Best of the Best Honored

Businesses and organizations celebrated victories at the 2022 Best of Carmichael event. Results were announced during an awards dinner at Mission Oaks Community Center. The annual contest is sponsored by the Carmichael Times and Carmichael Chamber of Commerce.Chamber Director Joe Green offers a red velvet cake for auction. Chamber President Kelli Foley (background) flags bids.Dentists Gabrielle Rasi and Kevin Tanner share an exotic toast with Angela Gitt and Sarah Hemmen.River City Brewing Company takes Best Pub honors. Owners Steve Cuneo (left) and Beth Biro (right) inspect desserts with Danny Biro and Chamber director Bill Bowen.Carmichael Chamber of Commerce host the tropical themed fundraiser. Supporters include Matt Crooks (left), Marguerite Myers, Honorary Mayor Salvador Ramirez, Chamber President Kelli Foley, and Chamber directors Izzy DeLancey and Dale Lorzo.

Carmichael, CA (MPG)  |  Story and photos by Susan Maxwell Skinner
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Businesses and organizations celebrated victories at the 2022 Best of Carmichael event. Results were announced during an awards dinner at Mission Oaks Community Center. The annual contest is sponsored by the Carmichael Times and Carmichael Chamber of Commerce.

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Chamber Director Joe Green offers a red velvet cake for auction. Chamber President Kelli Foley (background) flags bids.

CARMICHAEL, CA (MPG) - More than 7000 voters have decided the top businesses and services in Carmichael. After weeks of voting, winners were announced at the Best of Carmichael awards dinner last weekend.

An occasion for business people to let down hair, the gala adopted tropical theme. Guests were treated to ukulele music, exotic cocktails and desserts by auction.  A chocolate and raspberry confection whipped up by Heidi Green raised a final bid of $300. A nine-layer chocolate cake from Claim Jumper Restaurant claimed $250. The hammer also fell on pies, cookies and a vegan recipe cake.

Almost 150 candidates and supporters packed the Mission Oaks Community Center. Winning envelopes were torn open Oscar-style. While nobody got face-smacked, back-slapping and cheering were victors’ dues.

Some organizations won twice: Effie Yeaw Nature Center netted Best Non-Profit and for Best Place to Visit; Katie Pexa’s business took dual awards: Best Insurance Agency and Best Residential Service.

Auto shops were revved up contenders: American Eagle Body Shop and Wrench Rat Automotive tied for Best Body Repair. A single-vote difference won the Buck Family’s Best Auto Repair award.

Among 30 categories, restaurants attracted most competition. Best Pizza was delivered to Mark and Monica’s; Hagen’s Orange Freeze squeezed Best Fast-Food honors. Skip’s Kitchen won Best Restaurant and River City Brewery was voted Best Bar and Pub ‒ the brewery also scored most overall support with 601 voters in its favor.

Incapacitated by a car accident, I Love Pie Bakeshop owner Diana Shockey was cheered in absentia as Best Dessert Shop winner. A bespoke apple pie from Shockley’s oven sold for a $200 bid. Top silent auction earner was a Wine Country getaway, closing at $800.

For the fifth time, Carmichael Presbyterian collected Best Church laurels. Another perennial winner, Bel Air Market, has snagged best Grocery Store every year since 2017.

Nearly 400 local businesses were nominated this year and 387 people cast a total of 7125 votes. This figure reflects almost doubled participation over the 2021 competition, whose results were announced virtually due to COVID restrictions.  Votes were tallied by Ryan Griffith of Voter Fly.

Awards dinner sponsors include Assemblyman Ken Cooley, SMUD and Dignity Health.

 

Full Best of Carmichael results are as follows:

Best Accounting & Tax Service: Tiffany Detinne, CPA.

Best Auto Body Repair (tied): American Eagle Body Shop; Wrench Rat Automotive.

Best Auto Repair/Service: Buck Family Automotive.

Best Bank/Credit Union: Golden 1 Credit Union (Carmichael).

Best Bar/Pub: River City Brewing Company.

Best Barber/Beauty Salon: Twisted Scissors Salon & Boutique

Best Carmichael School: Nature's Lab School.

Best House of Worship: Carmichael Presbyterian Church

Best Coffee/Coffee Shop: Fast Cat

Best Contractors/Residential Services:    Katie Pexa Insurance (Farmers Insurance).

Best Dental/Orthodontist: Marconi Dental Group

Best Dessert/Bakery/Ice Cream: I Love Pie Bakeshop

Best Fast Food: Hagen's Orange Freeze

Best Financial Service: Northwestern Mutual - Jeremy J. Wakamiya.

Best Grocery Store/Market: Bel Air Carmichael (#511).

Best Health/Fitness/Gym/Club: Urban Flex Fitness.

Best Home-based Business: Susan Maxwell Skinner.

Best Insurance: Katie Pexa (Farmers Insurance).

Best Jewelry Store: Sharif Jewelry.

Best Medical/Wellness Services: Dignity Health - Mercy San Juan Medical Center.

Best Mortgage Broker/Lender: Anna-Marie Rodriguez (Fairway Mortgage).

Best Non-Profit/Community Service: Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Best Pizza: Mark & Monica's Pizza.

Best Place to Visit: Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Best Professional Services: Carmichael Box Shop.

Best Real Estate Office: Diez & Sigg Properties.

Best Restaurant: Skip's Kitchen.

Best Retail: Magnolia Antiques & Home.

Best Senior / Assisted Living: Your Elder Care Specialist

Best Pet Services: Sunflower Pet Salon