Best of the Bay
Standing out as the Best of the Bay is no accident.
Championship is essential, but it’s not enough.In a competition so wide, to stand out you’ve got to be a champion in your field — whether that field is Best Restaurant, Best Cheap Date, Best Place to People Watch or Best Place to Pick up Bay Weekly.
Just as important is the chemistry you spark with the voters, for it’s got to making energy to get out the vote — make that many votes — in your favor.
What does it take to be Best of the Bay?
We asked that question of our 2010 winners. You’re about to read their answers.
Best Overall Restaurant, Best Seafood, Best Oysters,
Best Softshell Crabs, Best Bar, Best Dock Bar
In terms of our overall success, you surround yourself with good staff who share the same vision, offering a quality product to people and giving them a good product and value.
In this business, there are no guarantees. You can appreciate those awards today, but tomorrow you’ve got to perform. You’ve got to approach every day like a new day. That’s why I stress my staff’s importance. From the service staff to the guys in the kitchen, they’re coming out everyday, putting out a quality product.
As far as winning two Best Bar awards, I think location, being right on the water, is probably Number One. But bartenders create the atmosphere, and these awards are compliments to our bartenders, especially the four to five who run year-round with us.
Sure we use all fresh-squeezed juices and make our drinks a quality product, but you can get a good drink and view at a lot of different place. But it’s bartenders who make the difference. Bay Weekly readers who take the time to vote on Best Bars probably spend a little time at the bar and build rapport with the bartender.
For our seafood, I give credit to Mark Norfolk, our fishmonger, who sources and purchases, reviews and inspects all our fish. We brought him on this year, and he has taken it to the next level in getting the best seasonal product he can find, from softshells out of local waters to oysters from the West Coast.
–John Kozik, owner
Skipper’s Pier, 6158 Drum Point Rd., Deale
The Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa
Best Sunday Brunch
Rod ’n’ Reel Restaurant
Best Charity Event
|The Celebration of Life Gala attracts people from near and far and has raised more than $4 million to fight cancer in its 29 years.|
of Life Gala
The Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa, where hospitality meets the Bay, celebrates 65 years in business in 2011. Since 1946, the owners — the Donovan family — and staff of the resort have strived to provide the ultimate in facilities and services for their guests.
Today’s resort is a one-stop destination, with luxury hotel accommodations, a full-service spa, marinas with slip rentals, charter fishing, the famous Rod ‘n’ Reel Restaurant, Smokey Joe’s Grill and the Boardwalk Café, wedding ceremony and reception sites and meeting facilities — all right on Chesapeake Bay. We’ve tried to make the resort the perfect getaway — for Bay lovers, fishermen and women and people who welcome pampering — and we’re honored that Bay Weekly readers say we’ve succeeded.
A second Best of the Bay, Best Sunday Brunch, is another carefully cultivated success. Food and service are over the top, with a sensational selection of brunch items including omelets and Belgian waffles made to order, homemade doughnuts, a colossal display of seasonal fresh fruit, biscuits with sausage gravy among the vast array of choices. Healthy and plentiful, the Chesapeake Beach Resort Breakfast buffets are a tremendous value for the amount of all you can eat breakfast fare provided.
A third Best of the Bay, Best Charity Event, is a best we’re especially proud of. We’ve partnered with the American Cancer Society for the last 29 years in hosting the Annual Celebration of Life in August. This tremendous fundraiser has raised over $4 million for cancer treatment and research and will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2011. This is a spectacular giant cocktail party that we strive to improve upon in every aspect each year. Our goals are to exceed everyone’s expectations at each event and to eventually see cancer cured.
–Gerald Donovan, president
The Chesapeake Beach Resort and Spa, Rod ’n’ Reel
4165 Mears Ave., Chesapeake Beach
Best Crab House, Best Crab Cake,
Best Crab Soup, Best Place for a Cheap Date
Mike’s Crab House
We’re family oriented and family run; my mother and brothers and I all work here. Our crab cakes and soup are made from my mother’s recipe by Roberta Smith, who’s been our chef for 18 years.
