Cover Stories

Best Of Santa Cruz County 2016 Shopping & Services

Shopping & Services

Best Arts & Crafts

Palace Arts

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Best Arts & Crafts: Palace Arts & Office Supply

1. Palace Arts is family-owned, and has been open in Santa Cruz for 67 years

2. There are two locations, in Capitola and downtown Santa Cruz.

3. At the Capitola location, there are classes and demos for oil painting and acrylic painting.

4. With the popularity of the adult coloring trend, they’ve seen adult coloring books become some of their best-selling items; they have the largest selection on the Central Coast.

5. On Wednesdays, the Capitola location holds “drop-in coloring” for all ages from 3-6 p.m. AE

Best Barbershop

Montgomery’s Barbershop

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Best Barbershop: Montgomery’s Barbershop

1. With its checkered floor and red walls, the vibe at Montgomery’s Barbershop is retro with flair.

2. On weekdays, they are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

3. Most people think of “barbershop” as a guy thing, but Montgomery’s caters to both men and women of all ages.

4. Always popular at Montegomery’s: the “fade” haircut.

5. Can’t imagine what it’d be like to get your haircut at Montgomery’s? Their Facebook site features videos of customers getting their hair done. AE

Best Computer Repair


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Best Computer Repair: Clickaway

1. Clickaway’s computer repair services do not require an appointment, and they provide same-day on-site service.

2. Store manager Vince Hargraves is proud of the “friendly atmosphere” in the store.

3. In addition to computer repair, Clickaway provides services for Verizon Wireless and Comcast.

4. They also carry laptops and desktops from Dell, Lenovo, HP, Apple.

5. The team at Clickaway is fluent in both Spanish and English. AE

Best Green Business

T Paul Sek Eco-Friendly Painting

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Best Green Business: T Paul Sek Eco-Friendly Painting

1. T Paul Sek Eco-Friendly Painting has been dedicated to eco-friendly practices since 2003, out of concern both for consumer health and minimizing environmental impact.

2. It is a family-run business, established by Theodore Sek and wife Debbie Sek.

3. The “T” in “T Paul Sek” comes from the first letter of Paul Sek’s given first name, Theodore. His wife, Debbie, says the name just stuck.

4. They do both indoor and outdoor projects.

5. One of the couple’s all-time favorite jobs was painting a three-bedroom townhouse in Los Gatos 22 colors, with accent walls in each closet. AE

Best Musical Instruments

Sylvan Music

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Best Musical Instruments: Sylvan Music

1. The folks at Sylvan Music have dedicated themselves to what they call the “wide world of killer stringed instruments” for 32 years.

2. Some instruments they carry are made locally, others come from all over the U.S., Europe and the Pacific Rim.

3. Sylvan holds lessons for all stringed instruments; guitar lessons are the most popular.

4. Ukulele lessons are on the rise.

5. Their website,, features video demos created by employees. AE



Adult Store


1329 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Frenchy’s, Pure Pleasure


Alternative Health Services

Thrive Natural Medicine

2840 Park Ave., Soquel,


RUNNERS-UP Five Branches University, The Healthy Way



Mr. Goodie’s Antiques

1541 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 427-9997

RUNNERS-UP Attilia’s Antiques, Clearwater Bazaar


Arts and Crafts

Palace Arts & Office Supply

1407 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 427-1550,

1501 41st Ave., Capitola, 464-2700,

RUNNERS-UP Lenz Arts, Swift Stitch


Auto Dealer

Toyota of Santa Cruz  

4200 Auto Plaza Drive, Capitola, 465-8600,

RUNNERS-UP Ocean Honda, Subaru


Auto Repair

Specialized Auto

2415 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz, 462-3458,

RUNNERS-UP Lloyd’s Tires, RPM Auto Repair


Bank (local)

Santa Cruz County Bank

7775 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 662-6000

819 Bay Ave., Capitola, 464-5300

720 Front St., Santa Cruz, 457-5000

4604 Scotts Valley Drive, # 10, Scotts Valley, 461-5000

RUNNERS-UP Comerica, Lighthouse Bank



Montgomery’s Barber Shop

1047 Water St., Santa Cruz, 713-5038

RUNNERS-UP Hairy Chair, West Side Barbershop


Bed & Breakfast

Inn at Depot Hill

250 Monterey Ave., Capitola, 462-3376,

RUNNERS-UP Babbling Brook Inn, Darling House


Beauty Supply

Westside Beauty Supply

Multiple Locations

RUNNER-UP Belladawna Esthetics


Bookshop (new)

Bookshop Santa Cruz

1520 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-0900,

RUNNERS-UP Crossroads Books, Logos Books & Records


Bookshop (used)

