Best for Eats and Drink

Best Grocery Store
King Soopers
King Soopers is Boulder’s choice for groceries. And that’s saying something, considering the competition for your business by various specialty food and boutique outlets. But you know how it is – a sure thing is a sure thing. King Soopers knows its people make the difference. “Our teams have stepped up in big ways to take care of the community through this global pandemic,” says Corporate Affairs Manager Jessica Trowbridge. “They have shown up, worked hard and, through it all, have continued to provide top quality service.” King Soopers has what you need, whether it’s dinner to go, a cold kombucha between errands, wrapping paper, a propane tank exchange or – yum – Olathe Sweet, Sweet Corn! “King Soopers has been serving Boulder County for more than 60 years,” Trowbridge says. “We love being part of your community.” 1650 30th St., 3600 Table Mesa Drive,
6550 Lookout Road, Boulder; kingsoopers.com.

Runner Up: Trader Joe’s, 1906 28th St., Boulder, 303.443.0160, traderjoes.com.

Best Liquor Store
Hazel’s Beverage World
Hazel’s has won so many awards that it really needs no introduction. For wine, spirits, beer and mixers, you’re not going to find a more knowledgeable staff or friendlier service. If you want to take a deep dive into craft beer, get suggestions on killer cocktails, or challenge your wine palate, you go to Hazels. Gifts, gift cards and games? Hazel’s. With 76 cooler doors, more than 15,000 products, and a certified Cicerone on staff, Hazel’s isn’t just trying to get you in and out the door. They offer an experience! “We’re happy to win again,” says Marketing Director Hayley Boreen. “It shows that we are still providing what our customers are looking for. We always aim to make it an exceptional shopping experience!” 1955 28th St., Boulder, 303.447.1955, hazelsboulder.com.

Runner Up: Superior Liquor Market, 100 Superior Plaza Way, Superior, 303.499.6600, superiorliquor.com.

Best Wine Merchant
Boulder Wine Merchant
Master Sommelier Brett Zimmerman, celebrating ten years since taking over ownership of the venerable Boulder Wine Merchant, appreciates this big thumbs’ up from the community. “Certainly, this has been the most challenging time ever but we’ve found ways to serve our customers and keep everyone safe,” says Zimmerman. He notes two wine trends since March. “The $15-and-under wines have been selling by the case and high-end, super-premium wines are also popular. In the absence of being able to travel, some customers treat themselves to rare bottles for special occasions at home,” he says. The store also has a following for its beer rarities and accompaniments like cheeses, caviar, crackers and jams.
2690 Broadway, Boulder, 303.443.6761, boulderwine.com.

Runner Up for Best Wine Merchant: Hazel’s Beverage World, 1955 28th St., Boulder, 303.447.1955, hazelsboulder.com.


Best for Home

Best Antique Dealer AND Best Consignment Store
The Amazing Garage Sale
Winning Boulder County Gold is impressive. But winning nine years? That’s amazing! The Amazing Garage Sale opened in 1998, and since they’ve become a must visit for antiques in Boulder. Their warehouse space is full of carefully curated pieces. Owner Judi Lesta has a precise eye for quality. She knows exactly what she wants to carry in her store. “We specialize in mid-century, one-of-a-kind pieces,” she said. “We’re not a thrift store … we’re part gallery, part museum.” But Lesta’s space is friendlier than a stuffy museum. Her stock is locally sourced, so there’s something for everyone’s price range. There’s something for everyone’s tastes, too – furniture, jewelry, antique decorations, you name it. Everyone from students to experienced antiquers should make time to visit. 4919 Broadway, Boulder, 303.447.0417, theamazinggaragesale.com.

Runner Up for Best Antique Dealer: Classic Facets, 942 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.938.8851, classicfacets.com.

Runner Up for Best Consignment Store: Rags Consignments, 3129 28th St., Boulder, 303.440.5758, ragsconsignments.com.

Best Appliance Store
Specialty Appliance
Since 2001, Specialty Appliance has grown into Boulder’s largest locally-owned appliance store. Their three showrooms focus on kitchens. They also carry grills, laundry units and appliance accessories. The in-store staff is ready to “evaluate your needs and help identify the best product for you.”  They don’t upsell, so customers get exactly what they want. Specialty also offers flexible financing through Wells Fargo. There are refrigerators, dishwashers, ranges and food disposal units for every budget. Besides the in-store staff, Specialty Appliance also employs factory-certified installation experts. They’re not contractors, so once you buy, you don’t have to worry about strangers leaving you in the lurch. They’ll “deliver, unpack, connect, inspect and test” every order. With Specialty Appliance, the kitchen of your dreams is closer than you think. 305 McCaslin Blvd., #1, Louisville, 303.516.4015, buyfromsa.com.