As a crab house, we’re right on the South River, with a big deck and good views and fresh, good quality crabs steamed to order — not presteamed, which ruins a good crab.
So you can relax on a beautiful day or night on the river and take the stress away, we keep our prices affordable. A couple can eat well and drink a couple of draft beers for $30 or $40.
–Tony Piera, co-owner
Mike’s Crab House, 3030 Riva Rd., Riva
Best Beach, Best Place for People Watching
The Town of
The success of a business — or a town — depends upon the people who are associated with the day-to-day operations and their ability to pull together, as a team, behind their leader. This is true in both the public and private sectors; so you surround yourself with the best people possible.
North Beach has done that!
–North Beach Mayor Mark Frazer
Most Bay-Friendly Business
Boatyard Bar & Grill
We’re a member of One Percent for the Planet (www.onepercentfortheplanet.org), founded by Patagonia owner Yvon Chouinard for businesses who donate each year one percent of their sales (not profits!) to environmental causes. The club has taken off since singer-surfer Jack Johnson joined several years ago. Our donations primarily go to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, where I am a trustee.
The Boatyard will hold its 10th annual Spring Catch and Release Rockfish Tournament this coming April. It is the only opening day tournament in the state. All proceeds go to Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Coastal Conservation Association–Maryland and the Annapolis Police Department Youth Fishing Camp.
The Boatyard founded and is the major sponsor of Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Bands in the Sand gala beach party held in June on the beautiful beach at Merrill Center Headquarters, a platinum Leeds building. About 1,000 people come by car or boat to enjoy a fabulous party with three bands and great food and beverages, right on the beach. It’s the foundation’s largest single fundraiser each year.
When you enter the Boatyard, there is a container with Chesapeake Bay Foundation membership forms for its customers to take.
The Boatyard has recycled since its founding nearly 10 years ago and installed a state-of-the-art trash-can-washout room to keep the grease and other pollutants from going down the storm water drains. The Boatyard is also 100 percent green powered.
–Dick Franyo, owner
Boatyard Bar & Grill, 400 Fourth St., Annapolis,
Even Keel Wellness Spa
We really, truly care. We lose sleep worrying about your aches, pains and stresses. We are unhappy if we have not brought you some ease. We consider you part of our family. At Even Keel, we employ only the finest. Our crew is comprised of highly talented massage therapists and skin care specialists who possess energy, passion, integrity and commitment. Unwilling to settle for less, we continue to improve our skills, expand our knowledge and meet the requests of our clients. And like any winning team, we are committed to working hard to support one another along the way.
And did I mention fun? At Even Keel we know that laughter is the best medicine.
–Alexa Zaledonis, owner
Even Keel Wellness Spa, 31 Old Solomons Island Rd., Annapolis,
Best Coffee House
To think of what makes Zü special is easy. To keep it that way is the hard part. Three ingredients go into making a better coffee house: Great product, great place and great people.
I have tried to build a comfy store that lets people relax and feel at home. The drinks are traditional as well as one-of-a-kind. I mean, where can you find Mexican Coffee in town?
The coffee is roasted right here and served within days of roasting in interesting varieties and blends. Some of the blends definitely push the edge, like our “Grounds for Divorce.” (One mean cup of coffee!)
I could not do this without the fantastic employees I have. I feel quite honored to have people move on in life to other jobs or go off to school and yet return to say “hello” or even put in a shift!
Zü also was made a refuge for the insanity of the world. Many neighbors have come in and stayed during blizzards as their power was out. Internet and a warm cup…just like home. So, I hope that everyone continues to drop in to relax and enjoy, ‘cuz.. It’s a Zü out there!!
–Doug Henderson, owner
Zü Coffee, 934 Bay Ridge Rd., Annapolis, 410-990-0731; www.zucoffee.com
|Owners Joe McCall and Alexis Lee at work at Maggie Moo’s.|
The staff of the Maggie Moo’s of Dunkirk sincerely believes in the simple values. We make our award-winning ice cream from only high-quality ingredients, simply prepared and served with a genuine smile and thanks.
