Accountant

1st Place
DANIELLE BRINKMAN, BRINKMAN & COMPANY, 300 E. Esplanade Drive, suite #1130, Oxnard, 485-7194

2nd Place
CAREY & HANNA | TAX & WEALTH PLANNERS, 1445 Donlon St., suite 6, Ventura, 644-0697

3rd Place
VANCE, THRIFT & BILLER LLP, 181 S. Ash St., Ventura, 648-6061

 

Auto Body Shop

1st Place
TONY’S BODY SHOP, 497 Lambert St., Oxnard, 485-5514

2nd Place
AVENUE BODY SHOP, 378 N. Ventura Ave., Ventura, 653-6021

3rd Place
BODYTECH AUTO COLLISION REPAIR, 2920 Seaborg Ave., Ventura, 644-4004

 

Car Detailer

1st Place
FINAL DETAILS, 558-1618, www.final-details.com


2nd Place
DIAMOND IMAGE DETAIL, 3507 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo, 844-7212

3rd Place
NEIGHBORHOOD CAR CARE, 1838 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, unit B, 641-0873

 

Car Wash

1st Place
FIVE POINTS CAR WASH, 2912 Telegraph Road, Ventura, 643-7715

2nd Place
THOUSAND OAKS HAND WASH (NOW RED CARPET USA), 2725 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 379-2732

3rd Place
THE AUTO SCRUBBER, 2076 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-6281

 

Child Care

1st Place
LAS POSAS CHILDREN’S CENTER, locations throughout Ventura Unified School District, 644-4344

2nd Place
CHILDREN’S WORLD PRESCHOOL, 7620 Foothill Road, Ventura, 647-3798

3rd Place
PEPPERMINT JUNCTION EARLY CARE & EDUCATION CENTER, 2150 E. Gonzales Road, Oxnard, 988-6065

 

Dog Daycare

1st Place
DOGGIN’ AROUND DAY CARE, 3222 Bunsen Ave., Ventura, 223-3630

2nd Place
SEND ROVER ON OVER DOGGIE DAY CARE & TRAINING CENTER, 1255 Callens Road, Suite E, Ventura, 650-3294

3rd Place
CAMEO’S PET SALON & DOGGIE DAY CARE, 2494 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-3800

 

Dry Cleaner

1st Place
FOUR SEASONS CLEANERS, 1746 S. Victoria Ave., Suite A, Ventura, 654-8181; 4020 E. Main St., #B 3-2, Ventura, 658-0286; 2051 N. Rose Ave., #300, Oxnard, 485-0799

2nd Place
UNIQUE CLEANERS, 2307 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-8497

3rd Place
PERSNICKETY CLEANERS, 1171 S. Victoria Ave., Suite D, Ventura, 644-1171

 

Financial Institution

1st Place
VENTURA COUNTY CREDIT UNION, 6026 Telephone Road, Ventura, 477-4000

2nd Place
CBC FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, 3636 Dean Drive, Ventura, 988-2151; 2151 E. Gonzales Road, Oxnard, 988-2151

3rd Place
PACIFIC OAKS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION (now known as Premier America Credit Union), 6633 Telephone Road, #110, Ventura, 384-1100

 

Home Cleaning

1st Place
MIMI’S HOUSECLEANING, 769 Doris Ave., Oxnard, 205-0727, www.mimishousecleaning.com

2nd Place
CLEAN IT GREEN, 407-1077, www.cleanitgreenventura.com


3rd Place
ROSE VERYMORE CLEANING SERVICES, 264 Occidental Drive, Oxnard, 488-3874

 

Library

1st Place
CAMARILLO PUBLIC LIBRARY, 4101 E. Las Posas Road, Camarillo, 388-5222

2nd Place
E.P. FOSTER LIBRARY, 651 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-2715

3rd Place
OXNARD PUBLIC LIBRARY, 251 S. A St., Oxnard, 385-7500

 

Mechanic

1st Place
WILLIAMS AUTOMOTIVE, 6027 Ventura Blvd., Ventura, 656-1026

2nd Place tie
BILL HAHN’S AUTOMOTIVE, 3737 Transport St., Suite A, Ventura, 644-1037
NEIGHBORHOOD CAR CARE, 1838 E. Thompson Blvd, Ventura, 641-2302

3rd Place
JAY’S AUTOMOTIVE, 1564 Callens Road, Ventura, 658-9907

 

Moving Company

1st Place
MEATHEAD MOVERS, 331 N. Dawson, Suite A, Camarillo, 987-7201

2nd Place
COAST TRANSFER AND STORAGE, 1699 Walter St., Ventura, 642-7757

3rd Place
HILFORD MOVING AND STORAGE, 1595 Arundell Ave., Ventura, 642-0221

 