Runner Up: Mountain High Appliance, 1130 Pine St., Louisville, 303.665.6850, mountainhighappliance.com.

Best Art Gallery
Mary Williams Fine Arts
It may be off the beaten track, but fine art aficionadoss have been finding their way to this Gunbarrel gallery for years. “It’s pretty rewarding right now to have this show of community support. That’s why we’re able to stay open,” says Mary Williams, owner of Mary Williams Fine Arts. The gallery has become known for it’s exclusive national shows and sales including a large upcoming gathering of fine art pastels. “It’s a rare opportunity to enjoy groups of artists that are otherwise unavailable in Colorado,” she says. Open locally since 1996, the gallery features a comfy outdoor sculpture garden and private and semi-private viewings of the oil paintings, water colors and acrylics in the roomy location. Williams has also moved her entire selection of fine art online and expanded the selection with other works by the artists.
5311 Western Ave., #112, Boulder, 303.938.588, marywilliamsfinearts.com.

Runner Up for Best Art Gallery:  Smith Klein Gallery, 1116 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.444.7200, smithklein.com.

Best Bedding/ Mattress Store
Urban Mattress
The vote is in and the voters’ go-to source for sleep in Boulder is Urban Mattress. “Our customers trust us and the quality of the materials we use. Especially now, they feel like they are investing in their health,” says Madison Williams, co-owner of Urban Mattress. The locally owned, family business designs and builds four lines of mattresses in Colorado. “Our most popular mattress in Boulder is definitely the Camelia. It is built with a natural wool filling, bamboo cover, a comfort layer of latex and micro-coils. It doesn’t off-gas like a lot of other new mattresses,” Williams says. The store has re-opened for regular hours, but private appointments with a sleep consultant are also available at Urban Mattress. 2830 Arapahoe Ave.,
Boulder, 303.440.0288, boulder.urbanmattress.com.

Runner Up for Best Bedding/Mattress Store:Denver Mattress Co., 1945 28th St., Boulder, 303.413.1314,  denvermattress.furniturerow.com.

Best Floor Covering Store
McDonald Carpet One Floor & Home
For the second year in a row, McDonald Carpet One Floor & Home has taken home the gold. “After we were closed for eight weeks, our customers have come back and supported us,” says Co-owner Scott McDonald. “We’re doing a lot of Zoom and Facetime consultations. We can figure out a lot without folks coming into the store,” he says. The family-owned, 43-year-old company offers a full range of carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, vinyl and area rugs. “People have spent six months staring at their old floor coverings and they want a change,” McDonald says. Durable vinyl plank flooring has been a popular choice. McDonald is part of a large flooring cooperative. “That means we can really pass the savings on to the clients and we have a second-to-none warranty on carpeting,” he says. 6367 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 720.432.2916, mcdonaldcarpetoneboulder.com.

Runner Up for Best Floor Covering Store: Meyer Skidmore & Co., 7123 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, 303.444.1174, meyerskidmore.com.

Best Hardware Store
McGuckin Hardware
You know the green vest and you love it. Boulder’s loyalty to McGuckin is ironclad. There’s just been too many decades of top-shelf customer service, awards like this one, and caring for the community. McGuckin goes so far beyond hardware, it’s almost silly that this category win is limited to Best Hardware Store. “We take an old-school approach to customer service and like to help the customer every step of the way,” says Marketing Coordinator Nicolette Power. “Thank you for voting for us! Our customers are the reason we’ve been able to keep the lights on for the last 65 years.” McGuckin is now offering curbside pickup every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for customers who want to reduce contact with the public. Order online and select “Curbside Pickup” at checkout. 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303.443.1822, mcguckin.com.

Runner Up: Home Depot, 1600 29th St., Boulder; 303.449.4221, homedepot.com.

Best Imported Goods Store
Cost Plus World Market
Where else are you going to find that candy you loved in the UK or Japan? That might get you in the door, but you’ll stay for the gorgeous, unique selections in bed and bath, decor and lighting, jewelry, clothing and holiday gifts. A trip to World Market is not a quick one. There’s too much to adore. “From furniture and décor, to gourmet food and entertaining, to seasonal and gifts, World Market offers an amazing and fun assortment of products from around the world,” says Store Manager Jake Darner. “Couple this with our industry-leading customer service and your shopping experience at World Market will not be forgotten!” The store now offers concierge service for customers to purchase online and pick up either in the store or curbside. 1685 28th St., Boulder, 303.938.0757, worldmarket.com.