We hire from our local schools and train our staff much more than the typical restaurant does. Our employees focus on customer service and ensuring everyone has a wonderful time while enjoying our custom desserts.
We also focus on being part of our community, not only through hiring, but also by working closely with schools, day care centers, scout troops, doctor’s offices and local sports fundraisers. These close ties, being part of everyone’s day-to-day lives, make the simple pleasure of an ice cream cone that much richer.
–co-owners Joe McCall and Alexis Lee
Maggie Moo's Ice Cream & Treatery, 2985 Plaza Dr., Dunkirk, 410-257-5477;
Best New Restaurant, Best Bar
It’s our concept. We’re an all-American bar and grill with a popular menu: steaks, burgers, ribs, and comfort food, plus dinner specials every night. And we’re a place to have fun. We have two large bars, about 30 plasma televisions, a 10-foot video-screen wall and, of course, our mechanical bull.
At night we change the mood. The lights dim, the video screen switches from sports to a video DJ and dance music plays throughout the restaurant. We call it our Late Night Party, with drink specials.
Those are the best new ideas we bring to Annapolis.
–Lori Alfafara, day manager
Cadillac Ranch, 1906 Towne Centre Blvd., Annapolis, 410-224-0263; www.cadillacranchannapolis.com
|Robert Beall, founder of Ledo Pizza.|
We are Maryland’s pizza.
We’ve been around for 55 years. Ledo Pizza is square because when Robert Beall opened the first Ledo right outside the University of Maryland in College Park in 1955, you couldn’t buy round pizza pans. Since then we’ve grown from one Ledo to 100, all individually owned by people who live in the neighborhoods.
But the recipe and cooking process haven’t changed. It’s the same wherever you eat a Ledo Pizza. We use a thin, flaky pastry crust, sweet tomato sauce and smoked provolone cheese.
Of course every pizza is unique because they’re all handmade, handrolled, made to order.
Your readers are right. We are the cheapest place for table service with a nice atmosphere and smiling faces at 100 convenient locations.
Ledo Pizza, 100 Maryland locations, www.ledopizza.com
Best Place to Buy a Bauble
Our business is about much more than the beautiful fine jewelry we carry. We absolutely love what we do and so does our staff. Our customers appreciate that each and every one of them is very important to us. No matter whether it’s someone’s first time in or it’s someone we know by name, everyone get treated like a friend at Dickinson Jewelers. We smile and laugh and listen and care. We have the best customers any business could ever hope to have.
We take pride in the fact that we’re an old-fashioned full-service jewelry store. Our jewelry collections range from amazing diamond rings by designer Simon G to striking nautical jewelry designs to Pandora and everything in between. Our founder, Mr. Claude Dickinson Jr., is still our onsite watchmaker. We provide a full range of jewelry repair services, including appraisals and antique jewelry restoration. We have jewelry designers on staff who personally help customers repurpose their old jewelry and create beautiful new designs, often working with CAD, computer aided design. The comment we hear most often is that our customers trust us. We’ve earned our reputation as the most trusted jeweler in Southern Maryland over the past 53 years.
Thank you to the Bay Weekly readers for choosing Dickinson Jewelers as the Best Place to Buy a Bauble. We believe in supporting our community, so to be selected as a favorite local business really means a lot to us. If you haven’t had a chance to visit, we invite you in and look forward to counting you among our many, many friends.
–Kathy Dickinson, co-owner
Dickinson Jewelers, Dunkirk and Prince Frederick
Best Antique Store
Nice & Fleazy Antiques
We are always in a good mood and feeling wonderful. We recognize the uniqueness of antiques and the uniqueness of our friends. Having fun is always the top priority of our business.
–Dale Thomas, owner
Nice and Fleazy Antiques,
7th & Bay Ave., North Beach, 410-257-3044
Best New Business of 2010
The most important thing is to have merchandise that is unique. We became familiar with teak furniture while sailing around the world. We spent several years in Southeast Asia, home of teak, and saw the wood everywhere. Later when the idea of a furniture business really started developing, contacts made during the sailing years got us started. We began importing teak furniture while living in Puerto Rico. After 10 years in Old San Juan, we started looking for a new home and chose Annapolis.
