Goods & Services
Chicoans make their picks, from antiques to tattoos
1st PLACE: Eighth & Main Antique Center
745 Main St., 893-5534
It may not look like it from the outside, but Eighth & Main Antique Center spans over 29,000 square feet, in which individual sellers set up shop with everything from vintage furniture to grandma’s Corningware dishes. It’s a treasure trove that could take all day to mine through—no wonder it’s Chicoans’ perennial favorite!
2nd PLACE: Vintage Hen
215 Main St., 894-1311
3rd PLACE: Country Squyres’ Antiques
164 E. Third St., 342-6764
1st PLACE: Michael M. Rooney
Rooney Law Firm, 1361 Esplanade, 529-4357
Navigating one’s way through the court system can be a major headache for someone without a law degree. That’s why we hire lawyers—and for three years running, CN&R readers have chosen Michael M. Rooney as their go-to guy. Clients say Rooney’s office is professional and well-organized and that the man himself is compassionate and works hard for every case he takes on.
2nd PLACE: Nicole Plottel
Harris & Plottel LLP, 466 Vallombrosa Ave., 893-2882
3rd PLACE: Andrew D. Holley
Attorney for Immigrants, 30 Independence Circle, Ste. 400, 715-2300
Auto paint/body shop
1st PLACE: Concours Elite
2267 Esplanade, Ste. D, 891-0234
After getting into a fender bender (or worse), there’s no better feeling than getting your car back to its original condition. Well, the team at Concours Elite ensures that happens each and every time, inspiring repeat customers and rave reviews. “First rate all the way,” one reviewer writes. Now, that’s hard to beat.
2nd PLACE: JP’s Paint & Body Works
1840 Park Ave., 342-1328
3rd PLACE: Knockout Collision Repair
3225 Esplanade, 899-9202
Auto repair shop
1st PLACE: Affordable Automotive
2106 Park Ave., 892-1774
Affordable Automotive has now officially entered into the Living Legends category, meaning it’s earned Best of Chico status for five years. That’s no small feat. The shop can handle any repair one might need, from preventive maintenance to transmission work to diagnosing and fixing all those mystery rattles we all know too well. With their guarantee and warranty promise, customers know they’re getting service they can trust.
2nd PLACE: C & M Automotive Services
1188 E. Lassen Ave., 343-5613
3rd PLACE: Spencer Automotive
2303 Esplanade, Ste. 80, 345-5600
1st PLACE: Apple Blossom Baby
977 East Ave., Ste. 90, 345-1617
Chico parents continually choose Apple Blossom Baby as their favorite place to shop for baby and kids clothes. It could be that they love the wide selection of unique and hard-to-find items. Or maybe it’s the dedication to stocking quality used pieces to ensure affordability and show a commitment to the environment. Either way, it’s tops!
2nd PLACE: Kat’s Meow
138 W. Third St., 899-8811
3rd PLACE: Kohl’s
1505 Springfield Drive, 897-0920
1st PLACE: Tri Counties Bank
Tri Counties Bank names its core values as trust, respect, integrity, communication and opportunity. With headquarters in Chico, the community-focused bank has grown into a wide network with branches throughout Northern and Central California. Locals know Tri Counties as their bank, and with growth that bond has just gotten stronger.
2nd PLACE: Sierra Central Credit union
352 E. First St., (800) 222-7228
3rd PLACE: Wells Fargo Bank
1st PLACE: Danny’s Barbershop
544 Broadway, 332-0553
A great atmosphere, friendly staff, quality haircuts—that’s how clients characterize their positive experience at Danny’s Barbershop. From the music selection to the detailed attention the barbers give to each cut, Danny’s earns high praise. One customer raves: “I’ve been looking all over Chico for a barbershop, and have tried so many places. Nobody does it better than these guys.”
2nd PLACE: Gentlemen’s Barbershop
151 Broadway, 774-2157
3rd PLACE: Chico’s Barber Shop
162 E. Third St., 487-7373
1st PLACE: Pullins Cyclery
801 Main St., 342-1055
Not only is this town a bonafide cycling destination, making its bike shops all that more important, but Pullins itself is a local institution, having opened nearly a century ago and having served local cyclists since then. Owner Steve O’Bryan is also a genuinely great guy, active in the community and always eager to ensure every customer’s bicycling needs are met.