Runner Up: Indochine Home and Garden, 7123 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, 303.444.7734, indochinehomeimport.com.

Best Hardwood Flooring
Magnus Anderson
Want to “floor” your visitors? Choose Magnus Anderson, six-time award-winning hardwood floor specialists. Co-owner couple Kathy and Bob Hagen find joy in their work. “Especially now, when people are stuck in their homes,” Kathy reflected. “We create beautiful spaces people are happy to be in.” The couple has a tech industry background. Kathy believes it leaves them uniquely suited for home improvement. “We’re very process-oriented,” she explained, “and that was important to make sure our business stayed reliable.” Magnus Anderson knows how to do it right every time. Kathy also attributed their success to Magnus’ employees. “Almost all the credit goes to the employees and craftsmen who work for us … they’re wonderful people.” The appreciation was evident in her voice. “Their hard work makes us successful.”
3000 Airport Drive, #402A, Erie, 303.437.0610, idealhardwoodflooring.com.

Runner Up: Meyer Skidmore & Co., 7123 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, 303.444.1174, meyerskidmore.com.

Best Place to Buy Custom Countertops
Moros Fabrication
When people stay at home for a long time, they tend to notice what they don’t like about their houses. “A lot of them are changing up their kitchens and getting rid of old countertops. They are fed up with what they have and want it to look better this winter,” says Tucker Moss, co-owner of Boulder’s Moros Fabrication. The remodeling fever extends to surfaces for fireplace surrounds, bathroom vanities, bar tops and even showers. “We have a great porcelain-like product that creates a shower surface without seams,” he says. Moros Fabrication has been in business in Boulder and surrounding communities since 1999. “We’re quality-oriented about materials as well as customer service. We’re careful with home installations and any post-install adjustments that come up,” Moros says. The store features an outdoor remnant yard where customers can find bargain surfaces for smaller projects. 3871 Walnut St., Boulder, 303.473.0111, morosfabrication.com.

Runner Up for Best Place to Buy Custom Countertops: Details Design Studio, 7123 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303.442.7887, detailsdesignstudio.com.

Best Home Decor Store AND Best Place to Buy Window Treatments
Innovative Openings
Your room might have a view, but how does the window look? Innovative Openings specializes in window dressings. They regularly win awards for their savvy. Kevin Anderson, sales manager, believes their success comes from three sources. First, 40 years of operation. Next, dedicated employees and low turnover. Finally, their expertise in indoor and outdoor window accessories. “There aren’t many companies out there that do interior and exterior shading products,” Anderson observed. “And this summer especially, there’s been an emphasis on outdoor living.” All these qualities make Innovative Openings suited to serve Boulder homes. Anderson explained that incorporating manufacturing and design makes them a better full-service company. “Getting the [home decor award] blew us away,” he said. “It speaks to what we’re trying to do.” 667 S Pierce Ave., Louisville, 303.665.1305, innovativeopenings.com.

Runner Up for Best Home Decor Store: HomeGoods, 2550 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303.245.9383, homegoods.com.

Runner Up for Best Place to Buy Window Treatments: Drop Match Window Coverings & Wallpaper, 607 S. Broadway, Suite C, Boulder, 303.494.0882, dropmatchboulder.com.

Best Place to Buy Outdoor Furniture AND Best Ski/Snowboard Store
Christy Sports
A deserving two-category win for Christy Sports, where, in summer, you’ll find a huge selection of patio furniture and, by the time you read this, a truly formidable selection of skis and snowboards with the expertise to match it. Christy Sports is no stranger to these pages. Their employees go far beyond meeting customer expectations, working hard to exceed them. The pandemic has caused some changes like limited in-store browsing by appointment and face masks required, but their commitment to your in-store experience hasn’t changed a bit. While Christy Sports has grown so much over the years, the small-company feel remains. Christy Sports has got you covered. 2000 30th St., Boulder, 303.442.2493, christysports.com.

Runner Up for Best Place to Buy Outdoor Furniture: Home Depot, 1600 29th St., Boulder, 303.449.4221, homedepot.com.