We have a large selection of outdoor teak furniture and centuries old designs of indoor teak furniture. We buy directly from the furniture makers, which means lower prices because it eliminates middlemen. Furniture is only one part of the business; we have the biggest selection of accessories on Main Street. Again, we import everything directly from the craftsmen, and we can be sure that these same items are not available in every other store.
–Peter and Merja Washburn, owners
Woodcraft Artisans, 155 Main St., Annapolis
Family Auto Mercedes & BMW Specialist
We’re the best thanks to the dedication and hard work of my highly trained and talented employees and the behind-the-scenes support of my wife and family. We continually strive for nothing less than perfection. We work very hard to prevent problems in between service visits by performing a thorough safety and condition inspection each and every time we see our clients’ cars, and we keep our service costs as low as possible by charging fair prices for our labor and consistently working to get the very best deals available on quality replacement parts. We never cut corners or rush work out for the sake of profits. We genuinely care about our clients, love what we do, take great pride in our job — and it shows in our work.
I am very grateful for the vote of confidence Bay Weekly readers have given us.
–Dwayne Crawford, owner
Family Auto Mercedes & BMW Specialist
7657 Binnacle Lane, Owings, 410-257-7009l Benzcare@aol.com
My Butcher and More ...
What makes My Butcher and More the Best? Old-fashioned one-on-one service.
You know us by our first names, and we in turn know how you like your steaks cut.
Our business is 100 percent sustainable. We buy from local businesses, and I visit all the local farms we buy from.
What you get at My Butcher and More is local, wholesome, healthful, aged meats custom cut on premise to your taste.
–Mike Smollon, president
My Butcher and More ... 1410 Forest Dr., Annapolis,
Best Ladies Boutique
Chez elle Boutique
The success of Chez elle Boutique is our personal touch, respect for the customer and attention to detail. It’s also about the community, for the clothes take on a life of their own beyond the sales day. Chez elle Boutique is a part of our customers’ experiences in their weddings, Christmas parties, lunch dates or whatever else they are buying for. I consider that a privilege.
It’s with heartfelt thanks and appreciation to my customers that I am here and successful.
–Cathreen Benny, owner
Chez elle Boutique, 9132 Bay Ave., North Beach
Most Bay-Friendly Business
Skills Barber Shop
We try to treat everybody like friends; nobody’s a stranger. In seven years in business, we’ve gathered such a diverse clientele that everybody feels welcome. Often on Saturday mornings there are coffee and donuts in the shop, and I go to the homes of several customers who can’t come to me for their hair cuts.
We’re friendly in bigger ways, too. We sent all our hair cuttings, it must have been 40 boxes of hair, to help capture oil from the spill on the Gulf Coast.
Skills Barber Shop, 1761 Horace Ward Rd., Owings, 410-268-9222
Best Yoga Studio
Golden Heart Yoga
What makes Golden Heart Yoga the best Yoga Studio on the Bay? Simple, it’s all about the yoga. This 5000-year-old tradition has been tried, tested and proven. We don’t feel the need to modify it or conform to yoga trends. Golden Heart Yoga has been around since 2004, and since that time we have won many awards and recognitions, three in 2010 alone. At Golden Heart Yoga, there are more than 30 yoga classes to choose from, and we have more than 15 professional teachers all specifically trained in yoga. To maintain the highest quality of instruction, our teachers continually take additional yoga courses. Our teachers are some of the most highly trained teachers in the area.
We have remained consistent with our teaching principles and practices which are:
• yoga: asana
• breath: pranyama
These are the cornerstones of the classes that we teach. If you walk into any one of our classes today, you will be taught by professionals who not only understand the science behind the practice but also realize that to teach yoga is a gift. A gift that we share with the students to help them get what they seek from their yoga practice. Sometimes we start out thinking we need one thing, and then the practice leads us elsewhere. Yoga is not about the teachers or the ego; it is always about the students. We, as teachers, are just caretakers of this gift, this art, this science; we bring our energy, our passion, our love for the yoga principles to the practice.
