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Representatives of Parkway Elementary School are all smiles as they make their entrance to the Best of the Best event on Thursday. Pictured, from left, are Melissa Costin, Jamie Dale, Stephen Schmal, Jennifer Lacey and Tiffany Reece.

Photos by MARK MITCHELL




Originally published: 2014-04-12 16:29:53
Last modified: 2014-04-14 13:41:08

BEST of the BEST

by Anna Oakes

More than 200 people were in attendance for the annual Watauga Democrat Best of the Best dinner and awards banquet held at the Boone United Methodist Church in Boone Thursday.

Dozens of Watauga County businesses and organizations -- from pet stores and pharmacies to cosmetologists and car dealers -- were recognized as the "Best of the Best," as voted by Watauga Democrat readers. SkyLine/SkyBest and Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants sponsored the event.

Serving as guest speaker was John Cooper, owner and chairman of Mast General Store, which took home the honor for best general store. John, his wife, Faye, and his daughter, Lisa, purchased the historic business in 1979, when they moved to the North Carolina High Country.

"What we came to find was one of the best places to live, work and play," Cooper said.

Cooper urged his fellow business owners and leaders to strive for integrity and community involvement. He also encouraged the award winners to analyze why they were being recognized, to ask themselves if they were being the best they could be and, if not, to seek ways to improve.

U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx was also at the event and gave brief remarks. She congratulated all of the winners and noted that she was familiar with the blood, sweat and tears that go into running a small business.

"It's not our government that makes our country great; it's people like you that make our country great," she said.

In the weeks leading up to the awards banquet, Watauga Democrat readers filled out ballots published in the newspaper, selecting their favorites in more than 100 categories, including best burger, best pizza, best gym, best attorney, best doctor and best real estate agent.

All award winners received a certificate to display at their places of business signifying them as the "Best of the Best."

Bandana's Bar-B-Que catered the dinner, with Boone United Methodist Church pastor Jason Byassee giving the invocation. The Todd Wright Trio performed throughout the evening, and Log House Florist contributed floral arrangements. Mountain Times Publications Publisher Gene Fowler and Advertising Director Charlie Price shared hosting and presentation duties.

Sponsor SkyLine/SkyBest interviewed attendees throughout the evening and will be broadcasting the event on SkyZone Channel 1 at 9:30 p.m. April 20.

BARBECUE RESTAURANT

Woodlands Barbecue & Pickin' Parlor           Winner

Bandana's Bar-B-Q & Grill    Finalist (2nd)

Big Mo's BBQ           Finalist (3rd)

 

BEST SERVICE

The Peddler Steakhouse          Winner

Chick-fil-A      Finalist (2nd)

Joy Bistro       Finalist (3rd)

 

CHINESE RESTAURANT

Hunan Winner

Taste Grill       Finalist (2nd)

China Buffet   Finalist (3rd)

 

COFFEE SHOP

Higher Grounds          Winner

Espresso News           Finalist (2nd)

 

DELI/SUB

Subway           Winner

Jimmy John's Finalist (2nd)

Jersey Mike's Finalist (3rd)

 

FAST FOOD RESTAURANT

Chick-fil-A      Winner

Wendy's         Finalist (2nd)

The Come Back Shack            Finalist (3rd)

 

FINE DINING

The Peddler Steakhouse          Winner

Joy Bistro       Finalist (2nd)

Gamekeeper    Finalist (3rd)

 

FRENCH FRIES

McDonald's    Winner

Bojangles         Finalist (2nd)

Five Guys       Finalist (3rd)

 

HAMBURGER

Five Guys       Winner

Wendy's         Finalist (2nd)

The Come Back Shack            Finalist (3rd)

 

HOME COOKING

Mountain House Restaurant  Winner

Cracker Barrel Finalist (2nd)

Proper Finalist (3rd)

 

HOT DOG

Trolly Stop     Winner

Hardee's          Finalist (2nd)