2nd PLACE: Greenline Cycles
515 Main St., 894-7885
3rd PLACE: North Rim Adventure Sports
178 E. Second St., 345-2453
1st PLACE (tie): G-Ride Pedi-Cab & Trolley
So, he may not drive a traditional cab, but Mike “G-Ride” Griffith—who also takes home top honors as Best Local Personality, by the way—rides a mean pedi-cab. In fact, his fleet has grown over the years to include a trolley. Don’t let that fool you, though, he’ll still be rockin’ out with Lil’ G, making sure your safe ride home is a fun one, too.
1st PLACE (tie): Star Taxi
Star Taxi rose this year out of the ashes of Liberty Cab. While they’ve only been around a short time, their reputation precedes them. The drivers are experienced, the dispatch is friendly and thoughtful and they’ll always get you where you want to go quickly and safely. Bonus: They just added a hybrid to their fleet.
3rd PLACE: Yellow Cab
1330 Locust St., 893-4444
1st PLACE: Chuck Patterson
200 East Ave., 895-1771
Buying a car is known universally as a stressful experience, but readers report otherwise with Chuck Patterson. Because of the dealership’s friendly, knowledgeable sales folks and its vast selection of cars, trucks and SUVs (Toyota, Scion, Dodge, Chrysler and Jeep), Chicoans choose Chuck Patterson as their No. 1 spot for vehicle purchases year in and year out.
2nd PLACE: Courtesy Automotive Center
2520 Cohasset Road, (800) 500-4232
3rd PLACE: Wittmeier Auto Center
2288 Forest Ave., 895-8181
Consignment/ second-hand threads
1st PLACE: Labelz Upscale Consignment Boutique
974 Mangrove Ave., 345-1615
For the past five years, Labelz has been providing Chicoans with an affordable option when it comes to upscale clothing and jewelry. As a consignment shop, customers can buy, trade or sell their clothing—all of it super trendy and at a good price. Customers keep going back for the friendly customer service and ability to always find a treasure.
2nd PLACE: Bootleg
126 W. Second St., 895-1426
3rd PLACE: Rouse & Revolt
225 Main St., 774-2658
1st PLACE: Urban Design Solar
2260 Park Ave., 809-1079
Urban Design Solar has been improving Chico’s energy footprint, one family and one business at a time, for over a decade. The family-owned company strives to go above and beyond to ensure that each client gets not only a well-installed product but also that it best serves their energy needs.
2nd PLACE: Holt Construction
37 Bellarmine Court, 899-1011
3rd PLACE: Jim Souza
3493 Hackamore Lane, 518-6306
1st PLACE: Sweetwater Day Spa
40 Declaration Drive, 894-7722
When locals want to get pampered, they head to Sweetwater Day Spa, which aims to make every customer feel “beautiful, inside and out.” Lie back and relax during a deep-tissue massage to relieve you of the stresses of daily life. Or allow one of the spa’s licensed aestheticians to clear you of unwanted acne and treat you to a soothing facial treatment. Sweetwater staff are there to ensure you leave smiling, relaxed and rejuvenated.
2nd PLACE: Renew Float Spa
1030 Village Lane, Ste. 190, 588-7378
3rd PLACE: Urban Medspa
3221 Cohasset Road, Ste. 120, 891-8772
1st PLACE: Chico Express Cleaners
641 Walnut St., 343-6013; and 752 East Ave., 343-8844
With two locations and over 20 years in Chico, it’s no surprise that locals have come to trust Chico Express Cleaners with all their dry-cleaning needs. Owned by born-and-raised Chicoans Lance and Helen Marshall, the company strives to deliver quality service with a smile. And all while being environmentally friendly!
2nd PLACE: 3rd Generation Cleaners
1390 East Ave., Ste. 128, 899-0333
3rd PLACE: Esplanade Cleaners
164 E. Second Ave., 342-4306
Feed store/ farm supply
1st PLACE: Northern Star Mills
510 Esplanade, 342-7661
For well over a century, Chicoans have trusted Northern Star Mills with their farming needs, especially when it comes to the animals. That’s because the store, still located along The Esplanade near downtown though the city has sprung up around it, stocks everything from dog and cat food to poultry and cattle feed. They also carry fertilizer, soil and seeds for your garden.
2nd PLACE: C Bar D Feed
3388 Highway 32, Ste. A, 342-5361
3rd PLACE: Wilbur’s Feed & Seed
139 Meyers St., 895-0569
1st PLACE: Christian & Johnson
250 Vallombrosa Ave., 891-1881
At Christian & Johnson, you’ll find more than just flowers; you’ll find flowers lovingly arranged to highlight the color and beauty of each bulb. You’ll also find all manner of gifts that make perfect accompaniments to any bouquet or basket. Need something special? Just ask—the staff is knowledgeable and always eager to please.