Runner Up for Best Ski/Snowboard Store: Epic Mountain Gear, 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder;, 303.938.8799, epicmountaingear.com.


Best for Yard Garden

Best Tree Nursery
The Tree Farm
The Tree Farm is a huge nursery, 40 years old, and well-known for its wide selection. The Spahn family has owned and operated it since the beginning. They ensure each employee understands Colorado’s climate and mountain gardening. Having trouble raising plants? Don’t know what to plant or even where to put it? Someone at The Tree Farm can help you. You might not guess it from the name, but The Tree Farm has more than just plants. The nursery provides seasonal supplies, insect control solutions, disease diagnosis, garden ornaments, furniture and more. The Tree Farm also offers installation services. They’ll even load your car for you, so your plants stay safe. It’s quite literally a one-stop-shop for all things gardening. 11868 Mineral Road, Longmont, 303.652.2961, thetreefarm.com.

Runner Up: CreekSide Tree Nursery, 3283 61st St., Boulder, 303.668.7647, creeksideboulder.com.

Best Wild Bird Supply Store
Front Range Birding Company
With locals spending much more time at home, they started wondering who was tweeting in their own backyards.  “We have a had a lot of new customers coming in to get bird feeders and food. They get guide books so they can identify the birds they see,” says Jamie Simo, manager of Front Range Birding Company in Boulder. Parents are also coming in with their animal-curious kids. The store’s wide range of birding and nature products and services also caters to the serious birders out in the field building their birding life list one species at a time. “We’ve got one of the largest selections of optics, spotting scopes and binoculars. It’s easy now to hook optics into cell phones to save great images,” Simo says. She adds that with winter approaching, the locally owned company has stockpiled everything from heated bird baths to high-energy suet blocks. 5360 Arapahoe Ave., Unit E, Boulder, 303.979.2473, frontrangebirding.com.


Best for Hobbies & Recreation

Best Bicycle Shop
University Bicycles
To call University Bicycles a “full-service bike shop” would be to badly understate things. Ubikes serves Boulder and the surrounding communities with impeccable service and decades of deep bike knowledge. You’re not going to walk in there with a question they can’t answer or a bike problem they can’t at least attempt to solve (and probably will). Of course they’ll sell you a bike, and they’ll care for it long after the transaction with pro bike service and repairs. Their mechanics will get you tuned up, diagnosed, repaired and ready to ride. “It’s been 35 years since Doug started Ubikes,” said General Manager Lester Binegar. “Thanks for all of your unsolicited votes and your continued trust in our ability to serve you.” Pro tip: Use Ubikes’ webstore and delivery service. Your comfort and your terms. 839 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.444.4196, ubikes.com.

Runner Up: Full Cycle Bikes, 1795 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.440.1002, fullcyclebikes.com.

Best Camera Video Photofinishing Store AND Best Custom Framing
Mike’s Camera
You might have heard of the photo-finish, but there’s no close race for Mike’s Camera. Mike’s offers a wide range of services, suitable for the hobbyist or the professional. The store provides equipment repair, photo development, archival framing services and support for larger-scale projects. They even help with corporate events and evidence collection for law enforcement. Now that’s service you can rely on! The community often recognizes Mike’s Camera for equipment quality, extensive services and staff knowledge. In fact, each team member maintains CPC (Certified Photographic Consultant) qualifications. And despite having five Colorado locations, they emphasize personalized service. So no matter what your questions are, someone at Mike’s can answer. The picture’s clear here. Mike’s Camera is a one-stop-shop for every conceivable visual need. 2500 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.443.1715, mikescamera.com.

Runner Up for Best Camera Video Photofinishing Store: ProPhoto Rental, 1644 Conestoga St., #5, Boulder, 303.588.6799, prophotorental.com.

Runner Up for Best Custom Framing: FastFrame Boulder, 2327 30th St., Boulder, 303.448.1000, boulderfastframe.com.

Best Mountaineering Store AND Best Locally Owned Camping Store AND Best Locally Owned Outdoor Rec and Sports
Neptune Mountaineering
Neptune Mountaineering once again rules the hearts of local outdoor enthusiasts and hit a triple in the Boulder County Gold awards. “The Boulder outdoor community loves to support local and independent businesses,” says Shelley Dunbar, co-owner of Neptune Mountaineering. Dunbar attributes the store’s success to staff members who are passionate about mountaineering, camping and trail running. “They treat each customer individually and pay close attention to what each needs to get going,” she says. Since March the store has seen a huge uptick in sales of everything from freeze-dried food and stove fuel. “A lot of people have been saying: ‘Okay, I can’t get on a plane and go somewhere, but I can get away into the mountains.’ Then they realize they don’t have the equipment whether it’s tents or carabiners,” Dunbar says. With winter approaching, customers are looking at base layers and micro-spikes for shoes. 633 S. Broadway, Boulder, 303.499.8866, neptunemountaineering.com.

