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Best of Howard County 2019: Residents’ favorite people, places and things to do

Best of Howard readers' poll

Need a great place to take your dog while you’re at work? Want a cleaning service to come by when Rover is out of the house? What about a place to pick up fresh produce on your way home?

The Best of Howard County can help. More than 38,000 votes were cast in this year’s readers’ poll, culling a list of the 75 top people to know, places to go and things to do.

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Editor’s note: Winners and honorable mentions were determined by popular vote. Readers were invited to nominate and vote online in June and July.

Profiles by Kit Waskom Pollard.

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Food & Drink

Beer, wine and/or liquor store: Pine Orchard Liquors

Honorable mentions:

Decanter Fine Wines

The Perfect Pour

The Wine Bin

Caterer: Mission BBQ

Honorable mentions:

Putting on the Ritz

Tino’s Italian Bistro

Great Harvest Bread Co.

Jennifer Lewis and her mom, Linda Heigh, at Jenny's Market, which was voted best farm stand in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' choice poll.
Jennifer Lewis and her mom, Linda Heigh, at Jenny's Market, which was voted best farm stand in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' choice poll.(Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Farmers market/stand: Jenny’s Market

3485 E. Ivory Road, West Friendship. 443-745-0534. facebook.com/Jennys-Market-95925318578

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Family-run Jenny’s Market has been a Howard County staple for over two decades, drawing customers from all over the area with its top-quality produce, from peaches to corn to pumpkins and mums — and personal touches.

“We pick through our produce to make sure each apple, pear or peach is perfect,” said Jennifer Lewis, a member of the family that helps the market run like clockwork. Plus, she said, “Our clients become friends. When people come in, they ask for specific people because they want to give us a hug.”

Honorable mentions:

Frank’s Produce & Greenhouse

Baughers Fruits & Vegetables

Ellicott City Wednesday Market

Health food/supplement store: Sprouts Farmers Market

Honorable mentions:

David’s Natural Market

Roots Market

Whole Foods Market

Place to buy seafood: Wegmans

Honorable mentions:

Today’s Catch

Sea King Seafood Market

Wild Seafood

Health & Wellness

Jamie Bright, owner of Brightwater Spa, started her Columbia spa 32 years ago. Brightwater Spa was voted best day spa in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll.
Jamie Bright, owner of Brightwater Spa, started her Columbia spa 32 years ago. Brightwater Spa was voted best day spa in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll.(Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Alternative wellness center: Brightwater the Spa at the Skin Care Institute

10705 Charter Drive, #330, Columbia. 410-740-0007. brightwaterspa.com

Now in its 32nd year, Brightwater the Spa offers traditional spa treatments, like facials and lash extensions, as well as newer options like LED light therapy and body contouring with cupping. The spa team is also certified to work with oncology patients, which means they are “sticklers for hygiene,” said owner Jamie Bright, and the staff takes frequent classes to stay up to date on new therapies.

The spa’s services are only part of its appeal; customers also love its tranquil setting and the close relationships they build with the staff. “Our spa is very intimate,” said Bright. “Our work family has been together for at least 15 years and we know our clients by name.”

Honorable mentions:

Morrison Chiropractic

Haven On The Lake

Greenhouse Wellness

Audiologist/hearing repair: ENTAA Care

Honorable mentions:

Advanced Hearing Group

The Kaplan Hearing Center

Clarity Audiology & Hearing Solutions

Chiropractor: Morrison Chiropractic

Honorable mentions:

Thompson Chiropractic and Wellness Center, LLC

Muneses Chiropractic Center

Howard County Chiropractic Spine & Sports Rehabilitation

Day spa: Brightwater the Spa at the Skin Care Institute

Honorable mentions:

The Pearl Spa

The Face Place

Turf Valley Resort

Dental practice: Roschella & Zinger Dental Group

Honorable mentions:

Columbia Smiles Family Dentistry

Dobbin Dental Suite

Howard County Smiles

Eye care: Wilmer Eye Institute

Honorable mentions:

Physicians Eye Care Center

Columbia Family Eye Care

Eagle Eye Care

Medispa: Doctor K MediSpa

Honorable mentions:

Brightwater the Spa at the Skin Care Institute

Between the Lines Medispa

Massage Envy — Columbia

OB/GYN: Capital Women’s Care

Honorable mentions:

Signature Ob/Gyn

Saint Agnes Medical Group: Women’s OB/GYN Group

Jeri Shuster, M.D., P.A, and Women’s Center Inc.