2nd PLACE: Flowers by Rachelle
2485 Notre Dame Blvd., Ste. 240, 345-2661
3rd PLACE: Chico Florist
1600 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 145, 345-1855
1st PLACE: Hubbs & Co.
956 Mangrove Ave., 892-4940
Hubbs seems to have it all. Cute, rustic signs? Check. Beautifully scented candles? You betcha. What about fashion accessories and even trendy clothing? Yep! No matter who’s on your Christmas list (or birthday list, or thank-you-present list), Hubbs has you covered. And with new items coming in seemingly daily, you’ll never enter the exact same store twice.
2nd PLACE: Made in Chico
127 W. Third St., 894-7009
3rd PLACE: Little Red Hen Gift Shop
897 E. 20th St., Ste. B, 897-0100
1st PLACE: S&S Organic Produce and Natural Foods
1924 Mangrove Ave., 343-4930
As many Chicoans know, S&S started out as a roadside produce stand. Now it’s a full-service grocery, with an impressive selection of organic produce and a butcher shop that puts most others to shame. Add to that the carefully chosen pantry items, breads, wines and herbal supplements and it’s clear S&S fits right into the fabric of Chico life.
2nd PLACE: Trader Joe’s
801 East Ave., Ste. 110, 343-9920
3rd PLACE: Chico Natural Foods Co-op
818 Main St., 891-1713
1st PLACE: Dimensions Salon
810 Broadway, 894-2515
No matter what style of hair—short, long, curly, straight—the stylists at Dimensions Salon will bring out the best in it. They’re all well-trained in everything—trimming, cutting, coloring and styling—so whether you need a new ’do for date night or want to add rainbow highlights to your tips, they’ll make sure you leave with a smile. What’s more, as one customer says, “This salon has such an amazing atmosphere, and the stylists make you feel so comfortable.”
2nd PLACE: The Hair Co.
2760 Esplanade, Ste. 150, 894-2002
3rd PLACE (tie): Crucial Salon
744 Wall St., 487-7077
3rd PLACE (tie): Two22 Salon
222 W. Third St., 592-3961
1st PLACE: Brad Jacobson
Farmers Insurance, 25 Jan Court, Ste. 120, 891-7900
Brad Jacobson has built a reputation for quality insurance services, with his friendliness, knowledge and dependability. He works with his daughter, Kelly Gibbons, and a staff that customers have grown to trust. The testimonials say it all. “If you’re looking for great insurance, go see Brad Jacobson,” one client raved. “Brad, his daughter Kelly, and the other office staff are the nicest people to take care of you. They genuinely care about what works best for you.”
2nd PLACE: Joni Ginno
State Farm Insurance, 1915 Esplanade, 891-5881
3rd PLACE: Gayle Aylward
State Farm Insurance, 1277 East Ave., Ste 110, 895-1356
1st PLACE: Kirk’s Jewelry
246 W. Third St., 891-0880
Kirk Bengtson has made a life of making jewelry, having been in business in downtown Chico for 44 years. His shop, Kirk’s Jewelry, is second to none—just ask CN&R readers, who year after year name it No. 1. Bengston designs his own pieces, which are available in the expansive showroom, or he’s always happy to custom-make a piece, creating wearable memories for generations.
2nd PLACE: Olde Gold Estate Jewelry
225 Main St., Ste. 3, 891-4610
3rd PLACE: Gabrielle Ferrar
214 Main St., 345-1500
1st PLACE: Spike’s Bottle Shop
1270 E. First Ave., 893-8410
Spike’s has long been the go-to liquor store for locals seeking rare or unusual beers. That’s partially because owner Kevin Jaradah, who co-founded Chico Beer Enthusiasts, is committed to keeping his beer shelves stocked. But the store has evolved over the years. These days, Jaradah—who takes home third place this year for Best Local Personality—is turning his sights to whiskey, with a goal of offering the biggest selection of that spirit in town. Plus, Spike’s recently added delivery service—what’s not to like about that?
2nd PLACE: Ray’s Liquor
207 Walnut St., 343-3249
3rd PLACE: Mangrove Bottle Shop
1350 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 160, 342-7575
Local pet store
1st PLACE: Trailblazer Pet Supply
752 Mangrove Ave., 892-1848
At Trailblazer, pets are more than animal companions—they’re the stars of the show. With shelves stocked with a wide selection of foods, treats and toys, plus grooming services where staff ensures each pup is properly pampered, there’s no wonder Chicoans return here time and again. Add to that workshops focused on better understanding and caring for our fur babies and this is truly a one-stop pet shop.
