The Lorenzonis take four months to train each employee to analyze gaits, evaluate running injuries and make sound recommendations on correct shoe type and fit. Readers agree, that extra attention to detail is why they continue to buy local, first and foremost.

PLACE FOR KIDS’ CLOTHES
Old Navy
Runner-up: Whimsies
Let’s be honest. Your little angel is likely to smear PB&J all over that outfit anyway. So, you head to Old Navy to grab something you can toss in the wash and not worry if it gets ruined. For parents wanting something a little snazzier than simple shorts and a tee, Whimsies fits the bill. The folks there stock clothes kids want, plus shoes and accessories.

PLACE FOR A MAN’S SUIT
JoS. A. Bank
Runner-up: Men and Boy’s Shop
With the right suit, any old schlub can look like a million bucks. Again this year, you say the best place to turn from Drew Carey to Cary Grant is JoS. A. Bank. Folks there take care of the suit, tie, shoes—you’ll even find cufflinks. Downtown, Men and Boy’s Shop follows suit with friendly service and unique choices.

THRIFT STORE

Readers who love the thrill of the hunt say Goodwill’s the place to shop for bargains.

Goodwill
Runner-up: SPCA Rummage Store
You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. No one understands that better than you—with three Goodwill locations in the area (at Pantops, 29N and Ruckersville), you can get your bargain on from practically anywhere. Nabbing the runner-up spot is the SPCA Rummage Store, where you can find half-price books at the first of every month.

LOCAL HARDWARE STORE
Martin Hardware
Runner-up: Crozet Hardware
If you had a hammer, you wouldn’t need to stop by Martin Hardware. And, even once you get one, the Preston Avenue shop gives you plenty of reasons to return. Most recently, the folks at Martin took over the building next door and filled it with the extensive Weber Grill collection previously housed in the basement. It just keeps getting better. Ballot newcomer Crozet Hardware keeps handy folks in Albemarle properly outfitted.

PLACE TO BUY WINE
Market Street Wineshop
Runner-up: Wine Warehouse
Want a little cheese with that wine? Readers agree Market Street Wineshop is the best spot for sniffing, sipping and spending a few bucks on a new bottle. The Downtown and 29N shop both offer gulp-worthy choices, plus snacks for noshing. Wine Warehouse offers top bottles for the budget-conscious.

PLACE TO BUY BEER
Beer Run
Runner-up: Market Street Wineshop
It’s easy just to hop down to the nearest convenience store and grab a six-pack of cheap (in cost and taste) brew, but readers know this category is about more than the suds. The winner presents multiple coolers of lesser known and popular choices in addition to the smell of yummy food wafting from the kitchen. Market Street Wineshop offers two locations for all your boozing needs.

CITY MARKET STALL
Taco stand
Runner-up: The Baker’s Palette
Is 8am too early for a fresh tortilla with marinated pork, queso fresco, onions and cilantro? No way, José. At least, not if you ask readers. You voted for Al Pastor’s taco stand again this year, followed closely by fresh-from-the-fryer donuts from Downtown treat purveyor Baker’s Palette.

LOCAL GROCERY STORE

C’ville Market’s Lonnie Brice keeps your apples fresh and shiny.

C’ville Market
Runner-up: Market Street Market
The retail arm of wholesaler Cavalier Produce, C’ville Market on Carlton Road offers local alternatives to the kind of processed food you’ll find at major grocery chains, an entire room chilled to keep produce fresh, plus a 10 percent discount for seniors on Wednesdays. Market Street Market rounds out the category with its convenient Downtown location and unique selection.

PLACE FOR FURNITURE
Circa
Runner-up: Artful Lodger
They say the things you own end up owning you. Again this year, readers say shopping at Circa makes it totally worth it. The McIntire Plaza shop boasts 10,000 square feet and a high turnover. In other words, come back often—you never know what you’ll find. Downtown, you shop at Artful Lodger, where owners Caroline and Christopher Minsky curate each beautiful piece.

