Winners: Best of Howard County 2015

Best of Howard County 2015
(Mike Myers)

If you need it, Howard County can recommend it. In this year's readers' poll, nearly 15,000 voters endorsed their favorite people and places across 74 categories. Whether you're in the market for a new car, you need a fresh idea for what to do with the kids or you're simply new in town and need the lay of the land, this list has you covered.

Editor's note: Winners and honorable mentions were determined by popular vote. Readers were invited to vote online in August. Click here to read the official rules.



Annual festival/event: Howard County Fair
Honorable mentions:
Wine in the Woods
Columbia Festival of the Arts
Turf Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival


Volunteer group: Howard County Fire and Rescue
Honorable mentions:
Grassroots Crisis Intervention Center
Neighbor Ride
The Arc of Howard County

Special event venue: Turf Valley Resort and Conference Center
Honorable mentions:
The Great Room at Savage Mill
Howard County Conservancy
Waverly Mansion

First date: Historic Ellicott City
Honorable mentions:
Columbia lakefront
Iron Bridge Wine Co.
Clyde's of Columbia

Kids' activity: Clark's Elioak Farm
Honorable mentions:
SkyZone Columbia
Columbia SportsPark


Park: Centennial Park
Honorable mentions:
Roockburn Branch Park
Savage Park
Cedar Lane Park

Place to enjoy the arts: Toby's Dinner Theatre
Honorable mentions:
Ellicott City Artwalk
Columbia Art Center
The Rouse Co. Foundation Gallery


Antique shop: The Antique Center at Historic Savage Mill
Honorable mentions:
The Pink Cabbage
A Journey From Junk
Antique Depot

Bookstore: Barnes & Noble
Honorable mentions:
Daedalus Books
Second Edition

When one of your main competitors lands a TV show, it¿s time to ramp up your marketing and services. And that¿s precisely what The Bridal Boutique in Columbia has done.

Bridal store: The Bridal Boutique/Columbia Bridal
Honorable mentions:
Cherie Amour
Curvaceous Couture
Venus Bridal

Car dealership: O'Donnell Honda
Honorable mentions:
Apple Ford Lincoln
Antwerpen Scion, Toyota and Nissan
Jim Coleman Honda

Consignment/resale shop: Charity's Closet
Honorable mentions:
2nd Avenue

Clothing boutique: Sweet Elizabeth Jane
Honorable mentions:
Kelsey’s Closet

Furniture store: Oak Tree Furniture
Honorable mentions:
Su Casa
Havertys Havertys
Indoor Furniture

Home decor store: HomeGoods
Honorable mentions:
Pier 1 Imports
Sweet Elizabeth Jane

Jeweler: Smyth
Honorable mentions:
Sergio's Jewelers
Edward Arthur Jewelers
Fulton Station Jewelers

Pet supply store: PetSmart
Honorable mentions:
Dogs & Co.
My Pet Store and More


Beer, wine and/or liquor store: The Perfect Pour
Honorable mentions:
Pine Orchard Liquor
Jason's Wine and Spirits
The Wine Bin

Caterer: Putting on the Ritz
Honorable mentions:
Kloby's Smokehouse
Smokin' Hot Bar & Grille
Absolutely Perfect Catering

Farmers' market: Howard County Farmers' Market, Ellicott City
Honorable mentions:
Frank's Produce and Greenhouse
Ellicott City Old Town Market
Gorman Farm

Health food/supplement store: Trader Joe's
Honorable mentions:
David's Natural Market
Roots Market

Place to buy seafood: Wegmans
Honorable mentions:
Today’s Catch
Sea King
Whole Foods


Alternative wellness services: Maryland University of Integrative Health
Honorable mentions:
The Still Point
Quiet Time Hypnosis
Awaken Wellness

Audiologist/hearing repair: Kaplan Hearing Center
Honorable mentions:
Alicia Spoor, Designer Audiology (tie)
Costco Hearing Aid Center (tie)

Chiropractor: Howard County Chiropractic Spine & Sports Rehabilitation
Honorable mentions:
Morrison Chiropractic
Dabbs Rehab Center of Maryland
Chesapeake Family Wellness Center

Once he gets started, it¿s hard to stop Leo Blackwood from raving about The Pearl Modern Spa and Boutique.