If you want to experience the pure essence of yoga, then come to Golden Heart Yoga. This is who we are. This is what compels our students to keep coming back. This is what we do best.
–Elizabeth C. Lloyd, owner
Golden Heart Yoga, 179 Admiral Cochrane Dr., Suite 120, Annapolis
South Arundel Veterinary Hospital
We treat each client as if their animal was our own. I would want only the best for all my pets, so I look at every client with the respect and understanding of their love for their pet. My children call my dogs their brother and sister.
South Arundel Veterinary Hospital, 85 Central Ave. W, Edgewater, 410-956-2932; www.southarundelvet.com
Alexander’s of Annapolis
I’m a visionary, so what I do is I reinvent myself every chance I can. I’m always looking for better services, as far as what are the top services available, whether they’re trendy or embellishments to make services better. Take straightening hair, for example. The Brazilian Blowout is the best service on the market to keep hair in great condition and to also keep the curl from getting frizzy.
I also feel that looking at straightening and hair colors and techniques is a continuing education for our business to always make sure we’re at the cutting edge and — if even better — the first ones doing that service.
That’s why I think we get a lot of recognition for being the Best from Bay Weekly: Because if you’re a visionary, you’re always going to set yourself apart.
–Alexander Westmoreland, owner
Alexander’s of Annapolis Salon & Day Spa
2307B Forest Dr., Annapolis, 410-266-6694; www.AlexandersDaySpa.com
Calvert Marine Museum
What makes the Calvert Marine Museum the Best Bay Museum as voted by Bay Weekly readers year after year, indeed for four years?
This is an honor we appreciate and work hard to deserve. But why would people think we are a museum they love to visit, that we are best at anything?
I often meet people who envision a dull, dry, boring place with old stuff displayed behind glass with uniformed guards telling them not to breathe on the glass. The Calvert Marine Museum certainly is not that. We tell the story of the natural and cultural history of Southern Maryland in an engaging, educational and fun manner. With the largest Miocene fossil collection outside of the Smithsonian, including the remains of great white sharks that were the size of a tour bus; a 15-tank aquarium that features the fish, jellyfish and other creatures who inhabit the Bay and rivers, including two river otters, Bubbles and Squeak; and boats, two lighthouses, an oyster canning facility and hour cruises on a 111-year-old Bugeye — what is not to like?
But I think it is more than our innovative educational programs, interactive exhibits, pleasant surroundings, wonderful museum store and dozens of classes, workshops, lectures and hands-on activities. It is the people who make the difference. The paid staff, as well as nearly 250 volunteers, personalize the visitors’ experience, make them feel at home and engage them to learn and enjoy the many things we have to offer. We try to not only meet our visitors’ expectations, but to exceed them.
Years ago a girl left me a note in my suggestion box saying, “I’m 12 years old and easily bored, but this place is great and I am glad my mother made me come.” Recently a six-year-old wrote, “This place is the best place.”
So it is more than the “figureheads, fish, fossils, food and fun” that bring people back again and again, but also the friendly staff and volunteers who go out of their way to make our visitors feel part of the family.
–Doug Alves, executive director
Calvert Marine Museum, 14200 Solomons Island Rd. South, Solomons,
Best Consignment Shop
New to You
Our customers always come first. First, taking into account women’s schedules, our hours are long. We’re open seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm Monday through Saturday (and two hours longer, till 8pm on Wednesday), and Sunday noon to 5pm.
Second, we run our business with a personal touch. We’re family. The three of us — mother Madeline Powers and sisters Pam Jones and Susan Hummer — are celebrating our 25th year in business. And we treat our customers like family. They come in to unwind, to fill their time pleasantly and not feel pressured to buy.