Logos Books & Records

1117 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 427-5100,

RUNNERS-UP Bookshop Santa Cruz, The Literary Guillotine  



Shopper’s Corner

622 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-1398,

RUNNERS-UP El Salchichero, Freedom Meat Locker


Car Wash

Whalers Car Wash

2001 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-0676,

RUNNERS-UP Cruz Car Wash, Master Car Wash


Carpet Cleaning


1521 Seabright Ave, Santa Cruz, 476-9721,

RUNNERS-UP Peachy Kleen, Quality Carpet Care


Children’s Day Care

Simcha Preschool  

3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos, 479-3449

RUNNERS-UP Circle of Friends, Santa Cruz Toddler Care


Computer Repair


303 Potrero St., Santa Cruz, 420-1200,

RUNNERS-UP Blue Screen Computers, Pleasure Point Computer


Consignment Clothing

Closet Shopper

504 Front St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Crossroads Trading Co., Jet Set Bohemian


Coworking Space


101 Cooper St., Santa Cruz, 420-0710,

RUNNERS-UP Cruzioworks, The Satellite Felton


Credit Union

Bay Federal Credit

Multiple Locations

RUNNERS-UP Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, Monterey Credit Union


Dry Cleaners

Classic Vapor Dry Cleaners

285 Water St., Santa Cruz, 423-4646;

809 Bay Ave., Capitola, 479-0650;

415 Trout Gulch Road, Aptos, 688-5011,

RUNNERS-UP Bariteau’s, Master Cleaners


DVD Rental

DVD To Go Scotts Valley

5171 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley,


RUNNERS-UP Capitola Video, Westside Video




1101 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Plaza Lane Optometry, Spex



Harts Fabric

1620 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNER-UP Crossroad Fabrics  


Feed Store

Mountain Feed & Farm Supply

9550 Hwy. 9, Ben Lomond,


RUNNERS-UP General Feed & Seed, Scotts Valley Feed


Financial Planner

Christine McBroom

1066 41st Ave., Ste. A101, Capitola,


RUNNERS-UP Cheryl Rebottaro and Kyle Sharp at Edward Jones



San Lorenzo Floors

3113 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley,


RUNNERS-UP Floors Etc., Samaya’s Eco-Flooring


Flower Shop

The Flower Shack

614 S Branciforte Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-3877

RUNNERS-UP Ace’s Flowers, Susi’s Flowers


Free WiFi


877, Cedar St., Santa Cruz,  


RUNNERS-UP Lulu Carpenter’s, Verve Coffee Roasters




2647 41st Ave., Soquel,


RUNNERS-UP Couch Potato, HomeSpace


Garden Supply

San Lorenzo Garden Center

235 River St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP DIG Gardens, Garden Company


Gift Shop

Zinnia’s Gift Boutique

Graham Plaza, 219 Mount Hermon Road, Scotts Valley,


RUNNERS-UP Artisans Gallery, The Farm Bakery


Green Business

T Paul Sek Eco-Friendly Painting

721 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Allterra Solar, Staff of Life, Greenspace  


Grocery Store (local)

Shopper’s Corner

622 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Deluxe Foods of Aptos, Staff of Life


Grocery Store (natural)

New Leaf Community Markets

1101 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz, 426-1306

1134 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 425-1793

1210 41st Ave., Capitola, 479-7987

RUNNERS-UP Aptos Natural Foods, Staff of Life


Hair Salon

Salon on the Square

110 Cooper St., Ste 100E, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Concrete Rose Salon, L’Atelier Salon


Hardware Store

San Lorenzo Lumber

235 River St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Felton Hardware, Scarborough Lumber  



Pipe Line  

818 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Graffix, Puff-N-Pass


Home Decorating


765 Cedar St. #103, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Stripe, Warmth Company



Dream Inn  

175 W Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Chaminade, Hotel Paradox, Seascape Beach Resort


House Painter

T Paul Sek Eco-Friendly Painting

721 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Paul Coutts Painting, Tom Hartje


Hydroponic Supplier

Santa Cruz Hydroponics and Organics

Multiple Locations

RUNNERS-UP Mountain Feed & Farm Supply, Specialty Garden Supply


Internet Service Provider


877 Cedar St., #150, Santa Cruz,





Dell Williams  

1320 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Artisans Gallery, Super Silver


Kids’ Clothing

Jelli Beanz

2555 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Eco-Goods, Hopscotch


Kitchen Store


1527 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Le Chef, Outside-In



Dreamscape Creative Landscape Solutions

1916 Encina Drive, Santa Cruz


RUNNERS-UP Paradise Landscape, Tree-O Landscape Co.