Day spa: The Pearl Modern Spa & Boutique
Honorable mentions:
Lynn's Day Spa
The Spa at Turf Valley
Skin Therapy Center

Dental practice: Columbia Smiles Family Dentistry
Honorable mentions:
Dobbin Dental
Roschella & Zinger Dental Group
Menton Family Dental Care

Eye care: Wilmer Eye Institute at Columbia
Honorable mentions:
Columbia Eye Associates
Physician's Eye Care and Laser Center
Columbia Family Eye Care

Medi-spa: AllCare
Honorable mentions:
Oasis Day Spa
Pura Vida Medical Spa
Between the Lines Medispa

OB/GYN: Signature OB-GYN
Honorable mentions:
Capital Women's Care
The Women's Group
Johns Hopkins Community Physicians

Orthodontist: Vanguard Orthodontics
Honorable mentions:
OX Orthodontix
Rubler & Halpern Orthodontics
Baltimore Orthodontic Group

Pediatric practice: Kenneth Klebanow & Associates
Honorable mentions:
Howard County Pediatrics
The Pediatric Center
Ellicott City Pediatrics

BodyWise Physical Therapy and Wellness opened in Columbia in 2009 as a one-woman clinic, with Berkowitz offering physical therapy and acupuncture. Today, it includes four physical therapists, two acupuncturists and four aides, and also offers massage therapy.

Physical therapist: BodyWise Physical Therapy & Wellness
Honorable mentions:
Revive Physical Therapy
Life Fitness Physical Therapy
Howard County Physical Therapy

Plastic surgeon: Dr. Eric Chang, Columbia Aesthetic Plastic Surgery LLC
Honorable mentions:
Dr. William Kanter and Dr. Mitchel Kanter, Plastic Surgery Professionals
Dr. Sarah Mess
Dr. Terri Hill


Salon: Mason & Friends Hair, Skin and Nail Salon
Honorable mentions:
Looks Salon & Spa
Victoria & Albert Hair Studio
Cloud 9 Salon


Therapist/counselor: Together Couples Counseling
Honorable mentions:
Dr. Sheela Reddy, SPIRITherapy
Congruent Counseling Services
Andrew Stanton, Stanton Psychotherapy

Urgent care center: Patient First
Honorable mentions:
Righttime Medical Care
KinderMender Walk-in Pediatric Center

Veterinary practice: Countryside Veterinary Clinic
Honorable mentions:
Triadelphia Veterinary Clinic
Cat and Dog Hospital of Columbia
Dunloggin Veterinary Hospital


Flooring and carpeting: Bode Floors
Honorable mentions:
A Plus Carpeting and Flooring
The Vertical Connection Carpet One
Main Street Oriental Rugs

Garden center/nursery: River Hill Garden Center
Honorable mentions:
Frank's Nursery and Greenhouse
Sun Nurseries
Grandfather's Garden Center

Heating/air conditioning repair: Environmental Systems Associates
Honorable mentions:
Ron Air Heating & Air Conditioning
No-Frost Air Conditioning & Heating Co.
B&B Air Conditioning and Heating Service Co.

Homebuilder: Ryan Homes
Honorable mentions:
Columbia Builders
Williamsburg Homes
Trinity Homes

Housecleaners: The Cleaning Authority
Honorable mentions:
Merry Maids
Pioneer Custom Cleaning
Home Sweet Home Cleaning Services

Landscaper: River Hill Landscape Design
Honorable mentions:
Rhine Landscaping
Mike's Landscaping Supplies
Oaklawn Landscaping

Plumber: Ken Griffin Plumbing & Heating
Honorable mentions:
Zepp Plumbing & Heating
Mark Brew Plumbing
Joseph Heil Company

Remodeler: Cornerstone Remodeling
Honorable mentions:
Cossentino & Sons
Ken Griffin Plumbing & Heating
Allan Homes Unlimited


Accountant: Keith Dorsey, CPA, Dorsey Accounting & Tax Services Inc.
Honorable mentions:
Cardoni Waddell LLC
Jeffrey D. Ring, CPA, MBA, Fisher Ring LLC
Coale, Pripstein & Associates P.A.

