Shoe Repair

Jesse’s Shoes and Repair

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

Finalist Step-N-Out Instant Shoe Repair

Copy Shop


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

Frame Shop

Aaron Brothers Art & Framing

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


Longs Drug Stores

Seven locations

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

Finalist Sav-On Drugs

Weight-Loss Program

Weight Watchers

(800) 651-6000

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

Magi Myggen


“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


Lonnie Wu


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

Finalist Lori Guynes


Dr. John Craviotto – Craviotto Family Chiropractic

2922 De la Vina St., 563-0007; 90 W. Hwy. 246, Buellton,

“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


Santa Barbara Dental Care

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


Dr. Wendy Fink Santizo

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

Handyman Service

A Jack of All Trades

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

Silvia’s 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

Finalist Molly Maid

Personnel/Temp Agency

Santa Barbara Staffing

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

Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort Santa Barbara

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

Retirement Residence

Maravilla Senior Living

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

Finalist Casa Dorinda Retirement Residence

Travel Agency

AAA Automobile Club of Southern California

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


Santa Barbara Bank & Trust

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

Stephen Fountain


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

Finalist Cynthia Lore

Study Spot

Santa Barbara Public Library

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.

Finalist Starbucks


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