Music Instructor

1st Place
PHIL SALAZAR AT PHIL SALAZAR’S FIDDLE SHOP, 921 E. Main St., Ventura, 701-2508

2nd Place
JODI FARRELL AT JODI FARRELL MUSIC STUDIO, 1926 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-3103

3rd Place
JOE BAUGH AT ALMIGHTY GUITAR PLANET, 1822 E. Main St., Ventura, 648-4633

 

Nonprofit Organization

1st Place
CASA PACIFICA, 1722 S. Lewis Road, Camarillo, 445-7800

2nd Place
FOOD SHARE, 4156 Southbank Road, Oxnard, 983-7100

3rd Place
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB, Throughout Ventura County

 

Oil Change

1st Place
BIG BRAND TIRE & SERVICE, 578 S. Dawson Drive, Camarillo, 383-3108; 1313 S. Oxnard Blvd., Oxnard, 487-7883; 3850 E. Main St., Ventura, 650-3290

2nd Place
THE LUBE SHOP, 274 Arneill Road, Camarillo, 482-4500

3rd Place
AUTO LUBE CARE, 1875 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura, 643-0963

 

Pet Groomer

1st Place
ALOHA DOG GROOMING, 1076 E. Front St., Suite A, Ventura, 643-4852

2nd Place
DEE DEE’S DOG SPOT, 973 E. Front St., Ventura, 648-7768

3rd Place
VICKIE’S PAMPERED PET, 6324 Bristol Road, Ventura, 656-6999

 

Plumber

1st Place
MIKE KIMBLE PLUMBING, 5770 Nicolle St., #E, Ventura, 644-4180

2nd Place
FRANKLIN AND VIZZO PLUMBING, 2594 Channel Drive, Ventura, 987-6220

3rd Place
CAMARILLO PLUMBING AND PAINT, 2401 E. Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 482-8963

 

Psychic

1st Place
VENTURA PSYCHIC, 1474 E. Main St, Ventura, 643-2500

2nd Place
CHRISTINE KRATAVIL AT JOURNEY HOME, 2950 Johnson Drive, Suite 113, Ventura, 650-8272

3rd Place
LAURA STINCHFIELD, PET PSYCHIC, 895-5968, www.thepetpsychic.com

 

Real Estate Agent

1st Place
FRED EVANS, THE FRED EVANS TEAM, RE/MAX GOLD COAST REALTORS, 5720 Ralston St., Suite 100, 339-3502

2nd Place
THE FAIRCHILD AND RIDGEWAY GROUP, RE/MAX GOLD COAST REALTORS, 5720 Ralston St., Suite 100, Ventura, 339-3585

3rd Place
DOUG MOE AT KELLER WILLIAMS REALTY, 288-6284, 338-9944

 

Shoe Repair

1st Place
POP’S ONE-STOP REPAIR SHOP, 2131 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo, 388-0700

2nd Place
BART’S SHOE REPAIR, 317 Borchard Drive, Ventura, 643-7502

3rd Place
LEE’S SHOE REPAIR, 1806 E. Main St., Ventura, 643-1416

 

Surfboard Shaper

1st Place
STEVE WALDEN AT WALDEN SURFBOARDS, 853 E. Front St., Ventura, 653-1717

2nd Place
ROBERT WEINER AT ROBERTS SURFBOARDS, 1362 Tower Square, #1, Ventura, 658-6855

3rd Place
FLETCHER CHOUINARD AT FLETCHER CHOUINARD DESIGNS, 43 S. Olive St., Ventura, 641-9428

 

Travel Agent

1st Place
VENTURA TRAVEL SERVICE, 3435 Telegraph Road, Ventura, (800) 597-2161

2nd Place
TROPIC TRAVELS, 298 S. Seaward Ave., Ventura, 648-4661

3rd Place
MARTHA JAFFE AT TRAVEL PLANNERS INTERNATIONAL, 218-3324

 

Veterinarian

1st Place
OHANA PET HOSPITAL, 4547 Telephone Road, Suite A, Ventura, 658-7387

2nd Place
ANACAPA ANIMAL HOSPITAL, 5380 Ralston St., Ventura, 644-5521

3rd Place tie
BUENA ANIMAL HOSPITAL, 3986 E. Main St., Ventura, 642-2191
CHANNEL ISLANDS VETERINARY HOSPITAL, 741 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Port Hueneme, 984-9868


EDITOR’S PICKS

Best place to soup up your ride

Go Big Truck Performance Inc.

2062 Knoll Drive, # B, Ventura
650-6169
www.gobigtruckperformance.com

When it comes to trucks, the undisputed kings of the American automotive jungle, there’s only one rule, the bigger … the better.

If there’s any place in Ventura County that spreads that philosophy, it’s Go Big Truck Performance Inc.

