The who-what-when-where of the 4393 Awards. The 'how' is up to you.
Best gym trainer
1. Ernie Roick at PHiT
2. Chad Couto at Stoweflake
3. Hector Ortiz at PHiT
Nominees: Ron McConnell at The Swimming Hole, Julie Roick at PHiT, Tom Williams at PHiT.
PHiT fit a lot of hardware into its pockets for this category.
Best yoga studio
1. Bikram Yoga Stowe
2. Yoga Barn
3. Stowe Yoga
Nominees: IndyYoga, Studio 108, Swimming Hole.
Zoe Pickett’s Bikram Yoga studio sweated out the Yoga Barn for the victory. Pickett, daughter of Best Chef Jack Pickett, also took top honors as best yoga teacher (see below). Longtime yoga teacher Kate Graves of Stowe Yoga rounded out the top three.
Best yoga teacher
1. Zoe Pickett at Bikram Yoga Stowe
2. Mandy Bard at Bikram Yoga Stowe
3. Mariah Azarovitz at the Yoga Barn
Nominees: Kate Graves, Judith Foti, Meaghan Minogue, Indy Ewald, Melissa Day.
Best religious leader
1. The Rev. Bruce Comiskey at Stowe Community Church
2. Rabbi David Fainsilber at Jewish Community of Greater Stowe
3. Father Benedict Kiely at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church
Nominees: The Rev. Rick Swanson, Pastor Al Lamos.
Rev. Bruce had a bit of an advantage in this one. Simply, he’s the face of Stowe when locals celebrate public milestones (weddings, baptisms) and mourn the departed. His shoes will be hard to fill when he retires after several decades of service to us all.
1. Chin/Top of Mansfield
2. Top of Pinnacle
3. Trapp Family Lodge
Nominees: Camel’s Hump, Edson Hill Road, Pinnacle Meadow, Sunset Rock.
Almost a tie, but the Chin atop Mansfield sweeps in all directions. But how can you go wrong with any of these famous vantage points?
1. Commodities Market
2. Stowe Seafood
3. Harvest Market
Nominees: Mac’s Market, Pete’s Greens, Shaw’s Grocery Store, Sterling Market, Sunflower Natural Foods, Waterbury Village Market.
Best farmers market
1. Stowe Farmers Market
2. Waterbury Farmers Market
3. Morrisville Farmers Market
Nominees: Jeffersonville, Montpelier, Spruce Peak Farmers Market, Waitsfield.
Best food/drink event
1. Stowe Foliage Arts Festival
2. Stowe Wine & Food Classic
3. Craft Brew Races
Nominees: Bikes, Bevs and Beats Festival, Celebration of the Vine Festival, Jeffersonville Festival of the Arts, Stowe Antique Car Show, Stowe Rotary Oktoberfest, Waterbury Arts Festival.
Nominees: All of them, February, May, July, August, October, December.
Every month got at least one vote. But September (peak foliage), June (absolute beauty) and March (spring skiing) got the most.
1. Steve Sulin at Pinnacle Ski & Sports
2. Christopher Vigneau
3. Ed Rovetto at Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge
Nominees: Bobby Roberts, Dave Sautter, Ken Libby, Ken Schumann, Kevin D’Arcy, Michael Jenack, Sam Sheldon, Scott Noble.
Steve Sulin manages Pinnacle Ski & Sports and his hard work seems to have paid off. Sulin told Google in one of its business spotlights: “Whether it’s their first time skiing or their millionth time, we get people excited about the sport. Even when it’s 10 below and the snow is blowing sideways, people come back to us with smiles on their faces. We want people talking about skiing here all year long. It’s about getting that next person hooked.” Seems as if it worked, Steve.
1. Katrine Wolfgang
2. Tamara Burke
3. Heidi Scheuermann
Nominees: Alison Beckwith, Beth Rawson, Diane McCarthy, Hannah Marshall, Kate Wise, Mary Windler, Pascale Savard.
1. Norm Williams
2. Four-way tie: Beth Bradford, Jennifer Volansky, Kaaren Meyer, Mark May.
1. David Wolfgang
2. Diane McCarthy, McCarthy’s Restaurant
3. Ed Rovetto, Piecasso Pizzeria
Nominees: Bob O’Toole, Esbert Cardenas Jr., Jake Carpenter, Mark Frier, Nate Freund.
David Wolfgang owns Pinnacle Ski & Sports, skiessentials.com, the complex housing Commodities Market in Stowe, various other properties — he’s a busy guy and Stowe’s best entrepreneur, say 4393 voters.