Orthodontist: Rubler & Halpern

Honorable mentions:

Vanguard Orthodontics

Baltimore Orthodontic Group

OX Orthodontix

Pediatric practice: Dr. Klebanow & Associates

Honorable mentions:

Howard County Pediatrics

Ellicott City Pediatric Associates, PA

The Pediatric Center

Physical therapist: Revive Physical Therapy

Honorable mentions:

McNerney & Associates, P.A.

Morrison Chiropractic

AAA Physical Therapy

Plastic surgeon: Kanter Plastic Surgery Professionals

Honorable mentions:

Columbia Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Dr. Sarah Mess

Kalpesh Vakharia, MD

Therapist/counselor: Together Couples Counseling: Risa Ganel & Associates

Honorable mentions:

Discover Yourself Wellness Center

Dr. Gina Santoro

A Healing Place

Urgent care: Patient First — Columbia

Honorable mentions:

University of Maryland Faculty Physicians, Inc.

Ouch! Urgent Care

Righttime Medical Care

Veterinary practice: Countryside Veterinary Clinic

Honorable mentions:

Triadelphia Veterinary Clinic

Hickory Ridge Animal Hospital

Dunloggin Veterinary Hospital

Home

Flooring and carpeting: Bode Floors

Honorable mentions:

A Plus Carpet and Flooring

Main Street Oriental Rugs

ChemDry of Ellicott City

Garden center/nursery: Frank’s Produce & Greenhouse

Honorable mentions:

Sun Nurseries

Lauren’s Garden Service & Native Plant Nursery

Heating/air conditioning repair: Environmental Systems Associates

Honorable mentions:

Jerry’s Heating & Air Conditioning Inc.

No-Frost A/C & Heating LLC

H&C Heating & Cooling Contractors (tie)

Ron Air Heating & Air Conditioning (tie)

Homebuilder: Allan Homes

Honorable mention:

Main Street Builders Inc.

April Sargies, owner of The Neat Nest, voted best cleaning service in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll.
April Sargies, owner of The Neat Nest, voted best cleaning service in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Housecleaners: The Neat Nest Maids

12406 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville. 443-824-6754. neatnestmaidservice.com

April Sargies has cleaning — and caring — in her blood. She grew up working for her parents’ cleaning company then shifted gears to study and work in design and luxury retail. Ten years ago, she founded Neat Nest Maids, drawing on both experiences.

At Neat Nest, Sargies prioritizes responsiveness, attention to detail and building long-term relationships. “I tell clients there’s no such thing as nitpicky,” she said. “And my ladies know that it’s not just cleaning your house; Neat Nest is part of the community, and we really care about our clients. We build relationships organically, and clients become family.”

Honorable mentions:

The Cleaning Authority — Columbia

Pioneer Custom Cleaning

Superior Cleaners

Landscaper: Rhine Landscaping

Honorable mentions:

Oaklawn Landscaping

Absolute Landscape & Turf Services, Inc.

Lauren’s Garden Service & Native Plant Nursery

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Plumber: Ken Griffin Plumbing Services, Inc.

Honorable mentions:

JA Smith & Co.

Zepp Plumbing & Heating

Ehrhardt Brothers Quality Plumbing Inc.

