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Baltimore Sun’s Best: Readers’ Choice 2021 personal services

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.

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

Left to right: Tom, Tim Jr. and Tim Hollenshade at Hollenshade Auto Services in Towson, which has been voted Baltimore's Best. The business was started in 1939, and has been family-run for four generations.
Left to right: Tom, Tim Jr. and Tim Hollenshade at Hollenshade Auto Services in Towson, which has been voted Baltimore's Best. The business was started in 1939, and has been family-run for four generations. (Barbara Haddock Taylor)

Best auto repair

Hollenshade’s Auto Service

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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.

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“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


Best 2021

Acupuncturist: Very Well Acupuncture, David Buscher

Honorable mentions:

Tiffany Houchins

Cloud 9 Acupuncture

University of Maryland Orthopaedics | The Warehouse at Camden Yards

Audiologist: Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Honorable mentions:

Chesapeake Hearing Solutions

Rachel Raphael with Mercy Medical Center

Auto glass: AutoStream Car Care Center

Auto repair: Hollenshade’s Auto Services

Honorable mentions:

Brooks-Huff Tire & Auto Centers

Hampden Auto Repair & Tire Services

Bumper Globe Collision Centre

Bank/credit union: First Financial Federal Credit Union

Honorable mentions:

SECU Credit Union

M&T Bank

Tower Federal Credit Union

Car wash: WashWorks

Honorable mentions:

Auto Spa

BrightWave Express Car Wash

Gary’s Auto Detailing

Child care: Jewish Community Center of Greater Baltimore

Honorable mentions:

Beth El Congregation

The Learning Experience

Columbia Academy: Kings Contrivance Preschool

Chiropractor: Thrive Chiropractic

Honorable mentions:

Jacksonville Chiropractic Center

Health Quest Chiropractic & Physical Therapy

Howard County Chiropractic Spine & Sports Rehabilitation

Cobbler: Eugene’s Shoe Repair

Dentist: Dental Designs of Maryland

Honorable mentions:

White Marsh Family Dentistry

Garcia General & Cosmetic Dentistry

K. Michael Murphy & Associates LLC

Waterfront Dental

Dog walker: DogTime

Dry cleaner: Sanitate Dry Cleaners Inc. Co.

Honorable mention:

World Cleaners DBA The Cleaner People

Eye/vision care: Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine

Honorable mentions:

University of Maryland Eye Associates at Redwood

Katzen Eye Group

Federal Hill Eye Care

Financial adviser: Williams Asset Management

Honorable mentions:

Chesapeake Financial Advisors

Scheinker Legacy Wealth Advisors

Edward Jones, Brian M. Conrad (tie)

RBC Wealth Management Branch (tie)

Florist: Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses

Honorable mentions:

The Modest Florist

Local Color Flowers

Flowers & Fancies

Funeral home: Highview Funeral & Cremation Services

Honorable mentions:

Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc.

Schimunek Funeral Home

Ruck Funeral Home

General practitioner: Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Honorable mentions:

Stephen H. Glasser

Hina Ghafoor

Jonathan Rich

Hospital: Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Honorable mentions:

Mercy Medical Center

UM Upper Chesapeake Medical Center

Insurance company: Charles Connolly, Farmers Insurance

Honorable mentions:

Perry Hall Insurance

Chubb Group of Insurance Co.

Huff Insurance

Jewelry repair: Smyth Jewelers

Honorable mentions:

Village Gem

Charles Nusinov & Sons Jewelers

Stephen Page of Baltimore

Laundromat: Sudsville Laundry

Locksmith: Crest Lock Co.

Marina: Bowleys Marina

Honorable mention:

Anchor Yacht Basin

Nail salon: Spa in the Valley

Honorable mentions:

Towson Nails

PamperMe Nail Spa

Fancier Nails & Spa (tie)

V-Pro Nails (tie)

Ob/gyn practice: Capital Women’s Care

Honorable mentions:

Greater Baltimore Medical Center

Hoffman & Associates LLC

Carol E. Ritter

Orthodontist: Roland Park Orthodontics

Honorable mentions:

Bel Air Smile Partners

Meghan McInnes Palmer, McInnes Palmer Orthodontics

Spivak Orthodontics

Pediatric dentist: Growing Smiles

Honorable mentions:

Kids First Pediatric Dentistry

Cross Keys Pediatrics & Family

Pediatric practice: Pediatric Partners

Honorable mentions:

Pediatric Group at GBMC, Charles Street Pediatrics

Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital

Next Step Pediatrics

Pest control: Atlantic Pest Control

Honorable mentions:

Bugout Termite & Pest Control Inc.

Bay City Pest Management Co. Inc.

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Home Paramount Pest Control

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Pet day care: Good Doggie Day Care Inc.

Pet groomer: 4 Paws Spa & Training Center

Honorable mention:

Groom Haven

Physical therapist: Samantha DuFlo, Indigo Physiotherapy

Honorable mentions:

University of Maryland Physical & Occupational Therapy

Dominion Physical Therapy

Motion PT Group

Storage facility: Simply Self Storage

Honorable mention:

YourSpace Storage at Nottingham

Tailor: Sew More Couture

Tax preparer: Cegielski & Associates LLC

Honorable mention:

Legacy Tax Advisory LLC

Urgent care: University of Maryland Faculty Physicians Inc.

Honorable mentions:

Patient First

Express Care

WiseCare Urgent Care

Veterinary practice: Northwind Animal Hospital

Honorable mentions:

Hampden Veterinary Hospital

Urgent VET Care

Light Street Animal Hospital

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