2nd PLACE: Northern Star Mills
510 Esplanade, 342-7661
3rd PLACE: Chico Pet Works & Pet Salon
2201 Pillsbury Road, Ste. 186, 345-0934
1st PLACE: Formal Education
127 Main St., 809-1839
Despite its name, Formal Education doesn’t just specialize in formal wear—though you can rent a tux there when you need one. Instead, it focuses on allowing each man to create his own image, from casual to on-the-town to full-on swagger. There’s even the Chop Shop inside to ensure your beard is perfectly trimmed.
2nd PLACE: Men’s Wearhouse
1950 E. 20th St., Ste. 501, 342-1769
3rd PLACE: Rouse & Revolt
225 Main St., 774-2658
1st PLACE: The Plant Barn & Gifts
406 Entler Ave., 345-3121
For over three decades, The Plant Barn has provided Chicoans with not just a nursery filled with all manner of plants, but also a gift shop and friendly, knowledgeable staff that eagerly guides customers in caring for their gardens. Recently, owners Denise Kelly and Rolf Weidhofer have expanded their property off Entler Avenue to include an events pavilion, perfect for getting the Flower Floozies together for classes and other kinds of fun.
2nd PLACE: Magnolia Gift and Garden
1367 East Ave., 894-5410
3rd PLACE: Little Red Hen Plant Nursery
189 E. Eighth St., 891-9100
Place for a mani/pedi
1st PLACE: Tammy Nails
1354 East Ave., Ste. J, 899-8912
Tammy Nails is a regular winner in this category, and for good reason. The friendly and professional staff takes great pride in pampering customers, whether it be in the spa pedicure chairs or with great attention to creating intricate nail designs that look great and last.
2nd PLACE: Angels Nails & Spa
965 Nord Ave., Ste. 100, 487-7322
3rd PLACE: Bliss Nails & Spa
2033 Forest Ave., Ste. 100, 891-3538
Place for electronics/computer repair
1st PLACE: Chico Computer Clinic
1450 Mangrove Ave., 636-1337
The locally owned Chico Computer Clinic takes pride in helping people quickly and affordably diagnose their computer issues and fix them in order to get on with daily life. Customers rave about the clinic’s friendly staff and almost can’t believe the turnaround time—typically 24 hours!
2nd PLACE: Best Buy Geek Squad
2005 Forest Ave., 566-1012
3rd PLACE: Beetstech
434 Southgate Court, (855) 886-0300
Place to buy books
1st PLACE: The Bookstore
118 Main St., 345-7441
The Bookstore is a Chico institution and a foundation of what it means to be a Chicoan to many locals. Not only is the downtown shop laid out in a lovely, wood-floored space filled with a wide selection of books, but with regular readings, arts fairs and book signings, owners Josh Mills and Muir Hughes have turned the place into a true local arts hub.
2nd PLACE: Barnes & Noble Booksellers
2031 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 894-1494
3rd PLACE: ABC Books
950 Mangrove Ave., 893-4342
Place to buy home furnishings
1st PLACE: The Address
2444 Cohasset Road, 898-9000
The Address prides itself on offering styles that locals can fully envision in their homes, with whole rooms set up inside the spacious showroom where customers can peruse individual items or entire stylistic motifs. If you’re overwhelmed by any decorating project, the team at The Address can help with everything from measuring for custom upholstery to accessorizing a room to designing it from scratch.
2nd PLACE: Nantucket Home
603 Broadway, 895-1038
3rd PLACE: Evans Furniture Galleries
2101 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 895-3000
Place to buy music gear
1st PLACE: The Music Connection
973 East Ave., Ste. V, 898-0110
The Music Connection’s strength is two-fold: It’s a family-run affair, led by wife-husband owners Sally and Bruce MacMillan, and its staff—from clerks to repair specialists to instructors—is composed of knowledgeable folks who are actual musicians themselves. It’s a one-stop shop for all players—from metal guitarists to the clarinetist in the high school band.
2nd PLACE: Herreid Music
824 Oroville Ave., 894-7777
3rd PLACE: Guitar Center
2027 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, 879-1731
Place to buy outdoor gear
1st PLACE: Mountain Sports
176 E. Third St., 345-5011
Chicoans love the outdoors. Maybe we can attribute that to Annie Bidwell, who gifted the city most of what’s now Bidwell Park, a natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts. And Chicoans also know where to go to gear up for their adventures: Mountain Sports, which specializes in clothing, footwear, equipment and accessories made for exploring nature.
