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Baltimore's Best

Baltimore Sun’s Best: Readers’ Choice 2022 home & garden

The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to veterinary practice. This year’s winners include people and businesses recognized for outstanding service and customer satisfaction over the last year. Several businesses stood out from the crowd despite the downturn in commerce due to the pandemic.

Winners of the Readers’ Choice ballot were selected by readers in May.

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For more categories, go to baltimoresun.com/best.

Best Garden Center/Nursery

Valley View Farms

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1035 York Road, Cockeysville. 410-527-0700. valleyviewfarms.com

Carrie Engel began working at Valley View Farms in 1972 when she was 16 years old as a part-time employee in the produce and plant division.

Since then, Engel, now 66 and greenhouse manager, has been with the company for over 45 years and said while much has changed in the last four decades, the connections they have with their customers remain the same.

“I mean, [the relationship with customers] means the world, it’s why we’re still in business,” Engel said. “You watch what’s happened to so many businesses over the years and we still have a very solid foundation. And it’s the connection between our employees and those customers, and I just think all of us feel like we’re all working towards the same goal.

That goal, according to Engel, is to provide customers with the resources needed to garden and connect. While the business has felt the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic on many fronts, including with their supply chain, Engel said the pandemic has brought out a love of gardening in many people that’s led them to Valley View.

“I think it’s making that connection with nature for people and helping them with this whole COVID thing,” Engel said. “They’ve recognized that tens of millions of people have been drawn to gardening because it does get them outside, and it gets them with their families to some different projects, and we’d like to keep that going and build on it.”

Despite the challenges faced, Engel cited their ownership as part of their continued success. As she explained, the Farm was started in 1962 by brothers William “Billy” and John “Punkey” Foard. Sixty years later, the Farm remains under the ownership of the family, with Billy Foard’s son Andy Foard, now running the business.

A lot of Valley View’s employees have been with the company since the original ownership, Engel said. She feels the involvement of Andy Foard is essential to the business.

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“With COVID, we all met the challenge together to figure out what we’re going to do with not just employees but with the business itself,” Engel said. “And just knowing that the owner is here every day, especially in the busy times and has a handle on what’s going on, I think is really important.”

Aside from the pandemic, Engel said the Farm’s presence within the community has helped solidify its customer base. She specifically noted how coming to Valley View around the holidays has become a tradition for lots of families.

“We appreciate Baltimore and everybody that we have here,” Engel said.

— Caitlyn Freeman


Cleaning service: Dave’s Cleaning Consultants

Honorable mentions:

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The Cleaning Authority - Columbia

M J Baltimore Cleaning Services

Cornerstone Cleaning

Electrician: Walter Electric

Honorable mentions:

Dan Flowers Electric

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Milton Electric Co.

Dynamo Electric LLC

Fence installation: Pyle Fence Co. Inc

Honorable mentions:

Long Fence

Fence & Deck Connection Inc.

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C & C Fencing Inc. (tie)

Freedom Fence and Home Inc. (tie)

Flooring and carpeting: Floors Etc. and Priceless Carpet One Floor & Home (tie)

Honorable mentions:

Carpets By Denny Lee

J D Carpets Inc.

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Bel Air Carpet

Furniture store: Su Casa Furniture

Honorable mentions:

IKEA

Second Chance Inc.

Paradiso

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Garden center/nursery: Valley View Farms

Honorable mentions:

Signature Landscapes

Walther Gardens at White Oak

Sun Nurseries

Handyman: Clarksville Construction Services Inc.

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Honorable mentions:

Brothers Services Co.

Krause Companies

Allied Remodeling

Hardware store: Clarks ACE Hardware, Ellicott City

Honorable mentions:

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Falkenhan’s Hardware

Waverly Ace Hardware

Federal Hill Ace Hardware

Home security installation: Strat Security Systems

Honorable mention:

CRS Security Inc.

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Homebuilder: Bob Ward Homes

Honorable mentions:

K. Hovnanian Homes

J.A. Myers Homes

HVAC repair: Perry Hall Heating & Air

Honorable mentions:

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Constellation Home

No-Frost A/C & Heating

Level Air Conditioning

Interior designer: Studio A Staging

Honorable mentions:

Anna Graham Interiors

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Antique Exchange Interiors

Simply Grande Home Furnishings & Simply Grande Interiors

Landscaper: Rhine Landscaping

Honorable mentions:

Signature Landscapes

Homestead Gardens

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Forest Hill Landscaping

Lighting: Wilson Lighting & Interiors

Honorable mentions:

Valley Lighting LLC

Annapolis Lighting Co.

Moving company: Making Moves LLC

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Honorable mentions:

Von Paris Moving & Storage

Perry Moving & Storage

Charm City Movers

Painter: Malcolm Stoll

Honorable mentions:

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Sheldon & Sons Inc.

Franco S. Painting

50 East Remodeling

Plumbing: Len the Plumber LLC

Honorable mentions:

Justice Plumbing

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PlumbCrazy

Horizon Services - Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Heating

Real estate agent: Stephanie Bamberger, Cummings & Co. Realtors

Honorable mentions:

RJ Breeden, The Breeden Group Of Berkshire Hathaway

Jennifer Marsh, REALTOR Bershire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

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Caroline Meredith, Compass

Remodeling: Chesapeake Premier Remodeling, Inc.

Honorable mentions:

Clarksville Construction Services Inc.

Homefix Custom Remodeling

Bearded Builders, Baltimore

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Roofer: Homefix Custom Remodeling

Honorable mentions:

Badger Contracting

Nu Look Home Design Inc.

Allied Remodeling (tie)

Brothers Services Co. (tie)

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Tar Heel Construction Group LLC (tie)

Rug cleaner: Greenspring Rug Care

Honorable mentions:

Kleenize Rug Cleaners

Dish Baltimore

Dish Baltimore

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Get the scoop on that new restaurant, learn about chef changes and discover your favorite new recipe. All your Baltimore food news is here.

Main Street Oriental Rugs

Borhani Rug Co.

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Solar installation: Solar Energy World

Honorable mentions:

Maryland Solar Solutions Inc.

Nu Look Home Design Inc.

Homefix Custom Remodeling


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