COVER STORY

BEST OF JAX! 2015

SHOPPING, HEALTH & BEAUTY, EDUCATION

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BEST B&B IN JACKSONVILLE
Riverdale Inn
Finalists: Dickert House, St. Johns House
The Riverdale Inn is a historically significant mansion in Jacksonville’s Riverside neighborhood. Built in 1901, the house still has late-Victorian design elements and flourishes from the style reminiscent of its heyday around the turn of the 20th Century. The 10-room Inn is a home away from home for visitors to the area, providing a central location from which folks can explore all over, giving them one of the few walkable experiences available in Jax.


BEST B&B ON AMELIA ISLAND
The Fairbanks House
Finalists: Elizabeth Pointe Lodge, Addison House
Reviews for The Fairbanks House represent a who’s who of prestigious travel publications, most of which have noted the sheer beauty of Amelia Island’s best Bed & Breakfast. In addition, owners Bill and Theresa Hamilton have gone to great lengths to create the most environmentally sustainable operation possible — including the installation of two electric car-charging stations featuring Tesla and Universal Chargers.

BEST B&B IN ST. AUGUSTINE
Victorian House
Finalists: Casablanca Inn, Westcott House
It’s all about location in historic St. Augustine. From the Victorian House Bed & Breakfast, situated in the heart of Downtown’s historic district, guests can experience the many amenities and activities of the celebrated Ancient City. Just want to relax? Victorian House is perfect for that, too: Sit on the porch or a private balcony and imagine life like it was when the house was built in 1895 — just a touch more simple.

BEST BIKE SHOP
ZenCog Bicycle Company
Finalists: Open Road, Champion Cycling
More than just a bike shop, ZenCog on Stockton Street in Riverside is a community center, inspiring people to get on all kinds of bicycles and explore the beauty of the neighborhoods and streets of Northeast Florida. ZenCog hosts a number of community rides, bringing young and old together with the common bond of pedal power. It remains the area’s No. 1 spot for all things spoke and tire, according to readers of Folio Weekly.

BEST CLOTHING STORE
Grease Rags Clothing Company
Finalists: Wolfgang, Forever 21
Two years in business and two years scoring the Best Clothing Store from our readers has Grease Rags’ owner Cindy Platt tickled hot pink all the way to the tips of her hair. The Downtown spot on Monroe Street is the place to get funky, artsy and rockabilly-y. OK, we made that last word up. But seriously, this place is too cool to be called Old School, too hip to be hipster, too damn awesome to be missed. And, better still, 100 percent local.

BEST DOCTOR
Dr. Loren Clayman

BEST PLASTIC SURGEON
Dr. Loren Clayman

BEST DAY SPA
Dr. Clayman’s Miracle Spa
This year, Dr. Clayman lays claim to victories in three categories: Best Day Spa, Best Plastic Surgeon, and the coveted Best Doctor. A board-certified plastic surgeon who has won his share of Best of Jax awards during his more than 30 years in private practice, his are the dedicated hands of experience and finesse. Before he became a BOJ icon, Dr. Clayman served Vietnam vets, performing complicated facial reconstructions on returning soldiers who’d been prisoners during the conflict. And Dr. Clayman’s Miracle Spa, located next to St. Vincent’s Hospital in historic Riverside, offers a variety of non-surgical services that are all the rage for FW readers’ beautifying, relaxing and rejuvenating needs.

BEST HAIR SALON
Hawthorn Salon
Finalists: Verde Eco-Salon, Cortello Salon
Where to get that fade, that do, that cut? Hawthorn Salon, opened by stylists Jim Stracke and Lea Laskowitz, is smackdab in the middle of Riverside’s 5 Points shopping district. The experienced staff focuses on up-to-the-minute cuts and styles, thanks to continuing education for all the stylists. In addition to offering top-of-the-line hair products, the now-award-winning salon hosts openings for in-house art exhibits.

BEST HAIRSTYLIST
Emily Fletcher, Miko Salon
Finalists: Anthony (Anthony’s et al), Ronnie King (Verde Eco-Salon)
Very much like The Highlander (except for the chopping off heads bit), there can be only one. Many can shampoo, cut, comb, and crimp with the best of them, but only one stylist rises to the top of the gel. Emily Fletcher, stylist extraordinaire the fashion-forward, Miko Salon represents the best of the bunch.  Congratulations, Emily on being chosen Best Hairstylist by Folio Weekly readers. May your blades stay sharp!

BEST HEALTH CLUB/GYM
Planet Fitness
Finalists: LA Fitness, Anytime Fitness
If you’re not an everyday sadist, you may have discovered a natural aversion to mantras like “No pain, no gain,” or, more darkly, “pain is weakness leaving the body,” and the clanging and guttural groans of most weight rooms are likely a deterrent. If this sounds like you, Best of Jax voters suggest you look into one of Planet Fitness’ Northeast Florida locations where, aside from disavowing what they call “gymtimidation” and espousing their trademarked “Judgement Free Zones” (not to be confused with Folio Weekly’s Free Judgment Zones, where our staffers gleefully assess and degrade your looks, for free; at least we spell “judgment” correctly), they keep prices low and offer classes for members of varying builds and cardiovascular health.

BEST HEALTH FOOD STORE
Grassroots Natural Market
Finalists: Native Sun Natural Foods, Whole Foods Market
Since 2006, Grassroots Natural Market on Park Street in Riverside has been enriching lives by encouraging healthy eating and living. Started by two local brothers, this ever-expanding shop offers herbal supplements, organic produce, organic wines and craft beers, cheeses, supplements, skin-care products, and even organic pet food for conscientious cat and dog owners. The deli and juice bar serves fresh items for folks who want to snag a good-for-you nosh and/or beverage as they load up their carts with some of the 11,000 carefully sourced natural goods.