Whether it’s the suspension, wheels, tires, rims, LED lighting or whatever modifications or upgrades you can dream up, Go Big will take your truck, jeep or SUV to a whole new level of awesomeness.

Ever hear of a truck being lifted, souped up, jacked up or tricked out? Regardless of what you call it, that’s exactly what Go Big specializes in doing.

The family-run business operated by Tiger Garcia and his wife, Annie, has been nestled in the same Ventura location since it opened in 2006.

Garcia, a former professional motocross racer who “lifted” his first truck when he was only 13 years old, prides Go Big on its attention to detail and genuine concern for seeing the client’s vision become a reality. Those clients, from working class to high-end famous types, have come from all over the West Coast to get their vehicles “the love” from Go Big.

“I build it up like it’s my own. I want it to be absolutely perfect,” explains Garcia. “There’s not a better feeling then seeing how happy and blown-away a customer is when they see their truck for the first time”

— Chris Jay

Best place for creative reuse framing

Summer Camp

1020 W. Ojai Ave., Ojai
861-7109

Ojai’s custom framing shop and vintage lifestyle store Summer Camp attracts artists looking for a unique way to enhance their work, and people interested in retro outdoors gear. Michael Graves and his wife, Rachel, worked in the framing business for many years before opening Summer Camp in November 2013.

Some of the frames they create are made from reclaimed wood for a rustic feel. The store has emerged as an important resource for local artists, as well as people with simpler framing needs for keepsakes like beloved school projects. Summer Camp is located in a beautifully converted gas station near the intersection of State Routes 33 and 150. Stepping inside is like entering a time machine. Old wooden water skis and tennis rackets adorn the walls. Vintage Thermos bottles and national park pendants evoke nostalgic feelings of camping trips long ago.

Most of the items for sale have a mid-century modern vibe. Almost everything is handmade in California or other parts of the U.S. Instead of offering mass-produced goods, the focus is on artisanal items such as incense holders that look like little canoes.  Graves says the look is appealing to a growing wave of people seeking simplicity in their lives.

“People want to be outdoors and get out of the city and connect with nature and go out and explore,” says Graves. “They want to see America and the national parks. That’s really become a travel interest as opposed to traveling overseas. With that whole phenomenon happening right now, this style really fits into what people are drawn to.”

Summer Camp also provides a space for art shows and photo shoots. People who make goods sold in the store also host workshops to teach their crafts to the community. Workshops involve projects like weaving wall hangings and watercolor painting. All the materials are provided, and participants leave with a personalized creation they made with their own hands.

Graves says many people who visit find the shop reminiscent of the quirky aesthetic favored by film director Wes Anderson, especially Moonrise Kingdom, which is set at a summer camp.

“A lot of the items we sell in the store are things you might see in the film, and we’ve just always been drawn to his style,” says Graves. “You can definitely see that kind of look or inspiration in the style and items we sell.

— Alex Wilson

 

Best place to rent some serenity

Ventura Boat Rentals

Corner dock at Ventura Harbor Village
642-7753
www.venturaboatrentals.com

You’ve seen them glide along the ocean’s surface as if they were some holy person oblivious to water’s density, standing up, paddling away and moving among surfers who are waiting in the channel, or “on the inside,” for the next wave. While to many, the sport of standup paddle boarding may look rather exhausting, the truth of the matter is, with the evolution of the human species to homo-erectus, aka upright man, standing is practically a more natural state of being, increasing blood flow and thus providing all sorts of benefits, including avoiding type 2 diabetes and early death. And after one hour of standup paddle boarding in the Ventura Harbor, so began my love affair with the sport.

In all honesty, I was a bit intimidated by the thought of trying to keep my balance on a standup paddle board and, even more so, the idea of trying to get back on the board after falling off. In the end, however, those fears were unsubstantiated. In fact, once I realized I could just relax and use my oar to cut through the water, I had a rather profound bonding experience with nature, the ocean, the serenity of it all. Not to mention, sharing that experience with my 11-year-old son who took some liberty in showing off just how easy it was for him to balance on a more unstable board than my own. But in that, the overall time spent in the Ventura Harbor with seals passing by and pelicans overhead, we had found something we could do together and thoroughly enjoy. (For those who love the ocean but don’t want to be in it or get seasick, this is a great way to go.)

One of the local best places to rent a variety of standup paddle boards, as well as kayaks, pedal boats and small boats, check out Ventura Boats Rentals. Though we have already looked into buying our own boards, for the time being, for the sake of convenience and efficiency, renting is a great option, especially at $20 an hour ($21 on a credit card). Also, for truly unique experiences, moonlight kayaking tours and standup paddle board with your dog are also available — but you will have to bring your own life vest for your beloved pet. It has been said that there is no greater fear than fear itself — so let all those apprehensions go and try it out. It’s worth it.

— Michael Sullivan