Hill Top Drive-in        Finalist (3rd)

 

ICE CREAM/YOGURT

Sweet Frog      Winner

Kilwin's          Finalist (2nd)

Marble Slab Creamery (closed)          Finalist (3rd)

 

ITALIAN RESTAURANT

Casa Rustica Restaurant         Winner

Primo's           Finalist (2nd)

Bella's Italian Restaurant        Finalist (3rd)

 

JAPANESE RESTAURANT

Makoto's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar           Winner

Hokkaido Japanese Seafood and Steakhouse  Finalist (2nd)

CoBo Sushi Bistro and Bar     Finalist (3rd)

 

MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Dos Amigos    Winner

Los Arcoiris    Finalist (2nd)

Mi Carreta      Finalist (3rd)

 

PIZZA RESTAURANT

Mellow Mushroom    Winner

Pizza Hut        Finalist (2nd)

Papa Johns      Finalist (3rd)

 

SEAFOOD RESTAURANT

Mike's Inland Seafood            Winner

Knight's on Main (closed)      Finalist (2nd)

CoBo Sushi Bistro and Bar     Finalist (3rd)

 

SPORTS BAR

The Rock Sports Bar and Grill           Winner

The Town Tavern       Finalist (2nd)

Cafe Portofino            Finalist (3rd)

 

STEAKHOUSE

The Peddler Steakhouse          Winner

Outback Steakhouse   Finalist (2nd)

Sagebrush        Finalist (3rd)

 

SUSHI

CoBo Sushi Bistro and Bar     Winner

Makoto's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar           Finalist (2nd)

Harris Teeter   Finalist (3rd)

 

ANTIQUE STORE

Antiques On Howard Winner

Boone Antique Mall   Finalist (2nd)

Vintage Vilas   Finalist (3rd)

 

ART STORE

Cheap Joe's Art Stuff Winner

Alta Vista Gallery       Finalist (2nd)

ArtWalk          Finalist (3rd)

 

AUDIO STORE

Audio Grooves           Winner

Radio Shack    Finalist (2nd)

 

AUTO PARTS

Charlie's NAPA Auto Parts   Winner

Critcher's Auto Parts Finalist (2nd)

Advance Auto Parts   Finalist (3rd)

 

AUTO REPAIR SHOP

AJ's Tire and Auto     Winner

Alray Tire and Auto   Finalist (2nd)

Hampton's Auto Body Shop Finalist (3rd)

 

BAKERY

Stick Boy Bread Company     Winner

Panera Bread   Finalist (2nd)

Valle Crucis Bakery & Cafe    Finalist (3rd)

 

BANK

BB&T Winner

Wells Fargo     Finalist (2nd)

 

BED AND BREAKFAST

The Mast Farm Inn    Winner

Taylor House Inn       Finalist (2nd)

Inn at the Ragged Gardens      Finalist (3rd)

 

BEER BREWERY

Appalachian Mountain Brewery        Winner

The Blowing Rock Ale House            Finalist (2nd)

 

BODY SHOP

Hampton's Auto Body Shop Winner

Mack Brown Chevrolet          Finalist (2nd)

Johnny Sanders           Finalist (3rd)

 

BOOK STORE

Black Bear Books       Winner

Cornerstone Bookstore           Finalist (2nd)

Appalachian Bookstore          Finalist (3rd)

 

BICYCLE STORE

Boone Bike & Touring            Winner

Magic Cycles  Finalist (2nd)

 

CABLE COMPANY

Charter Communications        Winner

Skyline Membership Corp.    Finalist (2nd)

AT&T Finalist (3rd)

 

CAR DEALER (NEW)

Friendship Honda of Boone   Winner

Mack Brown   Finalist (2nd)

Boone Ford     Finalist (3rd)

 

CAR DEALER (USED)

Friendship Honda of Boone   Winner

University Nissan       Finalist (2nd)

Rollins Finalist (3rd)

