The Baltimore Sun’s readers have voted on what’s the best in the region from antiques to urgent care. 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 auto repair
Hollenshade’s Auto Service
In 1939, at Hollenshade’s gas station in Towson, it cost 19 cents a gallon to fill the tank of a DeSoto, Packard or Studebaker. Today, the pumps are long gone but the repair service brings back customers, time and again, for an oil change, brake check or engine work.
At 82, the family-owned business adheres to its core values of car repair — speed, precision, transparency and value — say patrons, who number in the thousands.
“Consistency and tradition are a big plus,” said Tom Hollenshade, 68, who — with his brother Tim, 66 — are third-generation owners. Each has worked there for nearly half a century. Most of the 11 employees have been on site at least 10 years; one, for 26. Some customers have been getting tuneups for twice that long, though the station has moved several times through the years. Many folks are on a first-name basis with the staff, said Hollenshade, “which makes this more of a small-town thing. Some come in just to talk; we’re almost like a bar.”
And, oh, the stories they tell. Like the customer who went 12,000 miles without an oil change. Or the critters who confiscate some cars.
“You’d be surprised what you find under the hood,” he said. “The other day, we popped the cover off the engine and a squirrel came out. One customer in Glen Arm called to say that a groundhog had gnawed through his wires. His car had to be towed in.”
Come the holidays, patrons stop by with “tons of cookies and cakes” and gift cards to show their appreciation.
“We’re not the most inexpensive place around, but we aim to give quality work for the price,” said Hollenshade. One telltale sign: the number of regular customers from inside the industry.
“A lot of salespersons who [deliver] auto parts have us work on their cars,” he said. “That’s a good barometer of what’s going on; we must be doing something right.”
For years, Hollenshade’s has offered free calendars with their business name at the bottom. One longtime client took pride in the fact that he’d kept every calendar for the past 40 years.
“We still give them out,” said Hollenshade. “Stop by and get one, if you like.” — Mike Klingaman
1501 E. Joppa Road, Towson. 410-828-5750. hollenshades.com
Acupuncturist: Very Well Acupuncture, David Buscher
Cloud 9 Acupuncture
University of Maryland Orthopaedics | The Warehouse at Camden Yards
Audiologist: Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Chesapeake Hearing Solutions
Rachel Raphael with Mercy Medical Center
Auto glass: AutoStream Car Care Center
Auto repair: Hollenshade’s Auto Services
Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto Centers
Hampden Auto Repair & Tire Services
Bumper Globe Collision Centre
Bank/credit union: First Financial Federal Credit Union
SECU Credit Union
Tower Federal Credit Union
Car wash: WashWorks
BrightWave Express Car Wash
Gary’s Auto Detailing
Child care: Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore
Beth El Congregation
The Learning Experience
Columbia Academy: Kings Contrivance Preschool
Chiropractor: Thrive Chiropractic
Jacksonville Chiropractic Center
Health Quest Chiropractic & Physical Therapy
Howard County Chiropractic Spine & Sports Rehabilitation
Cobbler: Eugene’s Shoe Repair
Dentist: Dental Designs of Maryland
White Marsh Family Dentistry
Garcia General & Cosmetic Dentistry
K. Michael Murphy & Associates LLC
Dog walker: DogTime
Dry cleaner: Sanitate Dry Cleaners Inc. Co.
World Cleaners DBA The Cleaner People
Eye/vision care: Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Maryland Eye Associates at Redwood
Katzen Eye Group
Federal Hill Eye Care
Financial adviser: Williams Asset Management
Chesapeake Financial Advisors
Scheinker Legacy Wealth Advisors
Edward Jones, Brian M. Conrad (tie)
RBC Wealth Management Branch (tie)
Florist: Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses
The Modest Florist
Local Color Flowers
Flowers & Fancies
Funeral home: Highview Funeral & Cremation Services
Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc.
Schimunek Funeral Home
Ruck Funeral Home
General practitioner: Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Stephen H. Glasser
Hospital: Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Mercy Medical Center
UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center
Insurance company: Charles Connolly, Farmers Insurance
Perry Hall Insurance
Chubb Group of Insurance Co.
Jewelry repair: Smyth Jewelers
Charles Nusinov & Sons Jewelers
Stephen Page of Baltimore
Laundromat: Sudsville Laundry
Locksmith: Crest Lock Co.
Marina: Bowleys Marina
Anchor Yacht Basin
Nail salon: Spa in the Valley
PamperMe Nail Spa
Fancier Nails & Spa (tie)
V-Pro Nails (tie)
Ob/gyn practice: Capital Women’s Care
Greater Baltimore Medical Center
Hoffman & Associates LLC
Carol E. Ritter
Orthodontist: Roland Park Orthodontics
Bel Air Smile Partners
Meghan McInnes Palmer, McInnes Palmer Orthodontics
Pediatric dentist: Growing Smiles
Kids First Pediatric Dentistry
Cross Keys Pediatrics & Family
Pediatric practice: Pediatric Partners
Pediatric Group at GBMC, Charles Street Pediatrics
Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital
Next Step Pediatrics
Pest control: Atlantic Pest Control
Bugout Termite & Pest Control Inc.
Bay City Pest Management Co. Inc.
Home Paramount Pest Control
Pet day care: Good Doggie Day Care Inc.
Pet groomer: 4 Paws Spa & Training Center
Physical therapist: Samantha DuFlo, Indigo Physiotherapy
University of Maryland Physical & Occupational Therapy
Dominion Physical Therapy
Motion PT Group
Storage facility: Simply Self Storage
YourSpace Storage at Nottingham
Tailor: Sew More Couture
Tax preparer: Cegielski & Associates LLC
Legacy Tax Advisory LLC
Urgent care: University of Maryland Faculty Physicians Inc.
WiseCare Urgent Care
Veterinary practice: Northwind Animal Hospital
Hampden Veterinary Hospital
Urgent VET Care
Light Street Animal Hospital