L to R Jaime Maldonado, Jason Carrillo, and Jay Carroll of Carroll Plumbing. (October 7, 2019)


Carroll Plumbing & Maintenance

2825 De la Vina St.; 687-2677; carrollplumbingsb.com

“Our favorite part of the job is interacting with customers,” said Pat Carroll, owner of Carroll Plumbing & Maintenance. Providing reliable service to both residential and commercial customers since the 1970s, Carroll is one of the oldest family-owned-and-operated plumbing companies in this area, offering plumbing installations, repairs, and replacements as well as drain cleaning, camera inspections, new construction, and remodeling services. “Being the best means being hardworking,” said Carroll. “And this award means that we need to keep going strong.”
Runner-Up: Wilson Plumbing


La Sumida Nursery

165 S. Patterson Ave.; 964-9944; lasumida.com

Their favorite part of the job is “helping our customers make Santa Barbara beautiful,” according to Amy and Travis Weber, owners of La Sumida Nursery, which has served generations of loyal customers since 1958. Travis, the grandson of founders Harold and Ethel Sumida, said, “A Best Of award is a great compliment and keeps us inspired to keep striving to improve.” The nursery is a happy place to work, said the couple, and “there is something new and funny every single day. We are always laughing.”
Runner-Up: Terra Sol Garden Center

Home Furnishing

Pottery Barn

110 S. Hope Ave.; 687-6707; potterybarn.com

What began as an outlet for slightly imperfect pottery and tabletop closeouts in 1949 is now a thriving retail giant. The local La Cumbre Plaza Pottery Barn outpost has furniture and home decor, as well as complimentary decor and design services from design studio specialists. Wedding registries are easy to use here, with a plethora of one-style-fits-almost-all gift items (scented candles, picture frames, pretty napkins and napkin holders) that are ideal for when you don’t know your hosts very well. Plus, you can’t beat the seasonal sales and holiday decor.
Runner-Up: Porch

Real Estate Company

Village Properties Realtors

Multiple locations; 969-8900; villagesite.com

“Thank you so much for choosing Village Properties as the best real estate company in Santa Barbara. We feel honored to serve you,” said Executive Director Leanne Wood. “We feel honored that our community recognizes all we do for our clients and our community.” As for her favorite part of the job? “Seeing our clients happy, knowing that the process of selling or buying their new home has been a successful one. And having agents who have a happy, balanced, and successful life.”
Runner-Up: Compass Real Estate

Real Estate Team

The Hall Team

801 Chapala St.; 450-8923; hallteamsb.com

“Real estate is very competitive, and there are many great agents in town. To have been chosen as the best is in line with our slogan, ‘The Hall Team Cares,’” said Kevin Hall, Hall Team Member at Compass. “We really do care, and we always strive to leave no detail undone, no matter how small. When you can go back to someone ​— ​after one year or three or 10 ​— ​and have them tell you what a joy it is to live in the home of their dreams, it feels amazing to know that we contributed to that!” Added Team Member Lesley Hall, “The smile of a first-time buyer when we hand them the keys is a moment that always stays with us.”
Runner-Up: Riskin Partners

Real Estate Agent

Kevin Hall, Compass Real Estate

801 Chapala St.; 451-9998; hallteamsb.com

“Buying or selling a home is like completing a puzzle and a maze at the same time. Every home sale is different, and I love being able to figure out the best way to achieve my client’s goals,” said Kevin Hall. “I also love all of Santa Barbara’s unique neighborhoods. It makes it so that everyone can find their place in the world!” What’s our readers’ favorite real estate agent’s favorite part of his job? “Every part of my job is essentially that of a problem solver and troubleshooter. I’m also very competitive and love negotiating and helping my clients ‘win’ whether I’m representing them as a buyer or a seller. It’s so humbling to have been voted the best of Santa Barbara, as I really do think the real estate agent community here is a cut above other areas.”
Runner-Up: Kat Hitchcock

Mortgage Company

[See Living Well: Bank]

Mortgage Agent

Austin Lampson

924 Laguna St.; 869-7100; homeownersfg.com

Our readers’ top pick for mortgage agent for the third year in a row, Austin Lampson and Lampson Team at Homeowners Financial Group are obviously crushing it when it comes to helping homeowners. Her favorite part of the job? “Helping people achieve their goals ​— ​and getting to have fun while doing it. My team and I give our all to our clients; we love the community we live in, and we want to help people live here too.”
Runner-Up: Kelly Marsh