 

CARPET CLEANER

Bush Carpet Cleaning Winner

Dolbier Floor Care & Restoration, LLC         Finalist (2nd)

Elite Auto detailing     Finalist (3rd)

 

CARPET STORE

Carpet Store    Winner

Blowing Rock Floors & Interiors       Finalist (2nd)

The Carpet House of Boone   Finalist (3rd)

 

 

CATERER

Bandana's Bar-B-Q & Grill    Winner

Big Mo's BBQ           Finalist (2nd)

Woodlands Barbecue  & Pickin' Parlor          Finalist (3rd)

 

CELL PHONE SERVICE

Verizon Wireless         Winner

Carolina West Wireless           Finalist (2nd)

T-Mobile        Finalist (3rd)

 

CHILDREN'S CLOTHIERS

Blue Bird Exchange     Winner

Old Navy        Finalist (2nd)

Belk     Finalist (3rd)

 

COMPUTER REPAIR

Dougnet          Winner

Geeks at Work            Finalist (2nd)

Nordic PC       Finalist (3rd)

 

COMPUTER STORE

Staples            Winner

Walmart          Finalist (2nd)

 

COSMETOLOGIST

Crystal Turbyfill        Winner

Amber Moretz            Finalist (2nd)

Karen Idol       Finalist (3rd)

 

DANCE STUDIO

High Country Dance   Winner

Studio K          Finalist (2nd)

Appalachian Rhythm Finalist (3rd)

 

DAY CARE CENTER

Appalachian Child Development Center        Winner

Greenway Baptist Church      Finalist (2nd)

First Learning Center  Finalist (3rd)

 

DEPARTMENT STORE

Belk     Winner

JC Penney       Finalist (2nd)

Walmart          Finalist (3rd)

 

DRUG STORE

Boone Drug     Winner

Walmart          Finalist (2nd)

Walgreens        Finalist (3rd)

 

DRY CLEANER

A Cleaner World         Winner

Invershield      Finalist (2nd)

 

EXERCISE GYM

Broyhill Wellness Center        Winner

Anytime Fitness         Finalist (2nd)

Deer Valley Sports & Fitness Finalist (3rd)

 

EYEWEAR STORE

Blue Ridge Vision       Winner

Graystone Eye            Finalist (2nd)

Walmart          Finalist (3rd)

 

FARM SUPPLY STORE

Miller's Supply, Inc.  Winner

Watauga Building Supply       Finalist (2nd)

Boone Stockyards       Finalist (3rd)

 

 

FIREPLACE SHOP

Freeman Gas   Winner

 

FLOORING STORE

Blowing Rock Floors & Interiors       Winner

Lowe's Home Improvement   Finalist (2nd)

Carpet One     Finalist (3rd)

 

FLORIST/FLOWER SHOP

Log House Florist       Winner

Bouquet Florist           Finalist (2nd)

Artscapes        Finalist (3rd)

 

FUEL OIL DEALER

Thompson Gas/ Mountain Oil, Inc.   Winner

Appalachian Energies Finalist (2nd)

Blossman Gas Finalist (3rd)

 

FURNITURE STORE

Appalachian Furniture            Winner

Badcock Furniture      Finalist (2nd)

Big Lots          Finalist (3rd)

 

GENERAL STORE

Mast General Store     Winner

Stone Mountain          Finalist (2nd)

Cove Creek     Finalist (3rd)

 

GIFT SHOP

Rivercross       Winner

Watauga Medical        Finalist (2nd)

Hallmark         Finalist (3rd)

 

 

GLASS REPLACEMENT

Appalachian Auto Glass        Winner

Action Auto Glass      Finalist (2nd)

Miller Industries         Finalist (3rd)

 

GOLF COURSE

Boone Golf Club         Winner

Willow Valley Resort Finalist (2nd)

Blowing Rock Finalist (3rd)

 

GROCERY STORE

Harris Teeter   Winner

Food Lion       Finalist (2nd)