Our consignment shop also helps both the economy and the environment. Economically, we help you to save money and make money. Environmentally, we keep the landfills from filling up by helping your goods find the right new owner. If items don’t sell, we donate them to Beacon Light Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Parole, where they’re donated to homeless people.
–Pam Jones, owner
New to You, 1916 Forest Dr., Annapolis, 410-263-2211
Daohe Fang, Eastern Acupuncture & Herbal Center
I have my patients and I care about the people who come to see me, and that is good because people come to me in trust that I will hear, understand and relieve their troubles, sometimes very serious troubles for which they’ve not found relief in Western medicine.
In that atmosphere of trust, I use my knowledge of methods thousands of years old to analyze what kind of problem they have and how my natural healing knowledge and Western medicine training can help them. Traditional Chinese medicine can often not only relieve the symptoms that are troubling people but also correct the problems that cause the symptoms.
While helping people get past their pain, these methods also create a sense of well-being and improved general health. People tell me that far from hurting, acupuncture makes them feel good as well as feel better.
I feel good, too, that my patients have voted me this honor.
–Daohe Fang, owner
Eastern Acupuncture & Herbal Center, Daohe Fang, owner
108 Old Solomons Island Rd., Suite U6, Annapolis, 410-224-0084
Best Prix-Fixe Menu
Our prix-fixe is such a great value for our customers, especially on Monday and Wednesday when we also have half-priced bottles of wine. The menu also has so many options. While most prix-fixe menus are limited to what you can order, with ours you are free to choose anything from our menu. Everything is made to order, so we have a lot of flexibility with changes or food allergies.
–Erin Dryden, co-owner
Luna Blu, Erin Dryden and Michelina Scotto, owners
36 West St., Annapolis, 410-267-9950; www.lunabluofannapolis.com
|Jean Radeackar, the treasurer of PAWS pet rescue group, and Mary Beth Gates, Pepper’s Pet Pantry owner. The store kitty is a rescue named Shy-anne.|
Best Pet Shop
Pepper’s Pet Pantry
Caring about our customers and their pets gives us a leg up on some other businesses. We pay attention to details and accommodate requests. Offering great customer service and having a personal relationship with people and their four-legged friends is a priority to everyone at Pepper’s Pet Pantry stores. We are also very involved in supporting and fundraising for animal rescue groups as well as low cost spay and neuter programs.
–Mary Beth Gates, owner
Pepper’s Pet Pantry, 13858 Solomons Island Rd., Solomons, 410-326-4006
Best Golf Course
Twin Shields Golf Club
Our golf course has to be the best because we were taught by the best, our dad Roy Shields. He instilled in us the importance of great customer service and always hiring a friendly staff.
–Karen Shields, co-owner
Twin Shields Golf Club,
Karen and Diane Shields, owners
2425 Roarty Rd., Dunkirk,
Dr. Kathy Farley
I think it’s a combination of doing a lot right.
First, my staff are highly educated and great with people, and they make our patients feel comfortable.
Education is also a huge part of how we do our best. I’ve done unending hours of continuing education beyond dental school to master the skills and best new materials to provide people services they can’t get somewhere else. My staff also travels all over the country for continuing education. That gives us a cutting edge.
Next, I work in combination with amazing specialists, For example, I use one of the best ceramicists in the world, so we can create porcelain that looks just like natural teeth.
I do a lot of cosmetic work from simple to complex to make people’s smiles more attractive. When you can change a person’s complete look and make them look happy and bright and attractive, they smile more and a bigger personality comes out more. I am successful when I make somebody feel good and feel like it’s natural.
The practice also does a lot of community service. We’ve sponsored an annual children’s dental day 15 or 16 years, when we spend a whole day seeing 50 to 60 kids who can’t afford dental work. We do a lot of fundraisers for cancer and sponsor families at Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve also reconstructed the mouth of an abuse victim, through the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Give Back a Smile program. Our patients work with us and donate money so we can do these things.
When you treat people with kindness and respect, don’t hurt them and do a beautiful job of painless dentistry for them, it makes them want to come back.