Real estate agent: Bob Lucido, Keller Williams Integrity

Honorable mentions:

Debbie Gottwals, The Wendy Slaughter Team of Elevate Real Estate Brokerage

Allan Waschak, Le Reve Real Estate

Maria Weaver, Re/max Advantage Realty

Remodeler: Allan Homes

Honorable mentions:

Window Nation

Cornerstone Remodeling, LLC

American Kitchen Concepts, Inc.

Senior housing community: The Lutheran Village at Miller’s Grant

Honorable mentions:

Lorien Harmony Hall

Kenwood Care Glen Hill

Vantage House

Out & About

Annual festival/event: Howard County Fair

Honorable mentions:

Columbia Festival Of The Arts

Wine in the Woods

Howard County Pride

Robin Holliday is owner/curator of HorseSpirit Arts Gallery, which was voted best art gallery in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll.
Robin Holliday is owner/curator of HorseSpirit Arts Gallery, which was voted best art gallery in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Art gallery: HorseSpirit Arts Gallery

Historic Savage Mill, 8600 Foundry St., Suite 2063, Savage. 301-490-2001. horsespiritartsgallery.com

Six years ago, when Robin Holliday opened HorseSpirit Arts Gallery in Ellicott City, she featured the work of nine artists. Today, in a larger space in Historic Savage Mill, 48 different artists have their work on display – and most of those included live within 30 miles of the gallery.

The collection is eclectic in terms of content and media, but the artists have a few things in common. “I pick artists based on whether they’re talented and if they’re kind,” Holliday said. “I only carry uplifting art. Life is hard enough. When you come in, I want you to feel better.”

Honorable mentions:

Board & Brush Creative Studio — Columbia

The Artists’ Gallery

Taylor’s Collective

Kids’ activities: Clark’s Elioak Farm

Honorable mentions:

Kids On Campus at Howard Community College

Howard County Conservancy

Chrysalis Kids

Performing arts group: Toby’s Dinner Theatre

Honorable mentions:

Columbia Orchestra

Columbia Pro Cantare

Glenelg High School Jazz Band

Special event venue: Merriweather Post Pavilion

Honorable mentions:

Chrysalis

Howard County Conservancy

The Great Room at Historic Savage Mill

Volunteer organization: Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center

Honorable mentions:

Neighbor Ride

Special Olympics Howard County

Howard County Conservancy

Personal services

Accountant: Bowman & Company CPA

Honorable mentions:

Staci Winters CPA

Fisher Ring

Mike Peters CPA

Auto repair: Hillmuth Certified Automotive

Honorable mentions:

BA Auto Care

Ken’s Service Center

O’Donnell Honda

Bank/credit union: APL Federal Credit Union

Honorable mentions:

M&T Bank

Fulton Bank (formerly The Columbia Bank)

Tower Federal Credit Union

Barbershop: Floyd’s 99 Barbershop (Ellicott City)

Honorable mentions:

Looks Salon

Sal’s Barber Shop

Rob’s Barber Shop

Child care: Bet Yeladim Preschool

Honorable mentions:

Children’s Learning Center at Howard Community College

Carolyn’s Learning Centre

Peter Pan Learning Center

Computer repair: Gadget Guru — Columbia

Honorable mentions:

ScottE Software Development

Percworks

Jimmy Kim, owner of Wagging Lounge Dog Resort, holds a dog named Bahgee in an outdoor play area. His business was voted best doggie day care in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll.
Jimmy Kim, owner of Wagging Lounge Dog Resort, holds a dog named Bahgee in an outdoor play area. His business was voted best doggie day care in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll. (Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun)

Doggie day care: Wagging Lounge Dog Resort

9315 Snowden River Parkway M, Columbia. 443-546-3391. wagginglounge.com

Pups who make their way to Wagging Lounge Dog Resort are lucky ones indeed: the 2.5-year-old Columbia doggie daycare, boarding and grooming operation was has indoor and outdoor play areas, a treat bar featuring goodies from companies like Barking Buddah and Bowser Dog Beer, and special “luxury villas” available for dogs making overnight stays.

