Jesse’s Shoes and Repair
5915 Calle Real, Goleta, 964-3414
Sooner or Later, Everything Need Fixing
5915 Calle Real, Goleta, 964-3414
Jesse is too busy to answer the phone half the time — he’s fixing things. If it’s made of leather, he can repair it — from that vaguely kinky pair of pants to those old Rockports that got you through a lot of city walking and board meetings. Don’t be cowed by the drive out to Goleta, and his prices won’t skin you either. I wonder if he’s heard this kind of joke before?
Finalist Step-N-Out Instant Shoe Repair
5749 Calle Real, Goleta, 964-3522; 1030 State St., 966-2700; 23 S. Hope Ave., 569-5100
Maybe we like Kinko’s best because it’s nice inside. Or, maybe because it’s so full-service and well-lit. Secretly, we suspect it’s not the 24-hour store or even the convenient locations. It’s just the funny name and the fact that it started in Isla Vista and then conquered the world. We knew something would.
Finalist Bill’s Copy Shop
601 State St., 966-3954
Nowadays it’s not unusual to hear about art purchases that end up costing as much to frame as to buy. Maybe it’s okay for a fussy collector, but most of us want frames to accentuate the work and then fade into the wall. Aaron Brothers sells low-priced, high-quality frames, often at two-for-one sales so you can do it yourself. (We suggest you have the Picasso drawing done professionally.) The picture of Aunt Minerva’s trip back to her pretty village can be framed with discount fashionableness.
Finalist Michaels Arts & Crafts
Long ago, the neighborhood drug store was a place to meet at a soda fountain overseen by a kindly semi-doctor who knew some portion of your life history, or at least enough to protect you from drugs that don’t mix or work well. Today there are chains and there are chains. Longs Drugs keeps tabs on you with a computer, but the staff seems selected for their human touches. Maybe they don’t know much neighborhood gossip, but they never fail to point out the money-saving generic deals or to call you when the order is filled.
Finalist Sav-On Drugs
It’s too old now to be a fad. It’s not the network of salvation that Alcoholics Anonymous is, nor is it a support group formed ad hoc by types of survivors, but WW is a group that offers products, meetings, and a sane philosophy proven mostly by the confidence of its faithful users and the readers who’ve voted for it consistently for the last five years.
Finalist Martial Arts Family Fitness
Feng Shui Practitioner
“I’m very happy to win,” said Magi Myggen, who thinks the voters respond to her feng shui methods because they are presented as part of the real world. “I integrate my feng shui into the interior design work so it’s practical and useable, too,” she said. Besides that, she takes time to explain the principles of what she is doing so the reason behind the “magic” can be clear.
Finalist Shawne Mitchell
Some of us were surprised when Lonnie Wu won this year — though she has won many times before — because not long ago she announced her retirement. “I tried to cut my schedule back,” said Wu, “but it’s the work that I love.” Acupuncture healing has taken her all over the globe recently and will continue to do so. “I think acupuncture impacts people on every level, so I hope that in doing this I can help transfer consciousness to make people more compassionate.”
Finalist Lori Guynes
2922 De la Vina St., 563-0007; 90 W. Hwy. 246, Buellton, 688-5545
“I’m flattered,” said Dr. John Craviotto, and when asked why he thought he won, he pleaded something like family values. “Here’s the deal,” he laughed. The fourth-generation Barbareño belongs to a family whose history is still on display downtown across from the Paradise Grill. “You know my uncles own Craviotto Ironworks downtown. I learned from them if you care for the customer, the customer will care for you. So that’s how I try to run my chiropractic business, and I guess it’s working.”
Finalist Dr. Joseph D. Flowers
2411 Bath St., 682-0282
“I think it’s our customer service, if that’s what you’re supposed to call it,” said Brian Frederick, of the popular Cottage Hospital-neighborhood dental office. “I set out a while ago to be more consumer oriented, so we stay open during hours that real people can make.” This now includes Saturdays. Frederick prides himself on great staff, three well-liked hygienists, and has begun bringing other like-minded dentists into the practice. They also specialize in sedation dentistry, which is a big plus for chickens like us.