Runner Up for Best Mountaineering Store: REI, 1789 28th St., Boulder, 303.583.9970, rei.com.

Runner Up for Best Locally Owned Camping Store and Best Locally Owned Outdoor Rec and Sports: Boulder Sports Recycler, 4949 Broadway, Boulder, 303.786.9940, bouldersportsrecycler.com.

Best Fishing Supply Store
Front Range Anglers
Front Range Anglers (FRA) is one of the largest independent Orvis-endorsed fly shops in the country, offering guided fly fishing trips for trout in Boulder and along the entire Front Range. Want to catch a greenback cutthroat in RMNP? They can take you there. “We carry a broad selection of quality fly fishing gear, whether fishing for trout in Colorado or saltwater fly fishing for bonefish in Belize,” says Vice President and COO Madalaine McLaughlin. “We travel more than 200 anglers a year to remote fly fishing destinations like Christmas Island, Yucatan, Belize, Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, Kamchatka and many more. Thank you kindly for voting Front Range Anglers as your No. 1 Fly Fishing Shop the past eight years in a row! We are very thankful for all support of the local fly fishing community!” 2344 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.494.1375, frontrangeanglers.com.

Runner Up: JAX Outdoor Gear, Farm & Ranch, 400 W. South Boulder Road, #3000, Lafayette, 303.665.4900, jaxgoods.com.

Best Running Store
Boulder Running Company
Boulder’s been on the international running map since Frank Shorter won a silver medal in the Olympic marathon in 1976 and the Bolder Boulder launched three years later. Opened in 1995, Boulder Running Company has been there to keep both world class athletes and everyday runners on the road. “We’re proud to be recognized as a critical part of the local running community,” says Scott Sneller, manager of Boulder Running Company’s Boulder store. Since March the store has seen a lot of new runners getting personal fittings for shoes. “A lot of people are looking to be more active including walking and reduce their stress levels by getting outside, Sneller says. Sales of trail shoes have been brisk, as well as traction devices for shoes in the winter. “Finding the right equipment for winter activities is important because it makes it more comfortable. You don’t have to be cold,” Sneller says. 2775 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.786.9255, jackrabbit.com.

Runner Up for Best Running Store: Runners Roost, 629 S. Broadway, Suite E, Boulder, 303.554.7837, runnersroost.com.


Best for Shine

Best Jewelry Store AND Best Company/Store that Gives Back AND Best Customer Service
Walters & Hogsett
Walters & Hogsett knows that jewelry is an extension of you! So a visit to Walters & Hogsett in search of a piece of jewelry that’s perfectly YOU includes meeting with a designer to identify your style, share ideas, and pin down your likes and dislikes. The team knows jewelry inside and out, but they also know the community and do a LOT to support it. “With the pandemic, we understand everyone has felt the impact and we’ve continued to support the charities we have partnered with for decades as it matters to us all,” says Co-owner Mark Vieregg. “We are lucky and excited to celebrate our 40th anniversary this fall. With that history, we are blessed with the trust of our customers and enjoy being part of the fabric of Colorado.” Walters & Hogsett partners with amazing internationally-acclaimed and local designers, whose 2020 collections dazzle and inspire. 2425 Canyon Blvd., Boulder, 303.449.2626, waltersandhogsett.com. 

Runner Up for Best Jewelry Store: Classic Facets, 942 Pearl St., Boulder; 303.938.8851, classicfacets.com.

Runner Up for Best Company/Store that Gives Back: Specialty Appliance, 305 McCaslin Blvd., #1, Louisville, 303.516.4015, buyfromsa.com.

Runner Up for Best Customer Service: Karing Kind, 5854 Rawhide Court, Boulder, 303.449.9333, karingkind.com.