“They are fully furnished rooms,” said owner/operator Jimmy Kim. “They get a little peace and quiet and privacy, and their own heating and air conditioning. They are something a very spoiled dog would get.”

Honorable mentions:

Camp Bow Wow

Tecla’s K-9 Academy

The Coventry School for Dogs and Their People

Family lawyer: Mulinazzi Law Office

Honorable mentions:

McCabe Russell, PA

The Law Office of Lisa M. Goldblatt

Ruben Law Firm

Financial adviser: Gary Williams, Williams Asset Management

Honorable mentions:

Michael D. Heigh Jr., Edward Jones

Baltimore-Washington Financial Advisors

John Faggio, Faggio Financial

Florist: Wilhide’s Unique Flowers & Gifts

Honorable mentions:

The Flower Basket, Ltd.

Clarksville Flower Station

Ellie’s Arrangements, Inc.

Marilyn Greene, voted best interior designer/decorator in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll, at home in Maple Lawn. Her design business is called Marilyn Greene interiors.
Marilyn Greene, voted best interior designer/decorator in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll, at home in Maple Lawn. Her design business is called Marilyn Greene interiors. (Amy Davis)

Interior decorator/designer: Marilyn Greene Interiors

7658 Midtown Road, Fulton. 301-523-6239. marilyngreeneinteriors.com

Interior designer Marilyn Greene believes that good design should be accessible to everyone and that working with a designer shouldn’t be a daunting prospect.

“I like to make stylish spaces in an affordable and accessible way,” said Greene. She does that by offering design “packages” that include a set number of design hours for a specific room, and result in custom plans that clients can implement right away or sometime in the future.

Greene’s plans are rooted in reality, too. “I’m understanding of how people live their lives,” she said. “They’ve got kids, dogs, all kinds of things. I try to make it functional first, then bring in design.”

Honorable mentions:

Interior Transformation

Drury Lane Interiors LLC

dwtINTERIORS

Pet groomer: The Dog Wash

Honorable mentions:

Angelic Paws

Petsmart

Dogtopia of Clarksville

Salon: Inspire Salon

Honorable mentions:

Mason & Friends

Looks Salon and Spa

Define Hair

Travel agent: Destinations Inc.

Honorable mentions:

AAA Columbia Car Care Insurance Travel Center

Stephanie Depew — Your Travel Concierges

Personalities

Blog: Scott E’s Blog

Honorable mentions:

predupre.com

Village Green/Town²

Elevate Maryland

Clergyperson: The Rev. Stacey Brady, The Lutheran Village at Miller’s Grant

Honorable mentions:

Rabbi Susan Grossman, Beth Shalom Congregation

The Rev. Paige Getty, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Dr. Yassine Daoud, Islamic Society of Baltimore

Elected official: County Executive Calvin Ball

Honorable mentions:

State Del. Vanessa Atterbeary

State Sen. Senator Guy Guzzone

Councilman David Yungmann (tie)

Councilwoman Liz Walsh (tie)

Personal trainer: Michelle Rosenfeld

Honorable mentions:

Bonnie Pace

Darryl Pastor

Sabrina Clever

Police officer: Chief Lisa Myers

Honorable mentions:

Jeff Dorsey

Jack Coonts

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David Burton, principal of Glenelg High School, was voted best principal in Howard County.
David Burton, principal of Glenelg High School, was voted best principal in Howard County. (Barbara Haddock Taylor / Baltimore Sun)

Principal: David Burton, Glenelg High School

Glenelg High School, 14025 Burntwoods Road, Glenelg. 410-313-5528. ghs.hcpss.org

In his 14 years as a principal, Glenelg High School’s David Burton has tackled many challenges, including a highly publicized 2018 incident involving students spray-painting racist graffiti outside the school. But even when dealing with troublesome situations, his love of the job and of the kids he sees every day remains strong.