Laser Hair Removal

Laser Hair and Skin Solutions

783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., #71b, Aptos, 689-9830

RUNNERS-UP Aptos Laser Hair, Santa Cruz Medical Spa




7887 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz, 688-7839

709 Lighthouse Ave., Santa Cruz, 324-4920

RUNNERS-UP Bubbles, Seabright Laundry



Michael Tunink

820 Bay Ave., #120, Capitola, 477-2001

RUNNERS-UP Ben Rice, Dina Hoffman


Life Coach

Janette Valentino

RUNNERS-UP Amber Campion, Karin Leonard



Riverside Lighting & Electric

300 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Illuminée, Om Gallery




1329 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Amoureuse, Legs  



Tracy’s Nails

1420 41st Ave., Capitola, 462-2292

RUNNERS-UP Bella Nails, Opal Spa


Massage School

Cypress Health Institute School of Massage

1119 Pacific Ave., Ste. 300, Santa Cruz,


RUNNER-UP Five Branches University


Men’s Clothing

Stripe Men  

107 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Crossroads Trading Co., Eco Goods  


Men’s Shoes

Sockshop & Shoe Company

1515 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNER-UP Old School Shoes


Music Instructor

Rhan Wilson

RUNNERS-UP Audrey McDonald of Forte Vocal Academy, Steve Palazzo 


Musical Instruments

Sylvan Music

1521 Mission St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP The Starving Musician, Union Grove Music


Pet Grooming

Bed and Biscuits

2625 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Shampoo-Chez, Tailwaggers Pet Grooming Salon


Pet Sitting

Who’s your walkie  


RUNNERS-UP Bed and Biscuits, Little Pup Lodge  


Pet Store

Pet Pals

3660 Soquel Drive, Soquel,


RUNNERS-UP Aptos Feed & Pet Supply, Westside Farm and Feed  



Westside Pharmacy   

1401 Mission St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Frank’s, Horsnyder, Lauden


Photo Developing

Bay Photo Lab

715 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz, 425-1100

2959 Park Ave., Soquel, 475-6090

900 Disc Drive, Scotts Valley, 475-6686,


Piercing Studio

Staircase Tattoo & Body Piercing

628 Ocean St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Black Pearl Electric Tattooing & Fine Art, Mission Street Tattoo & Piercing



Rosenthal Plumbing

2264 Chanticleer Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Bay Plumbing Supply, Bellows Plumbing, Heating & Air


Portrait Photographer

Devi Pride Photography   

1060 River St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Alexandra Rice, Jesse Gabriel  


Pre-Owned Auto Dealer

Toyota of Santa Cruz

4200 Auto Plaza Drive, Capitola,


RUNNERS-UP The Argus Company, Auto One



Santa Cruz Downtown Farmers Market

Cedar and Lincoln streets

RUNNERS-UP New Leaf Community Markets, Sunnyside Produce


Real Estate Agency

Coldwell Banker

824 B Mission St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Keller WIlliams, Thunderbird


Real Estate Agent

Lauren Spencer, My Santa Cruz Real Estate

7979 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 662-6522

RUNNERS-UP Gretchen Bach, Melody Russell   


Real Estate Team

Mulhern and Gomes

1414 Soquel Ave., Ste. 100, Santa Cruz


RUNNER-UP Melody Russell Team   


Record / CD Store

Streetlight Records  

939 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Logos Books & Records, MetaVinyl  



Knox Roofing   

46 El Pueblo Road, Scotts Valley,


RUNNERS-UP Daddario, Moriarity  


Senior Home Care


100 Doyle St., #F, Santa Cruz, 427-1553

RUNNERS-UP Aegis, Ruth Martin Home Care  


Senior Residential Community

Dominican Oaks

3400 Paul Sweet Road, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Aegis, Sunshine Villa   


Sign Shop

Stokes Signs

303 Potrero St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Sign Authority, Signs Up   


Solar Company

Allterra Solar

207 McPherson St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Solar City, Solar Technologies  



Paradise Tanning Co.

3555 Clares St., Capitola,


RUNNERS-UP Belladawna Esthetics, Glimmer and Glow


Tattoo Studio

Heavy Water Tattoo

22606 E. Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP F U Tattoo, O’Reilly’s Tattoo   


Thrift Store

Goodwill Central Coast

350 Encinal St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Abbot’s Thrift, Caroline’s Non Profit Thrift Shop



Lloyd’s Tires

303 River St., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Holser’s Tire Service, Pasillas Tires


Toy Store (kids)


1127 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Jelli Beanz, Wonderland



Adobe Animal Hospital   

1600 Soquel Drive, Santa Cruz,


RUNNERS-UP Animal Hospital of Soquel, Scotts Valley Animal Hospital


Video Game Shop

Level Up

113 Locust St., Santa Cruz, 295-6329

RUNNERS-UP GameStop, Streetlight Records


Vintage Clothing

Moon Zoom  

813 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-8500

RUNNERS-UP Cognito Clothing, Tomboy



European Wax Center

1955 41st Ave., Capitola,


RUNNERS-UP Bare Studio, Smooth Body Lounge


Women’s Clothing

Pacific Trading Company

1224 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-3349,

504 Bay Ave., Capitola, 476-6109,

RUNNERS-UP Aptos Shoes & Apparel, Stripe


Women’s Shoes

Bunnys Shoes

1350 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 423-3824

7000 Soquel Dr. Aptos, 662-2730

RUNNERS-UP Aptos Shoes & Apparel, Sockshop & Shoe Company


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