Ingles   Finalist (3rd)

 

HARDWARE STORE

Lowe's Home Improvement   Winner

Miller's Supply, Inc.  Finalist (2nd)

New River Building    Finalist (3rd)

 

HEATING AND AIR

Mountaineer Heating and Cooling      Winner

Edmisten Heating and Cooling            Finalist (2nd)

Boone  Finalist (3rd)

 

HOBBY SHOP

Michaels         Winner

Plan 9 Comics Finalist (2nd)

Cheap Joe's Art Stuff Finalist (3rd)

 

HOME DECOR

T.J. Maxx        Winner

ArtWalk          Finalist (2nd)

Savory Thymes          Finalist (3rd)

 

HOME SECURITY

Creekside Electronics, Inc.      Winner

 

HOTEL

Courtyard by Marriott           Winner

Holiday Inn Express   Finalist (2nd)

Best Western  Finalist (3rd)

 

INTERNET PROVIDER

Charter Communications        Winner

Skyline Membership Corp.    Finalist (2nd)

AT&T Finalist (3rd)

 

INVESTMENT COMPANY

Edward Jones Investments     Winner

Allen Wealth Management     Finalist (2nd)

 

JEWERY STORE

The Stone Jewelers     Winner

Saslow's Jewelers       Finalist (2nd)

Old World Galleries    Finalist (3rd)

 

LANDSCAPE COMPANY

Maple Ridge Landscaping      Winner

Estate Maintenance    Finalist (2nd)

Mustard Seed  Finalist (3rd)

 

LUMBER STORE

Lowe's Home Improvement   Winner

New River Building Supply   Finalist (2nd)

Watauga Building Supply       Finalist (3rd)

 

MAGAZINE

All About Women      Winner

Carolina Mountain Life          Finalist (2nd)

HC Health       Finalist (3rd)

 

MENS CLOTHIER

Belk     Winner

Old Navy        Finalist (2nd)

Mast General Store     Finalist (3rd)

 

MOTORCYCLE/ATV

Harley Davidson         Winner

 

MUSIC STORE

Kudzu Music  Winner

Appalachian Music    Finalist (2nd)

641      Finalist (3rd)

 

NATURAL FOOD STORE

Earth Fare       Winner

Bare Essentials            Finalist (2nd)

 

APPLIANCE STORE

Lowe's Home Improvement   Winner

Sears    Finalist (2nd)

 

NAIL SALON

Natural Nails Spa        Winner

City Nails       Finalist (2nd)

Crystal Creek  Finalist (3rd)

 

NIGHT SPOT

Cafe Portofino            Winner

The Town Tavern       Finalist (2nd)

CoBo   Finalist (3rd)

 

OFFICE SUPPLY STORE

Staples            Winner

WJ Office Supply       Finalist (2nd)

 

OIL CHANGE

The Oil Exchange        Winner

Alray Tire and Auto   Finalist (2nd)

Boone Tire Center      Finalist (3rd)

 

PEST CONTROL

Quality Control Termite and Pest      Winner

A-1 Termite and Pest Control            Finalist (2nd)

Terminix          Finalist (3rd)

 

PET STORE

The Pet Place  Winner

Pet Supplies Plus        Finalist (2nd)

Mountain Dog and Friends     Finalist (3rd)

 

PHOTOGRAPHY STUDIO

Elias Photography      Winner

AC Tanner      Finalist (2nd)

Mark Branch   Finalist (3rd)

 

POWER EQUIPMENT

Farmers Rental and Power Equipment           Winner

Boone Rent-All           Finalist (2nd)

Lowe's Home Improvement   Finalist (3rd)

 

PRINTING SHOP

Precision Printing, Inc.            Winner

Creative Printing and Internet Services          

Staples            Finalist (3rd)

 

PROPANE COMPANY

Blue Ridge Energies    Winner

Wallace Propane-Welding Supply      Finalist (2nd)

