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.
For more categories, go to baltimoresun.com/best.
Best Antiques, Consignment/Resale Shop
8895 McGaw Road. Suite F, Columbia. 410-401-4115. bellepatri.com
The theme song for the 80s sitcom “Cheers,” said “there’s one place in the world where everybody knows your name,” but shoppers of Belle Patri would argue there are two.
“You get a little personal touch with each of the customers, because you’re seeing the stuff that they’re bringing you, and we get to know them by name. It’s kind of like our ‘Cheers,’” said Jennifer Lane, owner of Belle Patri.
Opening 15 years ago in Jarrettsville and expanding five years ago to the Columbia location, Belle Patri offers new and consignment home decor.
Working with manufacturers and the more than 14,000 consignors who contribute to the inventory, everyday home decorators and interior designers alike look to Belle Patri to zhoosh their spaces.
“There have been just some amazing pieces that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before,” said Ashley Brewer, who has managed the Columbia store since it opened. “I’ve seen an antique card catalog, an antique work tool bench that a customer later shared that they turned it into a kitchen island, and there’s just so many gorgeous pieces that you’re not going to find in a brand new storefront.”
But Brewer said it’s the personable nature of Belle Patri that keeps customers coming.
“Almost like you’re shopping with a friend, versus going into a regular retail store and just being another customer,” Brewer explained.
Belle Patri also offers events like paint classes and ladies nights, as well as in-store decorating consultations and in-home interior design.
The personable ethos behind Belle Patri roots from its founding, when Lane moved from California to Maryland.
“Not knowing anybody, I wanted a creative outlet, so when my daughter was in preschool I met another gal, and she and I opened the store together. Then, about a year after, she called it quits and went back to being a stay at home mom, and I continued on with it and have grown and progressed with it,” Lane said.
Now, Belle Patri is a family business with Lane’s husband as the “I.T. department,” her children as major contributors and a longtime, loyal staff.
“I started when [my daughter] was in preschool, my son was not born yet — he’s my delivery service and she’s graduating college and coming back and planning to take over,” she said.
Employees praised Lane’s ability to grow Belle Patri, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We were shut down for that time period, but Jennifer set up the website so you can buy everything that we had in either store online,” Brewer said.
To this day, online shopping, transferring items between stores and delivery is still an option.
“We try to cater to our customers in every way possible.”
— Micha Green
Antiques: Belle Patri
Shabby Button LLC
Charlotte Elliott and The Bookstore Next Door
Cornerstone Antiques, Consignments & New Home Furnishings
Barbershop: Blue Spark Barbershop
The Old Bank Barbers
Sam’s Barber & Styling Inc.
Old Line Barbers
Barre class: Inline Barre
ACAC Timonium Fitness & Wellness Center
Raise The Barre - Studio of Dance
The Bar Method Baltimore
Bicycle shop: Joe’s Bike Shop
Baltimore Bicycle Works
Bookstore: The Ivy Bookshop
Snug Books, LLC
Charm City Books
Braiding: TheZe HandZ Braiding Studio
Rose African Hair Braiding
Braids & Beauty
Bridal shop: Jill Andrews Gowns
Betsy Robinson’s Bridal
Brow threading: Charm City Skin
Usha Threading Salon and Spa
Neha Threading Salon & Spa
ELV8 Brows & Beauty
Car dealership: Jones Junction
Heritage Honda Parkville
Lexus of Towson
Brown’s Honda City
Children’s clothing: Tried But True
Wee Chic Green Spring Station
The Pied Piper
Clothing boutique: Karma
Apricot Lane Boutique
Sweet Elizabeth Jane
Consignment/resale shop: Belle Patri
Second Chance Inc.
The Turnover Shop
Day spa: Brightwater the Spa at Skin Care Institute
About Faces Day Spa & Salon
The Loft Bodywork Collective
Gifts: Chase Street Accessories & Engraving
Found Studio | Shop
In Watermelon Sugar
Grocery store: Wegmans
Eddie’s of Roland Park
MOM’s Organic Market
Gym: Dr. Baltimore Big House Fitness Justin Inman
Unboxed Boxing and Fitness
The Orokawa Y in Towson
Hair salon: Rock Paper Scissors The Salon
hello bonita Hair Salon
Health food/supplement store: MOM’s Organic Market
Whole Foods Market
David’s Natural Market
The Natural Market
Jeweler: Lakein’s Jewelers of Hamilton
The Parisian Flea
Liquor store: Total Wine & More
The Wine Source
Wells Discount Liquors
Martial arts classes: Perry Hall White Tiger Martial Arts
Cadet Martial Arts & Fitness
Kells Karate Academy
A.J. Bartlinski’s Karate Supercenter
Medispa: Dr. Sarah Mess and LifeMed Institute (tie)
Chesapeake Skin Solutions
Faces Med Spa
BRIGHTWATER The Spa at Skin Care Institute
Menswear: Gian Marco Menswear
John’s Men’s Clothing
Tom James Co.
Music lessons: Baltimore School of Music
School of Rock
Joe Stone Guitar
Pet goods store: Howl
The Mill of Bel Air
Pet Depot Inc.
Pool: Padonia Swim Club
Swan Lake Swim Club
Roosevelt Park Pool
White Marsh Swim Club
Retirement community: Broadmead
Residences at Vantage Point in Columbia
Oak Crest Senior Living Community
Roland Park Place
Shoe store: Van Dyke & Bacon Shoes
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse
Poppy & Stella on Thames
Falls Road Running Store
Spin class: ACAC Timonium Fitness & Wellness Center, Core Cycle Studios, REV Cycle Studio Brewers Hill (tie)
Thrift store: Savers
Second Chance Inc.
2nd Ave Thrift Superstore
St. Luke’s Church on the Avenue
Yoga studio: Aluma Yoga
Yoga Union Baltimore
BreakAway Yoga Studio
The Yoga Center of Columbia