“One of my favorite times of day is cafeteria duty because I get to interact with the kids,” said Burton. “It’s important, letting kids know you care. When you do that, it makes for a better relationship with parents and staff and everybody.”

Honorable mentions:

Nancy Thompson, Talbott Springs Elementary School

Joshua R. Wasilewski, Long Reach High School

Nick Novak, Howard High School

Recreation

CrossFit box: Columbia CrossFit Cove

Honorable mention:

CrossFit ReVamped

Dance lessons: Backstage Dance Studio

Honorable mentions:

Studio Dans

Ballet Conservatoire XIV

Teelin School of Irish Dance

Golf course: Hobbit’s Glen Golf Course

Honorable mentions:

Turf Valley Resort

The Timbers At Troy

Waverly Woods Golf Course

Gym: Ellicott City 50+ Fitness Center

Honorable mentions:

Life Time Athletic

Columbia Gym

Columbia Athletic Club

Martial arts classes: Klotz Institute of Karate

Honorable mentions:

American Academy of Martial Arts

WKD Karate 4 Girls

Okinawan Karate Dojo

Music lessons: Mike’s Music

Honorable mentions:

Olenka School of Music and the Arts

School of Rock Columbia

Maryland Music Academy

Pool for kids: Forest Hill Swim & Tennis Club

Honorable mentions:

North Saint John’s Swim & Tennis Club

Hopewell Pool

River Hill Pool

Yoga studio: Shift Yoga

Honorable mentions:

The Yoga Center of Columbia

Yoga Love Clarksville

YogaWorks Columbia

Shopping

Antique shop: Antique Depot

Honorable mentions:

Grit & Ash

Retropolitan Fine Antiques and Vintage

Bike shop: Race Pace Bicycles

Bookstore: Barnes & Noble

Honorable mentions:

Second Edition Books

Books With A Past

Books-A-Million

Bridal shop: The Bridal Boutique

Car dealership: O’Donnell Honda

Honorable mentions:

Apple Ford

Antwerpen Toyota

CarMax

Clothing boutique: Sweet Elizabeth Jane

Honorable mentions:

Serendipity LLC

Retropolitan Fine Antiques and Vintage

Consignment/resale shop: 2nd Ave Value Store

Honorable mentions:

Clothes Mentor

Goodwill

Once Upon A Child

Furniture store: Su Casa Furniture

Honorable mentions:

La-Z Boy

Havertys Furniture

Sofas Etc.

Kyle Brooks, vice-president at Edward Arthur Jewelers, creates custom designs at the store's Design Bar. Edward Arthur Jewelers at The Mall in Columbia was voted best jeweler in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll.
Kyle Brooks, vice-president at Edward Arthur Jewelers, creates custom designs at the store's Design Bar. Edward Arthur Jewelers at The Mall in Columbia was voted best jeweler in Howard Magazine's Best of Howard readers' poll.(Amy Davis)

Jeweler: Edward Arthur Jewelers

The Mall in Columbia, 10300 Little Patuxent Parkway #2825, Columbia. 410-730-1520. edwardarthur.com

Edward Arthur Jewelers, which celebrates 45 years in business this year, has earned its spot as a beloved part of the community. “Everyone who shops here becomes part of the family,” said Vice President Kyle Brooks, a 17-year employee whose father also works at the store. “People bring their babies to meet us and when they grow up, they come here when they get engaged.”

Edward Arthur embraces its history but isn’t old-fashioned; customers also appreciate its state-of-the-art technology, which includes the capacity to design and create custom pieces. “We can design from your imagination, creating a digital CAD rendering and bring it ‘live’ in about two weeks,” said Brooks.

Honorable mentions:

Smyth Jewelers Ellicott City

St. John’s Jewelers

Sergio’s Fine Jewelers

Pet supplies store: PetSmart

Honorable mentions:

Clipper’s Canine Cafe

Petco

Loyal Companion (tie)

My Pet Store And More (tie)

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