Finalist Dr. J. David Dart
1629 State St., 569-2318
Dr. Santizo believes it’s the close attention that makes her patients fans. “I like to spend a long time with each patient, like 45 minutes to an hour. We talk about health issues and the whole body. If they want, I like to suggest alternative medicine approaches, too,” she said, “like vitamins.” She also feels that taking time with a prescription if it doesn’t feel right to the patient is always warranted. “I try not to be cranky about anything,” she laughed.
Finalist Dr. Thomas F. Burke
27 W. Anapamu St., Ste. 176, 708-5466
He only began his business in November 2002, but Jim Beltran has gotten our readers’ notice in three of those four years. Maybe he’s popular because of his versatility: He built Elements Restaurant, for instance, but he unclogs drains, too. He believes it’s all about getting to the root of problems. “I don’t just treat the symptoms,” he explained. “If someone asks me to fix something, I also try to figure out why it got that way and prevent it from happening again.”
Finalist Man Around the House
House Cleaning Service
These are people we allow into our homes to observe us at our least guarded, without make-up you might say. It behooves the consumer to know that the housecleaner is approved by others, has experience, and won’t be tellin’ tales about the ring around our collars and tubs. Silvia’s gets the highest mark from the voters — the trust and the promise of a clean crib when you get home.
Finalist Molly Maid
111 E. Arrellaga St., 965-0511
“If you want to work here, you can,” asserted recruiter Juan Sanchez, who said that his agency is searching harder for people rather than for jobs right here and now. But the popularity of S.B. Staffing probably results from its longevity, begun in the early 1970s. “Word of mouth and our long-standing position in this community is probably the biggest reason people voted for us,” said Sanchez.
Finalist Select Personnel Services
Hotel/Motel for Your Relatives
633 E. Cabrillo Blvd., 564-4333
Maybe you want to put your folks there so you can come over and eat at the steakhouse, the regular restaurant, or at the weekend buffets. Maybe it’s the pool. But the combination of beachside location and fancy yet not astronomically priced rooms is probably the reason you give them for shuttling them off there at bedtime. They’ll be fine with it.
Finalist Upham Hotel
5486 Calle Real, Goleta, 696-6000
Most of the staff comes from the luxury resort industry rather than the elderly care world, according to director Brian McCague. That translates into tons of activities, classes, trips around town, and social stuff. And that’s not all — there are two swimming pools, a movie theater, two restaurants, and two beauty salons. “At Maravilla, you can be as active as you want to be,” said McCague.
Finalist Casa Dorinda Retirement Residence
3712 State St., 682-5811
It’s an organization that has offices everywhere in the world, and though membership in AAA gets you discounts, anyone can use the agency. “We’ve been around for 91 years, so we have some connections,” laughed office manager Nancy Alexander. “Travel agents from other offices have a hard time keeping up with us.”
Finalist Santa Barbara Travel Bureau
19 locations, (888) 400-7228
One of the major income-sources in this town is trusts and retirement nest eggs. (Tourism’s down the list a bit.) This means that a lot of us go into a bank that we must trust to get our finances percolating. SBB&T does that and a whole lot more, and it has convenient offices and our city’s name on it right there. See? Makes you proud.
Finalist Washington Mutual
Licensed Massage Therapist
Another perennial winner, Stephen Fountain believes firmly his job is closer to a doctor’s than to a magic-fingers relaxer product. He has seen in the course of his long career people overcome huge disease and injury obstacles, thanks to such personal attention to their bodies. The readers agree he’s got the touch.
Finalist Cynthia Lore
40 E. Anapamu St., 962-7653
It’s got the Internet, it’s got a trainload o’ reference books, and it’s quiet, the latter of which is ruthlessly enforced. Besides, the S.B. library has an architectural calm emanating from the dark walls into all that voluminous space, so to speak. Where else can you go downtown when you need to research the difference between the Virgin Birth and the Immaculate Conception? Where else to memorize those periodic elements? Our readers say it’s unequivocally the library.
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