PLACE FOR ANTIQUES
Circa
Runner-up: The Covesville Store
Making a house a home requires a bit more than heading to a big-box store for mass-produced chotchkies. You like something with a bit more history and you say there’s no better place to go than Circa. Heck, you’re already there buying furniture. Might as well take home a few decorative items to sprinkle around your abode. Fifteen miles south of Charlottesville, Covesville feeds your need for a true treasure hunt.

PLACE FOR MUSIC GEAR
Charlottesville Music
Runner-up: Stacy’s Music Shop
Rentals, repairs and lessons are just three of the services offered at Charlottesville Music, your winner this year. The Seminole Trail spot’s been around since 1983, so it’s in tune with local music lovers (and their needs). Stacy’s Music, in the Rio Hill Shopping Center, offers a recording studio for businesses, bands and musicians.

NURSERY

Would a nursery by any other name smell as sweet? Ivy’s your pick this year.

Ivy Nursery
Runner-up: Eltzroth & Thompson Greenhouse
Not blessed with a green thumb? That’s O.K. Readers agree, Ivy Nursery can turn even novice gardeners into flora enthusiasts. Clare and George Carter’s seven acres of fresh herbs and flowers surround a gift shop filled to the brim with garden supplies and décor. Eltzroth & Thompson’s 11 warmed greenhouses have helped outfit your yard for more than 40 years.

FLORIST
Hedge Fine Blooms
Runner-up: University Florists
Now in its fourth year under the green thumb of owner Karen Walker, Hedge wins again. You turn to the Main Street Market and Second Street shops for artful arrangements. Over in Barracks Road, runner-up University Florists is tops for flower and gift delivery.

TOY STORE
Shenanigans
Runner-up: Alakazam
It’s a true testament to a toy store’s staying power that the things in stock appeal to both children and adults. Readers say Shenanigans keeps them entertained year after year. Downtown toy mecca Alakazam makes it easy to outfit your playroom from your playroom, with the recent addition of its online store.

RECORD STORE
Plan 9
Runner-up: Sidetracks
There’s a sort of stick-it-to-the-man mentality when shopping at places like Plan 9 or Sidetracks. No, sir—the digital music age won’t run these folks out of business. We like the smell of vinyl. We like ripping the plastic off a CD and fighting to peel back the sticker around the edge. We like talking to the music fiends who run the store. Hell no! We won’t go!

BIKE SHOP
Blue Wheel Bicycles
Runner-up: Performance Bicycle Shop
A true biker’s bike shop, Blue Wheel wins again this year. Owners Roger Friend and Scott Paisley have ridden nearly every road in Central Virginia for the last 40 years, so it’s no wonder you turn to them for advice on how to ride safely and comfortably in and around town. Over in Seminole Square, Performance takes the runner-up spot for its huge selection of bikes and riding gear.

PLACE FOR PET SUPPLIES
Pet Food Discounters
Runner-up: PetSmart
It doesn’t matter if you’re a cat person or a dog person (or both!). Pet Food Discounters doesn’t discriminate. In fact, the Woodbrook Drive store stocks supplies for bird, horse and livestock people, too. Look for brands like Natura and Blue Seal. Runner-up PetSmart rules the pet supply roost from two locations.

PLACE FOR GIFTS

You’ll find Socks the Fox on the shelves at O’Suzannah—your pick for best place for gifts.

O’Suzannah
Runner-up: Cha Cha’s
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2011 is the year of the rabbit. According to O’Suzannah, it’s the year of the fox and whale. The Downtown store has a knack for picking up on the latest trend in fauna. (Last year, it was all about the squirrel and owl.) What’s more, owner Suzannah Fischer has a keen eye for all things charming and delightful. Likewise, Cha Cha’s on the Downtown Mall packs a punch with its retro décor and inventory with a sense of humor.

PLACE FOR GREETING CARDS
Rock Paper Scissors
Runner-up: Hallmark
Back on the Downtown Mall for a little over a year now, Rock Paper Scissors takes the No. 1 spot again. Around this time last year, it was celebrating a six-month anniversary under new ownership and adding even more to the already extensive selection of greeting cards. We like this Happy Birthday card, from the Old Tom Foolery line:
It’s your birthday.*
*Wow, you were born. Whoopee.