Auto repair: Hillmuth Certified Automotive
Honorable mentions:
British American Auto Care
Neubauer's Auto Repair
Ken's Service Center

Bank/credit union: M&T Bank
Honorable mentions:
Tower Federal Credit Union
The Columbia Bank

Child care: The Goddard School
Honorable mentions:
Bet Yeladim
Columbia Academy
The Young School

Computer repair: Best Buy Geek Squad
Honorable mentions:
Percworks (tie)
ScottE Software (tie)
IT by Lee

Doggie day care: Dogtopia
Honorable mentions:
Camp Bow Wow
Club Pooche
The Coventry School Inc. for Dogs and Their People

Family lawyer: Mulinazzi Law Office
Honorable mentions:
Weinberg & Schwartz LLC
Law Office of Robert Flanagan
Law Office of Alissa Cummins

Financial adviser: Gary Williams, Williams Asset Management
Honorable mentions:
Baltimore Washington Financial Advisors
Geier Asset Management
Brian Avrunin, Ameriprise

Florist: Wilhide's Unique Flowers & Gifts
Honorable mentions:
The Flower Basket
Raimondi's Florist
Clarksville Flower Station

Interior decorator/designer: Classic Interiors
Honorable mentions:
Drury Lane Interiors
Terra Maria Home Interiors
The Decorating Therapist

Best Pet Groomer: The Dog Wash

Fueled by her love of canines, Susan Young does all she can to pamper her customers. Unlike some other dog-grooming businesses, for example, The Dog Wash schedules specific appointment times for its four-legged clients, calls the owners when the work is done and even allows owners to stay if they think their pet will be more comfortable.

Pet groomer: The Dog Wash
Honorable mentions:
Highland Groomery
The Coventry School Inc. for Dogs and Their People

Real estate agent: Bob Lucido, Keller Williams
Honorable mentions:
Creig Northrop, Long & Foster Real Estate
Tim McIntyre, Coldwell Banker
Jason Decawski, Berkshire Hathaway

Travel agent: AAA Columbia Car Care Insurance and Travel Center
Honorable mentions:
The Travel Boutique
Destinations Inc.
Monica Baker Travel


Blog: HowChow
Honorable mentions:
HoCo Rising
UK Desperate Housewife USA (recently moved)
The Unmanly Chef

Clergyperson: Monsignor Joseph L. Luca, St. Louis Catholic Church
Honorable mentions:
The Rev. Matthew Buening, St. Paul Catholic Church
The Rev. Mark Norman, Grace Community Church
The Rev. Paige Getty, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Coach: Jimmy Creighton, Howard High School Boys Lacrosse
Honorable mentions:
Phil Lang, Oakland Mills High School Cross Country and Track
Joseph Osborne, Glenelg High School JV Boys Soccer
Samuel Lee, Hwarang Martial Arts

Elected official: County Executive Allan Kittleman
Honorable mentions:
County Councilman Calvin Ball
State Rep. Guy Guzzone
County Councilwoman Mary Kay Sigaty

Personal trainer: Stephanie Dignan, The Boot Camp Girl
Honorable mentions:
Bonnie Pace, Columbia Gym
Mac Cassity, Extreme Fun & Fit Bootcamp
Vic Selvaggi, Colosseum Gym


Police officer: Vic Broccolino Jr.
Honorable mentions:
Steve Willingham
Mary Levy
Mike Johnson

Principal: Marcia Leonard, Hammond High School
Honorable mentions:
Nick Novak, Howard High School
Pat Saunderson, Reservoir High School
Rick Wilson, Folly Quarter Middle School


Dance lessons: b.funk Dance Company
Honorable mentions:
Studio Dans
Backstage Dance Studio
Arabesque Dance Studio

Golf course: Hobbit's Glen Golf Club
Honorable mentions:
Turf Valley
Waverly Woods Golf Club
The Timbers at Troy

Gym: Columbia Gym
Honorable mentions:
Supreme Sports Club
Life Time Athletic
Dancel Family Center Y

Martial arts classes: American Academy of Martial Arts
Honorable mentions:
Klotz Institute of Karate
Hwarang Martial Arts
WKD Karate for Girls

Music lessons: Mike's Music
Honorable mentions:
Damon Foreman Music Academy
Music & Arts
Olenka School of Music

A decade ago, Swansfield Pool was one of the least-visited of the Columbia Association¿s 23 outdoor pools, attracting about 8,000 people a year. This year, for the first time, the Cedar Lane pool became CA¿s most-used pool, with nearly 37,000 visitors

Pool for kids: Swansfield Pool & Mini Water Park
Honorable mentions:
North St. John Swim & Tennis Club
River Hill Pool
Life Time Athletic

Yoga studio: The Yoga Center of Columbia
Honorable mentions:
Gogo Guru Yoga
Bikram Yoga Columbia
Yoga Love

Workout class: BodyPump at Columbia Association
Honorable mentions:
Cycle at Life Time Athletic
Vinyasa Flow at Gogo Guru
Boot Camp at The Boot Camp Girl

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