2nd PLACE: Chico Sports LTD
698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110
3rd PLACE: Sportsman’s Warehouse
765 East Ave., Ste. 170, 897-0500
1st PLACE: Teresa Raczynski
Park Avenue Photography, 15010 Meridian Road, 521-4340
At Park Avenue Photography, owner Teresa Raczynski’s motto is, “Your life, my lens,” which translates to her specialty in photographing people—newborns, pregnant mothers, children and seniors. Just a glance at her homepage reveals some of the cutest babies we’ve ever seen, alongside sweet family portraits. It’s no surprise, then, to read customers’ comments about Raczynski’s patience and ability to calm the little ones. The results speak for themselves.
2nd PLACE: Diane Nicole
Diane Nicole Photography, 588-4949
3rd PLACE: Danielle Albini
Albini Photography, (619) 403-3419
Real estate agent
1st PLACE: Sabrina Chevallier
RE/MAX of Chico, 1834 Mangrove Ave., Ste. 10, 896-9300
Expertise, professionalism and competence are among the qualities clients have come to expect from Sabrina Chevallier. Her smooth and frequent communication throughout the process especially helps first-time home buyers. One seller noted how Chevallier recommended the appropriate number of presale repairs and connected with competent professionals to get the work completed. Chevallier also gains points for her friendly personality, quick response time and willingness to go above and beyond for her clients.
2nd PLACE: John Barroso
Barroso Real Estate, 261 E. Third St., 570-8489
3rd PLACE: Dustin Cheatham
Century 21 Jeffries Lydon, 1101 El Monte Ave., 355-6881
1st PLACE: Heel & Sole Shoes
708 Mangrove Ave., 899-0780
When flip-flop season rolls around (isn’t it always flip-flop season in Chico?), locals know where to go to find the widest selection of Reefs, Tevas, Rocket Dogs and Rainbows: Heel & Sole. But beyond the aisles of sandals are others filled with wedges, boots, stilettos and sneakers. The choices are endless!
2nd PLACE: Johnson’s Shoes
801 East Ave., Ste. 145, 343-8923
3rd PLACE: Baker’s Birkenstock
333 Broadway, 345-4880
1st PLACE: Dick’s Sporting Goods
1922 E. 20th St., 343-3351
Chicoans love to play, whether it be individual sports like tennis or running or team endeavors from baseball to soccer. When it comes to getting outfitted for any of the above—and more—Dick’s has the goods. The store encompasses an entire anchor space at Chico Mall and the staff is always eager to help customers find the perfect gear for anyone’s game.
2nd PLACE: Chico Sports LTD
698 Mangrove Ave., 894-1110
3rd PLACE: Sportsman’s Warehouse
765 East Ave., Ste. 170, 897-0500
1st PLACE: Eye of Jade
319 Main St., Ste. 200, 345-5233
Walk into Eye of Jade’s downtown studio on any given Saturday afternoon, and you’re likely to see every table filled with people getting a tattoo or piercing and more people sitting in the waiting area for their turn. Owner/tattooist Ben Lucas and his roster of talented artists have created an ideal environment for getting one’s body permanently altered, with a wide-open, airy layout and plenty of colorful inspiration in the art and designs covering every inch of the shop’s walls.
2nd PLACE: Red Room Tattoo
231 Nord Ave., 342-1287
3rd PLACE: 12 Volt Tattoo
194 E. Eighth St, 592-3074
1st PLACE: The Arc Store
2020 Park Ave., 343-3666
Chico is home to many thrift stores, so the competition is stiff in this category. When asked to name their go-to spot to pick up used treasures, Chicoans chose The Arc Store. Not only is the shop well-organized and clean, but it also offers a wide selection of merchandise, from clothing and jewelry to furniture and kitchenware. The bonus is that the proceeds fund a good cause: services for developmentally disabled people. So, shop till you drop and feel good about your purchases.
2nd PLACE: Thrifty Bargain
2432 Esplanade, 774-2158
3rd PLACE: Goodwill
765 East Ave., 893-8578
1st PLACE: For Elyse
228 Broadway, 893-0106
In Chico, fashion is more about dressing individually than it is about name brands. So when it comes to shopping for clothing, women want a store where they know they can find that perfect ensemble. They’ve found it at For Elyse, which is run by three generations of women and declares, “We embrace fashion because it allows women to express their creativity and individuality.”
2nd PLACE: 5th Street Clothing Co.
328 Broadway, 345-5754
3rd PLACE: Anika Burke
211 Main St., 918-8850