Best Gift Shop
Jacque Michelle
“We listen to our customers and offer them what they want: a happy, helpful and safe environment to discover our many new delights with every visit,” says Janet Taffet, owner. A beautiful, fun, and accessible collection of women’s accessories, clothing, jewelry, gifts and greeting cards is ever-changing, made by local and regional artists and manufacturers, fair trade, and, as always, gift-wrapped for free. “Our community appreciates our customer service, community engagement and ever changing product assortment,” Taffet adds. “This year has seen the creation of our new e-commerce site, jacquemichelle.com. We are excited to share our new platform with our local community and beyond. Our customers will now enjoy the opportunity to shop our store 24 hours a day, seven days a week!” 2670 Broadway, Boulder, 303.786.7628, jacquemichelle.com.

Runner Up: Bliss Boulder, 1643 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.443.0355, blissboulder.com

Best Antique Jewelry Store
Classic Facets
Classic Facets is internationally known for its incredible service and unrivaled knowledge of authentic antique jewelry. The store boasts more than 20,000 pieces from consignors in 37 states and 10 countries! It’s an absolute must when shopping on Pearl Street. “After 36 years, we are still here and we ARE Boulder’s ‘go to place’ for something beautiful and rare,” says Owner Mikki Rainey. “Things are always changing at Classic Facets and in the last six months they really have! The fabulous staff took over and upgraded and freshened up the store. Everybody loves the changes and are commenting on it! Thank you to all who voted for us. We truly appreciate your loyalty and friendship.” Check out Classic Facets’ current offerings on Facebook and Instagram. So many unique pieces! 942 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.938.8851, classicfacets.com.

Runner Up: Cronin Jewelers, 1235 Alpine Ave., Boulder, 303.440.4222, croninjewelers.com.

Best Florist AND Best Garden Center/Plant Nursery
Sturtz & Copeland
New to gardening? Got a green thumb, but need advice? Sturtz & Copeland is ready to help! Floral Department Manager Nicole Blackley rattled off all kinds of nursery services. There’s garden consulting, plant-rearing advice and floral arrangements for all sorts of events. “We always make sure to source premium flowers and plants … oh, and we have a parrot.” You read that right. His name’s Lindy. Sturtz & Copeland employs knowledgeable, experienced staff. Blackley says their knowledge goes beyond what plants look good where. “Whether a plant is sick or whether gardeners need information … we take pride in that for sure.” No matter what questions you have, Sturtz & Copeland is happy to help your knowledge grow. Pay them a visit – and say hi to Lindy the Parrot! 2851 Valmont Road, Boulder, 303.442.6663, sturtzandcopeland.com.

Runner Up for Best Florist: Fiori Flowers, 2620 Broadway St., Boulder, 720.565.2434, fioriboulder.com.

Runner Up for Best Garden Center/Plant Nursery: The Flower Bin, 1805 Nelson Road, Longmont, 303.772.3454, theflowerbin.net.


Best for Threads

Best Costume Store
The Ritz
Generations of party-goers have been getting costumes and party attire at The Ritz and so should you! Owner Susan Nutting and her friendly staff strive to create a fun experience and to have the best costumes “from the sublime to the outrageous and everything in between.” The Ritz’ costumes are divided into rental and purchase, respectively, each brand and item carefully selected to help you achieve a look from any decade, and style, or any character. Obviously 2020 has put some kinks in everybody’s party plans, but doggone it a person’s got to enjoy a “social distancing soirée,” as Nutting puts it. “We love our Boulder home and all the great people who live here! We are grateful to have such unwavering support even in crazy times. Thank you for 43-plus years of keeping Boulder fabulous!” 959 Walnut St., Boulder, 303.443.2850, the-ritz.squarespace.com.

Runner Up: May-Bee’s by Fascinations, 3135 28th St., Boulder, 303.442.7309, fascinations.net.

Best Men’s Clothing Store
The Regiment Shops
“We always appreciate winning this award, but this year is special,” says Gary Cartwright, co-owner of The Regiment Shops in Boulder. “These times have been very challenging. We built our business over the years on tailored clothing. With so many people working from home there has been much less demand for suits, trousers and dress shirts,” he says. The 60-year-old local business features everything from tuxedos to high-end denim. Exclusive brands include Bugatchi, Carrot & Gibbs, Kinross Cashmere, Marcoliani Socks and Scojo Eyewear. “Luckily, people are still getting married and need clothes. A student walked in the other day to get something. His grandfather – who was a customer when he was at CU – recommended us to his grandson,” Cartwright says. During this time, The Regiment Shops limits the number of shoppers, sanitizes dressing rooms between uses and offers private appointments in the store. 2425 Canyon Blvd., #F, Boulder, 303.443.2713, theregimentshops.com.