Moving Company


1 N. Calle César Chávez, Ste. 130; 1 (866) 684-7336; movegreen.com

“We love being able to structure each move to accommodate the individual needs and challenges of each client, reducing their stress, making their transitions feel seamless, even fun,” said Erik S. Haney, CEO of Movegreen, Indy readers’ pick for best moving company. The eco-friendly moving company was established in Santa Barbara in 2007; has since expanded to Ventura County, Orange County, and Los Angeles County; and is beginning to franchise the business nationwide, Haney said. “At Movegreen, our top priority is the experience of our clients. We want to exceed your expectations at every point. This award means the most because it is a reflection of our customer satisfaction rating in our community.”
Runner-Up: Mammoth Moving & Storage


Jeff Shelton

119 Fig Ave.; 965-8812; jeffsheltonarchitect.com

If you walk by a building in Santa Barbara and the vibrant colors and whimsical touches make your heart sing and bring a smile to your face, chances are good that architect Jeff Shelton had something to do with it. From the Seussian skinny curves of Ablitt Tower on West Haley to the “house of a thousand paintings” homage on Santa Barbara Street that is Vera Cruz, Shelton always finds a way to make things a little more fun. His humble response to Indy voters: “Thanks! We are very grateful that people are taking the time to consider architecture as a part of the community. I think that people see that at least we are putting a lot of effort into each building, and that we believe that every building needs to positively impact the experience on the street.”
Runner-Up: AB Design Studio

Contractor • Handyman Service

Allen Construction

Two locations; 884-8777; buildallen.com

“There are some great builders in the Santa Barbara area, and we are honored to be nominated and so proud to have received the votes from the community,” said Eric Johnson, vice president of Allen Construction, which won for best contractor and best handyman service. “We have been in business in Santa Barbara for over 35 years and hope to be building beautiful homes well into the future. We would like to continue to be a place where talented people want to work, to continue to be at the forefront of green building and a leader in sustainable building practices.”
Runner-Up (Contractor): Jed Hirsch
Runner-Up (Handyman Service): Santa Barbara Handyman

Roofing Service

Action Roofing

534 E. Ortega St.; 966-3696; aroofing.com

Founded by Jack Martin in 1985, Action Roofing now has 95 full-time employees, many of whom have been there since the company started. “My favorite part of my job is meeting all the people that I get to work with and become friends within this fantastic community,” said Martin, whose title is president and working owner. “Being the best means hard work. If you care about what you do and work very hard, you can achieve being the best. That is a great feeling. The recognition of an award like this shows that the hard work pays off.”
Runner-Up: Martin Roofing Co.

Painting Contractor

Mesa Painting

452-9449; mesapaint.net

Once again voted Indy readers’ favorite painting contractor, Mesa Painting has been serving Santa Barbara County, from Camarillo to Buellton, since 2011. In addition to offering all types of professional painting services ​— ​everything from prep work to repairs, power washing, covering, painting, staining, final walkthrough, and disposal ​— ​Mesa Painting prides itself on maintaining strict environmental standards. Owner Michael Gilmore stresses the importance of using environmentally responsible supplies and paint and ensuring the proper disposal of these items.
Runner-Up: Cordero Painting Company

Antique Store • Vintage Store

The Blue Door

4 E. Yanonali St.; 364-5144; thebluedoorsb.com

As regular patrons know, you have to be nimble to shop vintage. The Blue Door owners Brian Garwood and Carolyn Petersen say their favorite part of the job is the constant change of inventory. “It’s so much fun having new pieces every single day and never having the same thing twice. Our regular customers know they have to act fast if they see something they like!” Winning the Best of Santa Barbara® award for their ever-evolving space, which was established in the Funk Zone in 2014, “helps drive our passion to continue curating a unique and inspiring shopping experience. We’re honored that the Santa Barbara community enjoys the shopping experience we’ve created as much as we do.”
Runner-Up (Antique Store): Antique Alley
Runner-Up (Vintage Store): Punch Vintage

Place to Buy Carpet/Rugs


5610 Hollister Ave., Goleta; 284-0269; carpetonesantabarbara.com

Now known as Carpeteria Carpet One Floor & Home Santa Barbara, Carpeteria (actually located in Old Town Goleta) is part of a cooperative with 1,000 stores worldwide and partnerships with major manufacturers. Whatever kind of covering your feet ​— ​and your floor ​— ​desire, Carpeteria has one of the largest selections of carpet, hardwood, laminate, ceramic tile, vinyl, and area rugs in the county. In town since 1977, this store’s proven track record for service and selection is the reason Indy readers continue to select it as their top place to buy carpets and rugs.
Runner-Up: Santa Barbara Design Center

Mattress Store

Mattress Mike Furniture Gallery

7320 Hollister Ave., Ste. 5, Goleta; 685-4998; mattressmikesb.com

“We are so fortunate to have the community support and to have provided sweet dreams for over 25 years,” said Michael Gustason, owner of Mattress Mike. “This award means that our customers recognize the work our team puts into every sale and delivery, and we are grateful.” As owners of a family-owned business, “it is our honor to be a part of your home.” And people clearly feel at home at Mattress Mike. One of the funniest things that’s ever happened? “A customer fell asleep on one of our beds in the showroom while testing it out.”
Runner-Up: Ortho Mattress

Solar Power Company

Brighten Solar Co.