Blossman        Finalist (3rd)

 

SECONDHAND STORE

Goodwill Industries    Winner

Hebron Colony Ministries     Finalist (2nd)

Wee Cycle       Finalist (3rd)

 

SKI SHOP

Alpine Ski Shop          Winner

Farmers Backside        Finalist (2nd)

 

SPA

Heavenly Touch Spa  Winner

Westglow Resort & Spa         Finalist (2nd)

Chetola Resort            Finalist (3rd)

 

SPORTING GOODS STORE

Hibbett Sports            Winner

Sage Sports     Finalist (2nd)

Walmart          Finalist (3rd)

 

STORAGE FACILITY

Boone Self Storage      Winner

Blue Skies Storage       Finalist (2nd)

The Webb Company  Finalist (3rd)

 

TELEPHONE COMPANY

Skyline Membership Corporation      Winner

Charter Communications        Finalist (2nd)

AT&T Finalist (3rd)

 

TIRE STORE

Boone Tire Center      Winner

Clark Tire        Finalist (2nd)

Alray Tire and Auto   Finalist (3rd)

 

 

TRAVEL AGENCY

Cruise One      Winner

Templeton      Finalist (2nd)

 

WINDOW OR DOOR

Lowe's Home Improvement   Winner

Miller Industries         Finalist (2nd)

Watauga Building Supply       Finalist (3rd)

 

WINE STORE

Peabody's Wine and Beer Merchants            Winner

Wine to Water Finalist (2nd)

 

WOMEN'S BOUTIQUE

Gladiola Girls  Winner

Lucky Penny  Finalist (2nd)

Monkees         Finalist (3rd)

 

ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC

Blue Ridge Acupuncture         Winner

Wellspring Chiropractic and Acupuncture Center     Finalist (2nd)

Boone Healing Arts Center     Finalist (3rd)

 

ANIMAL CLINIC

Appalachian New River Veterinary   Winner

Animal Hospital of Boone      Finalist (2nd)

Animal Medical          Finalist (3rd)

 

ATTORNEY

Tom Speed      Winner

Eggers, Eggers, Eggers and Eggers       Finalist (2nd)

Dustin Stacy   Finalist (3rd)

 

ASSISTED LIVING

Appalachian Brian Estates     Winner

Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living         Finalist (2nd)

Glenbridge Health & Rehabilitation    Finalist (3rd)

 

AUTO SALESPERSON

Dick Brookshire          Winner

Alfred Glover  Finalist (2nd)

Walt Hollingsworth    Finalist (3rd)

 

BEAUTY SALON

Serendipity Massage  Winner

Haircraft          Finalist (2nd)

Christy and Co.          Finalist (3rd)

 

CHIROPRACTOR

Gregory A. Hawthorne, DC   Winner

Dr. John P. Fidler, DC            Finalist (2nd)

Dr. Brad Batchelor      Finalist (3rd)

 

CHURCH

Boone United Methodist Church       Winner

Timbered Ridge Baptist Church         Finalist (2nd)

First Baptist Church of Boone           Finalist (3rd)

 

CPA

Donald P. Thrasher     Winner

Bryce Holder  Finalist (2nd)

Ralph Leonard            Finalist (3rd)

 

DENTIST

R. Lee Warren Winner

Michael Taylor           Finalist (2nd)

Todd Moore   Finalist (3rd)

 

 

ELECTRICAL CONTRACTOR

Gary Trivette Electric Inc.      Winner

Blalock Electric Company      Finalist (2nd)

Glen Davis Electric     Finalist (3rd)

 

FAMILY DOCTOR

Dr. Marshall C. Murrey         Winner

Dr. Charlie L. Sykes   Finalist (2nd)

Dr. Peter J. Haibach    Finalist (3rd)

 

FUNERAL HOME

Hampton Funeral Service       Winner

Austin-Barnes Finalist (2nd)

 