Runner Up: Nordstrom Rack, 1601 29th St., Boulder, 720.887.3588, stores.nordstromrack.com.

Best Shoe Store
Pedestrian Shops
Pedestrian Shops has been in Zoe Polk’s family for 51 years. They pride themselves on their focus on local needs and styles. “We cater to a really broad slice of people,” Polk said. “When [stocking] the store, we think about the Boulder lifestyle, what kind of outfits people wear to work and play.” As a result, Pedestrian Shops carries a wide range of shoes, from formal sandals to outdoor boots. It’s a balance between affordability, function and style. “It’s things that look cute and are still rugged at the same time,” Polk explained. Pedestrian Shops also prides itself on environmental responsibility. They ship with recyclable boxes, run energy-efficient shops, and encourage staff to walk or take public transport. Plan a day and hoof it to Pedestrian Shops yourself. 1425 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.449.5260; 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303.449.7440, comfortableshoes.com.

Runner Up: Two Sole Sisters, 1703 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.442.0404.

Best Women’s Clothing Store
Barbara & Company
Everybody may be working and playing at home, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t changing out of their sweats. “Currently we’re getting a lot of calls for great tops women can wear when they are in Zoom meetings,” says Kathy King, owner of the longtime Boulder business. “Our customers are asking for comfortable chic clothing and we’re proud to maintain a selection for a wide range of ages and sizes,” King says. The shopping experience is now a little different. Fitting rooms are sanitized after each use and items not purchased are steam cleaned. Private appointments are available. However, the store is a perennial award winner because one thing hasn’t changed: “Our staff are very experienced, fun and knowledgeable. Our customers get to know them. It’s like having a personal shopper,” King says. 1505 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.443.2565, barbaraandcompany.net.

Runner Up:  Jacque Michelle, 2670 Broadway, Boulder, 303.786.7628, jacquemichelle.com.


Best Shopper’s Misc.

Best Eye Wear / Eye Care Store
Aspen Eyewear
Aspen Eyewear regularly wins in this category. It’s easy to see why. For starters, co-owner couple Heinz and Jen Ebner are both certified opticians. “Our family has been in opticals for 70-something years,” Jen said. “We offer a wide range of services. Pretty much anything that involves your eyes except for surgery.” Sure, they have fashionable frames, custom fitting services and eyewear repair. But they also offer eye exams and eye disease management. Aspen Eyewear’s stellar staff helps, too. “We have an awesome staff who’s dedicated to their patient’s care,” Jen said. When asked what she enjoyed most about the work, she said, “I enjoy helping people. They appreciate it as much as I do.” Like so many other local businesses, Aspen Eyewear truly loves its customers. 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Unit E-23, Boulder, 303.447.0210, aspeneyewear.com.

Runner Up: Envision, 1011 Pearl St., Boulder, 303.939.8021, envisionboulder.com.

Best Farm
Black Cat Farm
“For the last decade we have been devoted to taking care of our community through the work we do at our organic farm and restaurants. While our lives and world have been thrown upside down due to COVID-19, our passion for growing amazing food for the people of Boulder has never changed. We’ve been nimble this year in adapting the business model by starting Mabel! the farm truck, opening our popular farm stand on Jay Road and moving the Black Cat out to the farm with dinners at the farm. Through the anxiety and chaos of the spring and summer, Boulder has been there for us. We are overwhelmed with gratitude for the outpouring of care and concern from everyone for the loss of our son, Kelsey. We are stunned by the depth of the community. We are touched and comforted by the humanity and love. We know you are with us as we are for you. We cannot thank you enough,” says Owners Eric and Jill Skokan. 1964 13th St., Boulder, 303.444.5500, blackcatboulder.com.

Runner Up: Cure Organic Farm, 7416 Valmont Road, Boulder, cureorganicfarm.com.

Best Green Products Store
Resource Central
Everything old is new and valuable again at Resource Central, the recycled building materials center which shares a facility with Eco-Cycle. The store recycles reclaimed lumber, stone, cabinetry, doors, windows, tubs, sinks and other salvaged items and resells them for a fraction of the original cost. Customers include DIY-ers, contractors and artists. “It’s great that a small community non-profit was selected for this award,” says Brandon Hill, Program Director of Resource Central. “We work with contractors who are doing demolition. We do deconstruction assessments and offer free pickup at construction sites. It’s a better solution because the materials don’t end up in the landfill and it saves them money,” he says. Anyone can drop off building materials. The current procedure involves driving up to the site where a staff member accepts re-sellable items and offers a tax-deductible receipt. 6400 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, 303.419.5418, resourcecentral.org.