Best live music venue
1. Rusty Nail
2. Trapps Concert Meadows
3. Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center
Nominees: Bee’s Knees, Matterhorn, Moog’s Place, Rusty Parker Park, Tuesday Night Live in Johnson.
Does it get any better than the Nail?
Best local musician or band
1. Seth Yacovone
2. Eames Brothers
3. The Shady Trees
Nominees: John Wilson, The Whiskey Dicks.
In May, Seth Yacovone won the Burlington nightclub Nectar’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Not bad for a 35-year old kid from Wolcott who started strumming at 8 and has been playing professionally since his teen years. Here’s how he describes the Seth Yacovone Band: “Original bluesy, hard rock, improvisational power trio music.”
Best big event
1. Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival
2. Stowe Antique and Classic Car Meet
3. Stowe Oktoberfest
Nominees: British Invasion, Lamoille County Field Days, Race to the Top of Vermont, Roktoberfest, Stowe LAX Festival, Stowe Derby, Stowe 4th of July, Stowe Winter Carnival, Waterbury Lantern Parade, Waterbury Not Quite Independence Day.
Balloons. Classic cars. Oompah band. Not a bad trio. In that order.
Best hidden gem of Stowe
1. Moss Glen Falls
3. Bingham Falls
Nominees: Old County Road, Stowe quiet path.
Water and quiet seem to have this category nailed.
Best place to meet singles
1. Skiing/lift lines and chairlifts at SMR
2. Rimrock’s Mountain Tavern
3. Matterhorn (tie)
3. Backyard Tavern (tie)
Ah, remember when you were single? Well, if it happens again, there seem to be plenty of options. Other options: “Not my house,” “if you find one let me know,” “Russell’s house,” “wish I knew,” “my place Friday nights” and, believe it or not, the “unemployment line.”
Best day trip
1. Waterbury Reservoir
2. Green River Reservoir
3. Northeast Kingdom
Nominees: Elmore Mountain, Jay Peak waterpark, Kingdom Trails, Lake Willoughby, Little River State Park, Smugglers Notch.
Local who gives back
1. David Wolfgang
2. Donna and Jake Carpenter (tie)
2. Esbert Cardenas (tie)
Nominees: Diane McCarthy, Ed Rovetto, Glenn Sautter, John & Jen Kimmich, Lisa Hagerty, Marc Sherman, Terry Smith.
No one ran away with this one, but David Wolfgang bested the rest. We listed only those who got a minimum number of votes, but really, everyone on the list probably deserves the honor.
Best activity for kids
1. Jay Peak waterpark
2. Stowe Summer Rec Program
3. Skiing (tie)
3. Biking on Stowe Rec path (tie)
Good to see folks are still up for a road trip now and again. Jay Peak rules, at least for parents!
1. Topnotch Resort & Spa
2. Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa
3. Stowe Mountain Lodge
Nominee: Green Mountain Inn
1. Kate Williams at Stowe Village Massage
2. Maureen Slayton at Sage Therapeutics
3. David Bateman, Advanced Bodywork
Nominees: Jeffrey Williams, Patti Marable, Jennifer Findley, Maggie Mae Anderson, Carlotta Robbins, Mia Lanpher, Rachael Forsman.
Whether they call her Kate or Katie, this Stowe Village Massage masseuse was a clear favorite. Several respondents typed in such things as Kate in the village! or Katie!! to express their appreciation.
Best customer service
1. Pinnacle Ski & Sports
2. Power Play Sports (tie)
2. Green Mountain Inn (tie)
2. Stowe Mountain Lodge (tie)
Nominees: Reservoir Restaurant & Tap Room Restaurant, Robert Paul Galleries, Salon Salon, Stowe Craft Gallery.
Vote totals in this one were close, close, close, as the three-way tie for second illustrates, but in the end Pinnacle Ski & Sports took the win.
1. Salon Salon
2. Sara’s Salon
3. Salon Ruelle, formerly Hair Creations (tie)
3. Styles (tie)
Nominees: BGB Waterbury, Lush, Moira’s, Romano Haircutters, Salon4Men, Stowe Mountain Lodge, Stowe Barber Shop, Sunflower Salon.
1. Joni Gaines at New England Landmark Realty
2. Lee Labier at Labier Realty
3. Paul Spera at Pall Spera Co. Realtors
Nominees: Bobby Roberts, Gail Oberg, Peter Tucker, Ken Libby, Leslie Gauff, Lisa Grady, McKee Macdonald, Meg Kaufmann, Peggy Smith.