PLACE TO BUY A CAR
Brown’s Automotive
Runner-up: Carmax
In this economy, it’s nice to know that when you’re about to plunk down your hard-earned bucks on something like a car, the person selling you that car isn’t just out to get your money. Readers agree, the honest folks at Brown aim to get you in a vehicle that’s not only safe, but affordable. Those who like a sneak peek of their options visit carmax.com, then head to the Pantops showroom for in-person negotiations.

ECO-FRIENDLY BUSINESS
Blue Ridge Eco Shop
Runner-up: Sustain
The Blue Ridge Eco family got a bit bigger this year, as owners Paige and Hakon Mattson welcomed a wee baby boy into the world in July. But the Downtown Mall store didn’t win on family values alone—its free classes in composting and keeping your house energy efficient landed it the No. 1 spot in this new category. Eco-conscious clothing, jewelry and home goods store Sustain takes runner-up.

LOCAL ETSY STORE
Just A Little Ditty
Runner-up: One Wild Oat
Never heard of Etsy? You’re outta the loop, man. The Web-based retail community boasts more than 60 local “stores,” including the winner of this new category, Just A Little Ditty. Owner Dickie Morris’ reclaimed hand bags have been charming shoppers since 2008. Runner-up One Wild Oat’s Leah Cochran produces hand-printed apparel with water-based ink in her virtual store.

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Retail intro video by Okay Yellow

JEWELRY STORE
Angelo
Runner-up: Andrew Minton Jewelers
We suspect he stays on top year after year not simply because jewelry artist Lee Marraccini designs beautiful bling, but because he and his wife, Pam, run more than a jewelry store. They run a jewelry gallery. Next to cases of Lee’s own beauties are collections from more than 40 other designers, many of them local. Talk about sportsmanship. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR FASHION ACCESSORIES
Cha Cha’s
Runner-up: Eloise
There aren’t too many places where you can find cat eye sunglasses, bauble rings and pins with sassy messages all in one store. Cha Cha’s fills that void for you readers, and then some. You turn to Eloise, your runner-up, for a fine-tuned selection of pendant necklaces, bracelets and earrings—often made by local designers!

The secret to long life is good jeans, as Jean Theory makes clear.

PLACE FOR JEANS
Jean Theory
Runner-up: Judy b. Jeans
Jean Theory took the runner-up spot in this category last year, but this time around, readers decided they couldn’t get enough of owner Laura Van Camp’s choice of denim. Whether brand new or “Inherited,” them’s some good jeans. You still love runner-up Judy b. for the store’s promise to always find you the best fit.

VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE
Antics
Runner-up: Bittersweet
Antics is exactly what a vintage clothing store should be: tucked away on a Downtown Mall side street and filled to the brim with quirky clothes and accessories. This year, readers recognize the Fifth Street shop for the fantastic resource it is. Your runner-up, Bittersweet, now in a new Mall location, actually hasn’t specialized in vintage clothing for a while. But, when something’s that good, it’s not easily forgotten. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR A PARTY DRESS
Eloise
Runner-up: Jean Theory
Nobody does “party dress” better than the ladies (and gent) of Eloise, themselves wont to make your shopping experience a very fun affair. They’ll take the Cynthia Vincent dress you’ve picked out and top it off with a little sparkle and tell you how great you look. Indeed, it’s hard to leave without feeling fabulous. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE TO BUY SHOES
Scarpa
Runner-up: Rack Room Shoes
After years and years of choosing Scarpa, you readers are causing us some concern: Are you addicted to buying gorgeous shoes? Not that we can blame you. Owner Amy Gardner stocks such top-notch choices —like Loeffler Randall and Amalfi—that we can see where you’d have a problem. Now that we think about it, is it a problem at all? You can’t walk around barefoot all the time. It’s just not healthy. For more information on this winner, click here

Who has the best doggone pet supplies in town? Pet Food Discounters, that’s who.

PLACE FOR PET SUPPLIES
Pet Food Discounters
Runner-up: Pet Supplies Plus
One thing’s for sure: Readers like a bargain. You chose Pet Food Discounters in this new category for its hearty selection and 25 years of experience in the biz. Your runner-up, Pet Supplies Plus, also never disappoints. With more than 10,000 items in stock every day, readers usually find what they need. 