GYNECOLOGIST

Dr. Cecilia F. Grasinger, MD Winner

April J. Greene, CNM            Finalist (2nd)

Carrington Pertallion   Finalist (3rd)

 

HEARING AID SERVICE

Beltone            Winner

Blue Ridge Ear, Nose, and Throat      Finalist (2nd)

 

HOME BUILDER

VPC Builders LLC      Winner

Matt Vincent  Finalist (2nd)

Mark G. Ford Construction   Finalist (3rd)

 

INSURANCE AGENT

Daniel Minton            Winner

Andy Harkins Finalist (2nd)

Eddie Alejandro          Finalist (3rd)

 

INSURANCE OFFICE

Farm Bureau Insurance           Winner

High Country Insurance         Finalist (2nd)

State Farm Insurance  Finalist (3rd)

 

NEWS REPORTER

Sherrie Norris  Winner

Jeff Eason       Finalist (2nd)

Steve Frank     Finalist (3rd)

 

NURSE

Laura Greene  Winner

Evelyn Shelton            Finalist (2nd)

Kathy Gustaveson      Finalist (3rd)

 

NURSE PRACTITIONER

Sue Sweeting   Winner

Carrington Pertalion    Finalist (2nd)

Carol Scott      Finalist (3rd)

 

OPTOMETRIST

Dr. Jack D. Lawrence, OD     Winner

Dr. Daniel J. Sullivan  Finalist (2nd)

Dr. Jeffrey Sutton, OD           Finalist (3rd)

 

ORTHODONTIST

Dr. Michael Mayhew, DDS, MS, PA            Winner

Dr. Rolland Roberts "Kim" Reed       Finalist (2nd)

DR. Nicole Scheffler, DDS, MS, PA  Finalist (3rd)

 

PASTOR

Derrick Wilson            Winner

David Ward     Finalist (2nd)

Roy Dobyns   Finalist (3rd)

 

PHOTOGRAPHER

April D. Greene Photography            Winner

Ashley Tanner            Finalist (2nd)

Lynn Willis     Finalist (3rd)

 

PLUMBING CONTRACTOR

Brooks Plumbing and Heating, Inc.    Winner

Triplett Plumbing and Heating           Finalist (2nd)

Budget Finalist (3rd)

 

PUBLIC SERVANT

R. Lee Warren Winner

Len Hagaman  Finalist (2nd)

Garrett Norris Finalist (3rd)

 

 

REAL ESTATE AGENT

Chad Vincent  Winner

Jason Eldreth  Finalist (2nd)

Tim Hagaman  Finalist (3rd)

 

REAL ESTATE OFFICE

Vincent Properties, Inc.          Winner

A+ Realty       Finalist (2nd)

Weichart          Finalist (3rd)

 

SURGEON

Dr. Tim D. Edmisten, MD     Winner

Dr. Paul S. Dagher, MD         Finalist (2nd)

 

TEACHER

Tiffany Reece Winner

Hope Combs   Finalist (2nd)

 

VETERINARIAN

Dr. Susan Mast, Mast Mobile           Winner

Dr. Howard Johnson  Finalist (2nd)

Boyd Newlin  Finalist (3rd)

 

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Parkway Elementary  Winner

Hardin Park Elementary         Finalist (2nd)

Bethel Elementary      Finalist (3rd)

 

MOTORCYCLE

Harley Davidson         Winner

Honda Finalist (2nd)

 

 

PLACE TO HIDE FROM BOSS

Bathroom        Winner

Parkway          Finalist (2nd)

 

Place to find a new friend

Church            Winner

Walmart          Finalist (2nd)

Boone Mall     Finalist (3rd)

 

PLACE TO WORK

Appalachian State University            Winner

 

SOFT DRINK

Coca-Cola       Winner

Dr Pepper       Finalist (2nd)

 

TRUCK

Chevrolet        Winner

Toyota            Finalist (2nd)

Ford    Finalist (3rd)