Runner Up:  Hazardous Materials Management Facility, 1901 63rd St., Boulder, 720.564.2251, bouldercounty.org/environment/hazardous-waste/management-facility.

Best Recreational Marijuana Store
Karing Kind
A discreet location, knowledgeable staff members, and a passion for plants. Karing Kind was the first recreational marijuana dispensary to open in the area. Since then, the dispensary’s led legal weed culture for Northern Colorado. Karing Kind is locally owned. But the staff also grows their own plants, mixing up strains similar to a brewery crafting microbrews. Once the flowers are grown,  they’re sold whole or put into edibles. They even have a line of vape suspensions under the label Karing Kind Labs. Karing Kind’s passionate about educating customers. The store wants to become an informational resource for recreational marijuana. Whether you are an experienced user or totally new to the scene, Karing Kind is a perfect place to get involved.
5854 Rawhide Court, Boulder, 303.449.9333, karingkind.com.

Runner Up: The Farm, 2801 Iris Ave., Boulder, 303.440.1323, thefarmco.com.

Best Pet Store AND Best Pet Bakery/Deli AND Best Locally Owned Store
P.C.’s Pantry for Dogs & Cats
Are you a pet owner? Mary Lee Withers, P.C.’s Pantry owner, would call you a guardian. It’s part of her drive to help animals. “Originally, we were a pet bakery,” she said. “People would ask whether we had this or that, and our inventory snowballed.” Two decades later, P.C.’s carries supplies, premium animal food, and accessories. Withers knows her customers and their animals by name. Withers says the distinction between “owners and pets” and “guardians and animals” means humans become more responsible. It’s like the relationship between her store and her customers – a mutual responsibility. Withers wouldn’t have it any other way. “[Customers] will go out of their way to buy local. That’s what’s so great about Boulder.” 2828 30th St., Boulder, 303.245.9909, pcspantry.com.

Runner Up for Best Pet Store: PetSmart, 1850 30th St., Boulder, 303.449.0201, petsmart.com.

Runner Up for Best Pet Bakery/Deli: Breadworks, 2644 Broadway, Boulder, 303.444.5667, bouldercoloradousa.com.

Runner Up for Best Locally Owned Store: McGuckin Hardware, 2525 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303.443.1822, mcguckin.com.

Best Recycled Goods/Thrift Store
TRU Thrift Shop
TRU Thrift Shop boasts a curated selection of high-quality clothing, furniture, jewelry, books and housewares. “We’re mostly volunteer-staffed and we did lose a lot of our older long-time volunteers because of the pandemic,” says Lynn McCullough, manager of the TRU Thrift Shop in Boulder. Since the shop reopened, 10 to 11 a.m. Wednesdays is reserved for high-risk customers. Drive-up donations (cleaned and contained in bags or boxes) are accepted on Fridays and Saturdays. Donations are quarantined three days before being cleaned and priced. “Because of the reduced in-store shopping, we have some items including musical instruments and craft supplies that are also offered online on Craigslist and Etsy,” McCullough says. Sales at the shop support TRU Community Care, originally known as Boulder Hospice. The local nonprofit’s services include TRU Hospice and TRU Pace. 5565 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder, 303.604.5353, trucare.org.

Runner Up: The Amazing Garage Sale, 4919 Broadway, Boulder, 303.447.0417, theamazinggaragesale.com.

Best Women-Owned Store
Meyer Skidmore & Co.
More time at home means more time staring at old, dingy carpet – unless you upgrade. Meyer Skidmore has specialized in hardwood floors since 1984. Owner Abbey Van Horn is a Boulder entrepreneur and construction industry aficionado. Van Horn and the Meyer Skidmore family are helping evolve the construction industry. The field is diversifying, and it’s part of why Van Horn’s ownership deserves recognition. For her part, she has “years of experience, a heart for the industry and employees, an excellent eye for detail and a passion for giving the best service.”Aside from stellar leadership, Meyer Skidmore stands out against other flooring companies. Part of their mission focuses on collaborating with homeowners and contractors. They make installation painless. Their success in this category is well-deserved. 7123 Arapahoe Road, Boulder, 303.444.1174, meyerskidmore.com.

Runner Up: Jacque Michelle, 2670 Broadway, Boulder, 303.786.7628, jacquemichelle.com.