–Dr. Kathy Farley
Dr. Kathy Farley, 600 Ridgely Ave., Annapolis
Heavenly Chicken and Ribs
These are the attributes that make Heavenly Chicken and Ribs — and our wings — the Best on the Bay:
Be clean and fresh (Only as good as our last meal)
Quick service restaurant (Service with a smile)
Be local, buy local (Take care of our friends)
Be given, give back (Care)
Support our troops, local teams and kids (Family)
Support education: reading, math, science, music and arts (Knowledge)
Support our services: Police, Fire, EMT, nurses (Health and safety)
Family- and friends-friendly (Love them)
Make memories (History matters)
Drive to our customers and we cater to them (Give them service)
Listen to their requests (Be willing to change)
And grow and change (Grow)
Beer, wine, spirits (Be mature and respectful)
Fun (Have fun and laugh)
–Gary R. Armstrong Jr., owner
Heavenly Chicken and Ribs
10812 Town Center Blvd., Dunkirk, 410-286-9660, www.heavenlychickenandribs.com
Sweet Sue’s Bake Shop & Coffee Bar
What is the recipe for being voted Best Bakery year after year?
Combine equal amounts of hard work, creativity and customer service, then add generous portions of a great staff and a fun work environment. Blend carefully and allow to rise to the top. Then garnish with attention to detail and professionalism and serve to the public with a side dish of gratitude.
We constantly create new products. Many times it is the result of listening to our customers’ requests. Other times, it flows from the creativity of our staff, many of whom are artists in their own right. Our customers is the key, for they are willing to tell us what they like and don’t like. They feel like family to us: They share with us and we share with them. And our staff of ten is definitely family. We hire the best and then work hard to retain them with good pay, generous benefits and promotions. We also feel it is crucial to team up with fellow merchants to draw more customers to our market. Sweet Sue’s actively supports the local merchant association, the North Beach Loop, local non-profits and the town of North Beach.
The focus on attention to detail and professionalism is characteristic of Sue’s work, creating award-winning wedding cakes for brides throughout Maryland for the past 22 years. Emphasis on customers service comes from Gary’s work in the hospitality industry for a large part of his career. Together they are the foundation of a winning team.
–Gary Dzurec, President
Sweet Sue’s Bake Shop & Coffee Bar, Owners, Gary and Sue Dzurec
9132 C Bay Ave., North Beach, 410-286-8041; email@example.com
Dr. Patricia Jett, Maryland Primary Care
I am honored that my patients think enough of me to nominate me for this award.
I think the thing that sets me apart from my esteemed colleagues is that I am a good listener. Even if I am running behind (which is usual) I will sit and listen to what you need today.
Medicine is not just about blood pressure and diabetes and giving out medicine. What I practice is health care. I think it is important for patients to be balanced in all aspects of their lives. So sometimes they just need to sit and tell me how crazy their husband, wife or children are driving them, or what drama in their life is preventing them from taking care of their health. I see my patients and myself as a team. I am there to guide them, but it is up to them to execute the play.
The best part of my job is sitting down and talking with my patients. Over time we become friends and they no longer see me as the dreaded doctor.
–Dr. Patricia Jett
Dr. Patricia Jett, Maryland Primary Care, 2448 Holly Ave., Annapolis, 410-266-5852
Adam’s the Place for Ribs
We pay attention to details on every plate and we rely on a more personal and friendly atmosphere with our customers and staff.
–Chris Walker, General Manager, Prince Frederick
Best Art Gallery
Main Street Gallery
Here’s what I do to make Main Street Gallery the best:
1. Seek out new work to display, keep the gallery’s look fresh and enticing.
2. Respect the artists I represent.
3. Look for ways to help customers feel welcomed, appreciated and happy.
4. Stick to my motto: Expect Pleasure.
5. Advertise and support community events.
6. Promote creativity as a wonderful and essential part of life.
7. Let the good times roll whenever possible.
We couldn’t be more pleased about the Bay Weekly Best Art Gallery Award. It’s so confirming to know lots of people enjoy what we do, still, after 19 years. Thank you. You have been so good for us.