Best jewelry store
1. Stowe Gems
2. Stowe Craft Gallery
3. Von Bargen’s
Nominees: Ferro Jewelers.
Best art gallery
1. Helen Day Art Center
2. Robert Paul Galleries
3. Stowe Craft Gallery
Nominees: Axel’s Frame Shop and Gallery, Bryan Memorial Gallery, Galleria Fine Arte, Green Mountain Fine Art Gallery, River Arts, Visions of Vermont, West Branch Gallery.
The range of local art galleries in the Stowe area continues to amaze, from the public art space at Helen Day Art Center to the contemporary West Branch Gallery, and from Stowe Craft Gallery to the eclectic Robert Paul Galleries — and all the choices in between. Results were close among the aforementioned foursome, but the popular Helen Day pulled ahead in the end.
Best gift store
1. Stowe Craft Gallery
2. Stowe Mercantile
3. Stowe Kitchen Bath and Linens
Nominees: Haymaker Card & Gift, Inside Out Gallery, Once Upon a Time Toys, Shops at Spruce Peak, Stowe Street Emporium, Tiny Acorn, Trapp Family Lodge.
Best clothing store
1. Green Envy Boutique
2. Shaw’s General Store
3. Boutique at Stowe Mercantile
Nominees: Caplan’s Shoe and Apparel, Decisions Decisions, Johnson Woolen Mills, In Company Clothing, Miller’s Country Outfitters, Stowe Street Emporium, Well Heeled, Winterfell.
Best resale shop
1. Creative Consignments
2. Forget Me Not Shop
Nominees: Bargain Boutique, Power Play Sports, Pret-a-Porter, Second Chance.
Who doesn’t love a bargain? The 4393 Awards coverage area features its fair share of secondhand and resale shops. Stowe’s Creative Consignments won but the Forget Me Not Shop in nearby Johnson was a close second.
1. Uncle George’s Flowers
2. Wildflower Designs
3. Proud Flower
Nominees: Bailey House, From Maria’s Garden, Peck’s Florist.
Uncle George’s edged out Wildflower Designs, both in Stowe, for the win. But really, who doesn’t love an arrangement of flowers? No matter where they’re from.
Best automotive shop/mechanic
1. Willie’s Village Auto
3. Stowe Auto
Nominees: Auto-Diesel Shop, Bourne’s Service Center, C.A.R.S., Checkered Flag, Duxbury Auto Tech, Larson’s, Pleasant Street Auto, Ted’s Kar Kare, Vianor, Waterbury Service Center, Wolcott Garage.
Willie’s Village Auto, and colorful owner — and Stowe Select Board member — Willie Noyes, set the pace in this category. Snowfire and Stowe Auto posted respectable results, but the “Other” category proved that folks love their car guy — or gal.
Best hardware store
1. Stowe Hardware
2. Waterbury True Value
Nominees: Country Home Center, Johnson Farm Garden, Morrisville Lumber, Parker & Stearns.
People love their Stowe Hardware. They really do. Martha, Chris and the crew.
1. Donald P. Blake Jr. Inc.
2. Patterson & Smith Construction
3. Gordon Dixon Construction
Nominees: Dolan Builders, Gristmill Builders, Sisler Builders, Steel Construction, Stowe Remodeling.
The Stone Brothers Builders won this one. Hands down. But guess what? There is no Stone Brothers Builders, at least that we could find. So we moved everyone up a notch, and ended up with a fine slab of winners. All the usual suspects made our list, topped by Donald Blake Jr. of Morrisville, proving the point that if you need to build something in the Mansfield region, you’ve got lots of fine choices. To the Stone Brothers’ voters… we’re not stoned, but we’re glad someone was having fun.
UPDATE, 7/9: Mystery solved! Stone Brothers Builders is in North Troy, Vt. We were stumped in counting the ballots in our first 4393 Awards; Stone Brothers Builders got the most votes for best builder, but we couldn’t find the company. Turns out it has no real online presence; rather, it works by word of mouth. Locally, it has worked on the Commodities Market, Die Alpenrose and Pinnacle Ski and Sports buildings.
1. Andrew Volansky, Cushman Design Group
2. Milford Cushman, Cushman Design Group
3. Bud Wilson
Nominees: Alan Guazzoni, Chris Carey, Jerry Mcdermott, Paul Rousselle.
Cushman Design Group, established in Stowe in 1989 by Milford Cushman, is the real winner. The firm’s principal took second and its resident architect, Andrew Volansky, took top honors. Job well done.