PLACE TO BUY RUNNING GEAR
Ragged Mountain Running Shop
Runner-up: Charlottesville Running Company
With umpteen marathons available to locals’ blistered feet each year, one thing is clear: Charlottesville is for runners. Readers say nobody knows this better than Mark and Cynthia Lorenzoni, who’ve operated their Elliewood shop since 1982. They specialize in finding the best shoe for your gait, posture and form, but they’ll also train newbies interested in running a marathon. Talk about putting your best foot forward. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR KIDS’ CLOTHES
Petit Bebe
Runner-up: Whimsies
Little scores big in this kid-centric category. Petit Bebe takes the win this year, beating out former winner Whimsies for the top spot. You visit PB for wee clothes, toys and skillfully chosen baby gifts and gear. For those up Barracks Road, Whimsies is the place to be. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR A MAN’S SUIT
JoS. A. Bank
Runner-up: Men’s Wearhouse
With more than 100 years in the biz, JoS. A. Bank is a natural fit to win this category. The Barracks Road store sells everything from tuxedos to golf apparel. No wonder readers keep going back. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE TO RENT MEN’S FORMALWEAR
Men’s Wearhouse
Runner-up: Men & Boy’s Shop
What does it take to turn Michael Moore into Clive Owen? $49.99. That’s the base price for renting a suit at Men’s Wearhouse, this year’s winner. With two locations—at Rio Road and Shopper’s World Court—readers can dapper up their look twice over. East Main Street’s Men & Boy’s Shop stands tall in the No. 2 spot. 

SECONDHAND CLOTHING STORE
Goodwill
Runner-up: Jean Theory
Some people just don’t have a taste for rummaging through someone else’s discards. Some do. You say Goodwill is the best place to find a treasure, be it a vintage coat, some new-to-you housewares or even lacy PJs. Just be sure to wash, rinse, repeat. 

LOCAL HARDWARE STORE
Martin Hardware
Runner-up: Meadowbrook Hardware
In some ways, it doesn’t surprise us at all that, during June’s microburst, Martin Hardware was just about the only place in town that had power, thanks to the store’s backup generators. It’s that same attention to detail that nails them first place every year. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE TO BUY WINE
Market Street Wineshop
Runner-up: Wine Warehouse
Two locations for this year’s winner keep it a nose above the competition. Each spot—one Downtown and one on Seminole Trail—stocks fine wine, beer, breads and cheeses and wine accessories like corkscrews and bottle toppers. Winos near Hydraulic Road say Wine Warehouse has the answer. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE TO BUY BEER
Beer Run
Runner-up: Market Street Wineshop
It’s no surprise that you’d say Beer Run is the best place to buy beer (see Best Draft Beer Selection). We suspect readers think Beer Run is also one of the best places to drink beer, too. With the Belmont spot’s outdoor patio and ample indoor seating (check out those copper-topped tables!) you could sit there all day. BR is open from 8am until at least 10pm every night. For more information on this winner, click here.

CITY MARKET STALL
Taco stand
Runner-up: Radical Roots
Mmm mmm good. We’d say more about Ignacio and Maria Beccera’s Saturday morning City Market treats, but our mouths are filled with a delicious handmade tortilla topped with marinated pork, queso fresco, onions and cilantro. You’ll just have to wait until we’re done chewing. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the throngs of people standing in line for one of these delicacies, it’s that patience is a virtue.