–Nancy Collery, Owner
Main Street Gallery, 486 Main St., Prince Frederick
Best Flower Shop
Little House of Flowers
At Little House of Flowers we focus everything we do around our fantastic clients. We specialize in making every moment special by offering custom, hand designed flower arrangements to meet our client’s needs. We only use the freshest flowers from the world’s best farms and take a specialized approach with all of our customers. We are able to say with flowers what they perhaps had been unable to say with words.
We specialize in weddings: Our brides tell us that they are so happy they chose Little House of Flowers because of the attention to their needs and of course the final product being exactly what they wanted.
The care, respect and attention to detail to every order are what set Little House of Flowers apart from others. We don’t just deliver flowers, we deliver your love all wrapped up in a beautiful handmade floral arrangement!
–Julie Upchurch, Owner
Little House of Flowers, 377 B Gambrills Rd., Gambrills
Most Scenic Dining
Our unparalleled views of downtown Annapolis and the Naval Academy, impeccable service and first rate cuisine make us a unique part of the Annapolis community. We would like to thank our loyal customers for voting us the best restaurant for scenic dining.
–Rodney Seeberger, General Manager
300 Second St., Annapolis
Squisito: Your Neighborhood Italian Eatery
Squisito means exquisite, and Squisito lives up to this lofty description. With an old world ambiance, Squisito provides a relaxing environment where family and friends gather on a regular basis to share great food, and good times.
Squisito is the place to visit or call for mouthwatering pizza, pasta, salads and sandwiches. Our family recipes are made fresh for you. You’ll fall in love with our authentic Italian dishes served with just the right touch of all the best and freshest ingredients.
We promise quality you can count on:
Our authentic Italian recipes, high-quality ingredients, clean environment, great customer service and competitive prices set us apart. All of our food is made to order, from our salads to our generous servings of pasta dinners. We are dedicated to providing you with only the best-tasting Italian pizza and entrees.
–Gennaro DiMeo, owner
Best Consignment Shop
Big Top Kids
We are always friendly to our customers. We want them to feel that we have been in business for years and that we are part of their extended family. We want to help as many people as possible in these hard economic times, so our items are offered at very reasonable rates. As well as children’s items, we have women’s from maternity to young junior miss and clothing for young guys who might be going to college.
–Sharon Canter, co-owner
Big Top Kids, 30 Dalrymple Rd., Sunderland
Dr. John Cutting
Service has always been a part of my family’s lifestyle. My father was in the Army and now teaches school. My mother works in the House of Representatives, and my sister is an occupational therapist in Florida.
I grew up wanting to work in the medical field to help improve the quality of people’s lives. I chose the dental profession because it allows me more time to build a family and to develop my artistic talents in creating a beautiful smile.
It’s important to be to build relationships with my dental patients. Many patients are apprehensive when it comes to dental work, so my office strives to make each patient feel at ease in every procedureprocedure.
The practice emphasizes comprehensive family and cosmetic dentistry. From invisible braces, root canals and implants to veneers and even Botox, patients are able to have all dental concerns addressed at my office.
I hope to improve the quality of my patients’ lives through education, commitment and communication.
Dr. John Cutting, 1 Dental Rd., Edgewater, 410-956-3525
Best Kids’ Menu
Double T Diner
As with our entire menu, we give kids plenty of options, options of everyday food that people enjoy — and we make sure it’s always good.
We have over 350 items on our menu, and over 25 specials for kids, from ravioli to fried chicken to everyone’s favorite grilled cheese — plus our kids’ choice dessert or ice cream or Jell-o. Plus kid-size portions from our huge breakfast menu.
Kids also enjoy special events at Double T Diner, such as Dinner with Santa.
Double T Diner is so family friendly and kid friendly that even Bart Simpson would be welcome here.
–George Marneris, manager: Annapolis Double T Diner
Double T Diner, 12 Defense St., Annapolis, 410-571-9070; www.doubletdiner.com
Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week