5380 Overpass Rd., Ste. B; 708-3654; brightensolarco.com

“We love the Santa Barbara community for its diversity, natural beauty, and strong commitment to our environmental protection,” said Marine Schumann, CEO and cofounder of Brighten Solar Co., whose business model has been molded to specifically address the area market and answer the main obstacles to solar in Santa Barbara. “We brought a more flexible and customer-centric approach that particularly resonates with our local audience,” said Schumann. “We’re a team of passionate individuals who really want to make a difference on how energy is sourced and supplied to people. We’re genuinely interested in what we do, and the business community here has been very supportive of us and our passion.”
Runner-Up: Sun Pacific Solar Electric Inc.

Gardening/Landscaping Services

Kitson Landscape

5787 Thornwood Dr.; 681-7010; kitsonlandscape.com

Founded in 1969 by husband-and-wife team Brent and Sally Kitson (with a single van and one employee), the Kitson Landscape tradition continues with Sarah Kitson (Brent and Sally’s eldest daughter) at the helm, and her husband, Dave Fudurich, as the CFO. The booming Santa Barbara County Green Certified Business ​— ​and our readers’ choice for best gardening/landscaping services ​— ​now has 46 trucks, 20 fully equipped maintenance trailers, 17 riding mowers, and 99 employees operating from a 1.25-acre headquarters in Goleta. Kitson Landscape is a consistent award winner of both the annual Santa Barbara Beautiful and Goleta Beautiful awards for its landscape and habitat restoration work, and its clients include Montecito Bank & Trust, Goleta Water District, Serenity House, and Tropicana Del Norte.
Runner-Up: EcoLawn S.B.

House Cleaning Service

Queen of Clean

683-3549; dev.queenofcleanservice.com

“Our favorite part of our job is to have the opportunity to meet new people, the satisfaction of getting praise from satisfied customers, and providing our customers with free time and a clean house for them to enjoy without the pressure of having to clean it,” said Oscar Zapata, vice president of Queen of Clean, the pick for best house cleaning service. As to the future, Zapata said, “We see our business evolving and growing with the times by adopting new technologies and techniques, along with a service that is detailed, honest, well-priced, and insured to keep providing the best services, just as we have done for the past 30 years.”
Runner-Up: MasterCare Home Cleaning

Carpet Cleaning

Star Rug Cleaners

26 E. Cota St.; 966-0855; starrugcleaners.com

“Our favorite part of the job is learning the history behind many of the old rugs we clean, some over 100 years old, then treating them with care to bring them back to life,” said Michael Jensen, owner of Star Rug Cleaners. When asked about the funniest thing that’s ever happened, Jensen offered, “Would it be the time we cleaned a taxidermied dog or giant crochet watermelon? Or maybe the time we cleaned a wooden rocking horse? We like a challenge.” Being the best means “we put our best possible product out every time. We are always pushing to improve our methods and techniques,” said Jensen, who serves as a boardmember of the Association of Rug Care Specialists.
Runner-Up: All Natural Carpet Cleaning

Hardware Store

Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center

415 E. Gutierrez St.; 963-7825; sbhicace.com

“Cowabunga, we’re stoked each and every year we get to take this Best of Santa Barbara® award,” said Gary Simpson, president and owner of Santa Barbara Home Improvement Center, now in its 52nd year in business. Simpson gives huge props to his staff: “They’re the ones truly earning the accolades day in and day out and doing their very best at providing service par excellence. … We are absolutely thrilled every year to know that we’re staying on course and not losing sight of our purpose to be all that we can be as Santa Barbara’s oldest, largest, and most complete home center.”
Runner-Up: Home Depot

Tile Shop


Two locations; tilecodist.com

“My favorite part of my job is I love getting to know our customers and being involved in their projects from inception to completion. Oftentimes, our customers become close friends. I look forward to coming in every day to see what we can create together using our handpicked products from all over the world,” said Gina Burchiere Flint, president of Tileco. “Santa Barbarians love beautiful things, and tile is such an important part of the architecture in this town. I often think about how lucky we are to have a tile store here and to be able to contribute to its beauty.”
Runner-Up: Buena Tile + Stone