PLACE FOR FURNITURE
Circa
Runner-up: The Artful Lodger
This time last year, Circa owner Jackie Binder gave us a video tour of her favorite things in the store. On her list? A vintage dresser, a set of small chairs and a butcher block table. They’re probably gone by now, but as Binder noted in her video, truckloads of new stuff arrive every week. That anticipation alone keeps you going back year after year. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR ANTIQUES
Circa
Runner-up: The Consignment House
It’s hard to say what you’ll find at Circa. That’s the benefit of a secondhand shop. Like its runner-up, Circa stocks everything from traditional, to contemporary to funky and fantastic. You could make an entire day out of shopping at this year’s winner. In fact, you’d almost have to: 10,000 square feet calls for more than just an afternoon of browsing. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR HOME ACCESSORIES
Circa
Runner-up: World Market
Circa, Circa, Circa. Readers love the McIntire Plaza store for its furniture, its antiques and, come to think of it, its home accessories in general. Is there nothing this store can do wrong? In the runner-up spot, World Market dazzles with its unique ethnic offerings, from pillows and curtains to cabinets and cookware. Don’t mind the “Made in China” sticker on the bottom of your shower caddy. 
For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR USED BOOKS
Daedalus Bookshop
Runner-up: Blue Whale Books
Casual book browsers, beware: Daedalus will suck you in with its free book table, hold you captive with its three labyrinthine floors of in- and out-of-print books and spit you out onto Fourth Street a converted bibliophile. A bit farther down the Mall, Blue Whale offers collectible and scholarly hardcovers. 

NURSERY
Ivy Nursery
Runner-up: Snow’s Garden Center
Here’s the secret to Ivy Nursery’s success: Its proprietors, Clare and George Carter, each have a masters degree in Landscape Architecture. Translation: When it comes to knowing what to grow and where to grow it, they’ve got it in the bag (of mulch?). Snow’s, your runner-up, takes second place with 98 years of experience and a special appreciation for fruits and veggies. For more information on this winner, click here.

FLORIST
Hedge Fine Blooms
Runner-up: University Florists
Compared to the charm of walking into the perfumed air of Hedge and hand-picking a tulip here and a lily there, well, a flower at any other store just doesn’t seem to smell as sweet. You chose the Downtown shop again this year. And your runner-up, University Florists, always delivers a beautiful bouquet. For more information on this winner, click here.

TOY STORE
Shenanigans
Runner-up: Alakazam
You know how they say, “It isn’t all fun and games”? At Shenanigans, that couldn’t be farther from the truth. The Barracks Road shop takes the lead again this year because they’re just so gosh darn good at having a great time. Meanwhile, Downtown toy spot Alakazam holds tight to the runner-up spot. For more information on this winner, click here.

BIKE SHOP
Blue Wheel Bicycles
Runner-up: Performance Bicycle Shop
It’s no surprise readers go to Roger Friend and Scott Paisley’s shop to buy bikes, but they also visit the Ix Building spot to get bicycle gear, repairs and solid riding advice. With nearly 40 years in the bike business, Blue Wheel’s got the goods. For more information on this winner, click here.

Looking for a lifesaver? Raphael Strumlauf’s Market Street Market comes in handy—and in first place.

LOCAL GROCERY STORE
Market Street Market
Runner-up: C’ville Market
This year’s best grocery store has many merits, of course (delicious $4 Boar’s Head turkey sandwich, anyone?), but never in history were so many people glad to go grocery shopping than this past winter. Flocks of local residents showed up to the shop during the blizzard(s) to get everything from paper towels to potatoes. And now that there’s no snow? Readers say MSM still makes them feel warm and fuzzy. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR GIFTS
O’Suzannah
Runner-up: Cha Cha’s
Again this year, readers agree: Owner Suzannah Fischer’s shop is so sweet and carefully curated that you’ll start to make up gift-giving occasions. Our recommendation: anything with a squirrel theme. Squirrels never disappoint. For more information on this winner, click here.

PLACE FOR GREETING CARDS
Rock Paper Scissors
Runner-up: O’Suzannah
Talk about a good move. Earlier this year, new RPS owners Dani Antol and Heather McNulty moved the local card shop back Downtown and, boy, are you readers happy! The ladies plan to expand the store’s selection of gift items and up the ante in the design department, but for now, readers are happy to browse the card selection or have the ladies whip them up something RSVP-worthy. 

Charlottesville Music is nothing if not noteworthy.

PLACE FOR MUSIC GEAR
Charlottesville Music
Runner-up: Heinz Musitronics
German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said, “Without music, life would be an error.” It’s good, then, that your winner in this new category is whole-heartedly committed to keeping the music alive. Established in 1983, Charlottesville Music specializes in the three Rs: rentals, retail and repairs. Not a musician? The Seminole Trail shop offers lessons, too. 

 

 

 

 

 

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