BEST HOOKAH LOUNGE
Casbah Café
Finalists: Taverna Yamas, Habibi Bar & Cafe
This region boasts many restaurants and lounges that serve Middle Eastern cuisine and culture, thanks to the large intergenerational Arabic community here, but Casbah Café is consistently one of our readers’ BOJ favorites. The Avondale restaurant combines the relaxation of a neighborhood hangout with the flavor and mystery of the Middle East hookah culture. The experience is communal and private, convivial and intimate, amply aided by hookah pipes, the belly dancers and plate upon plate of earthy hummus, tastebud-happy baba ghanoush, fried kebbe and other exotic soul-satisfactions.

BEST E-CIG/VAPOR SHOP
New Leaf Vapor Company
Finalists: Blackhat Vapor Company, CloudLife Vapor
New Leaf’s slogan is “Made for Picky Vapors,” and the Five Points vape shop has built its smoking customer base on decoding just what blends will satisfy each one. The staff at the shop are customer-focused, whether helping the novice or the experienced vaper. The shop sells fruity smokes, like Florida Orange and Grape Escape, as well as more savory pulls, like Classic Carolina Tobacco or the raunchy-sounding Ranch Hand. Its juices are customizable and the shop prides itself on mixing flavors, varying the nicotine level or putting together a blend with no nicotine at all.

BEST HOSPITAL
Baptist Medical Center
Finalists: St. Vincent’s Healthcare, Mayo Clinic
The very wise Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” With nearly two dozen locations around Northeast Florida including hospitals, outpatient clinics and imaging centers, Baptist Health is the preferred entity for real wealth in the region. After all, they’ve got value-added lifesaving locales like Baptist Medical Center South, Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Hill Breast Center and Baptist Center for Bariatric Surgery.

BEST JEWELRY STORE
Underwood’s Jewelers
Finalists: Beard’s Jewelry, Miriam’s Jewelry
For more than 80 years, Underwood’s has been supplying Northeast Floridians with the highest quality of engagement rings, wedding sets, watches, earrings and bridal gifts. Founded in 1928 in Palatka by H.F. Underwood, the now-local multi-location (San Marco, Ponte Vedra Beach, Avondale and Avenues Mall) jeweler claims the largest American Gem Society-credentialed staff east of the Mississippi River. The award-winning company offers fine jewelry by designers David Yurman, Belle Etoile, Benchmark, DiModolo, Mikimoto, Roberto Coin and Marco Bicego, among others. Underwood’s has been crowned once again our readers’ favorite bling headquarters — every year since our the annual arts awards morphed into what is now Best of Jax readers’ poll in 1991. We should consider changing that, since it covers St. Augustine, Fernandina and Orange Park — how does Best of Four Counties sound? Right; sucks.

BEST LIQUOR STORE
ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
Finalists: Total Wine & More, Riverside Liquors & Village Wine Shop
From bitter herbal liqueurs like Fernet-Branca to local brews from Aardwolf Brewing Company and Bold City Brewery, there’s a bit of something for everyone at ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. Founded in 1936 in Orlando by Jack Holloway, ABC now spans the state, with 18 stores in and around Northeast Florida, from San Jose to St. Augustine and Beachside to Baymeadows and Jax/Atlantic/Ponte Vedra beaches.

BEST LAWYER
John M. Phillips (Law Offices of John M. Phillips)
Finalists: Nick James, Eddie Farah 
Five years, five Best Lawyer wins for John M. Phillips. The champion for underdogs is known to Folio Weekly readers for his fearlessness in both the courtroom and the court of public opinion. Accessible, sharp and down-to-earth in a way you wouldn’t believe unless you’ve been on the receiving end of one of his warm and hearty handshakes, Phillips takes it to the (court)house again and again and again. And he usually wins.

BEST PLACE TO BUY A CAR
Tom Bush Family of Dealerships
Finalists: Autoline, Carmax
When it comes to buying a car, whether it’s a Volkswagen, BMW, Mazda, or Mini, the Tom Bush Family of Dealerships are great. With six locations (most of the 9800 blocks of Atlantic Boulevard and a place out on Blanding), they’ve got big cars, small cars, medium-sized cars — all of which have wheels — and he’s got a two-syllable name and … OK, you caught us. No one at Folio Weekly can afford a new car. And even if we could, we’ve got too many points on our individual licenses to get behind the wheel. That’s why we hire Pedi-cabs to take us everywhere (great gas mileage, too). But if we could buy a shiny new Beemer, we would take a recommendation from our readers, who’ve voted Tom Bush – family-owned-and-operated for 45 years – the best place to buy a car four years in a row.

BEST SKATE SHOP
The Block Skate Supply Shop
Finalists: Skate Bomb The SB Skate Co., Sunrise Surf Shop
Northeast Florida has been an incubator for skateboard culture since well before the opening of Kona SkatePark in 1977. Though The Block Skate Shop on Park Street in Riverside is the newest addition to the region’s skate scene, the shop’s owners have serious street (course) cred. Local boys James Smith (founder of Meros Academy) and professional skateboarder Mike Peterson have each contributed to the advancement of the distinct skate culture that’s spreading in NEFla — thanks in no small part to the Block’s loyal customers, as well as FW’s Best of Jax voters, who have the sense to reward them for that.

BEST TATTOO SHOP
Black Hive Tattoo
Finalists: Inksmith & Rogers, 8th Day Tattoo
If you’re three sheets to the wind, with a gaggle of girlfriends, and looking to get a butterfly tramp stamp, then Black Hive Tattoo is not the place for you. Rather, Black Hive is a custom studio comprising artists Nick Wagner, Selina Medina, Colbey Joyce and Sole Del Real, who specialize in traditional flash and out-of-the-box artistry. Located on Gilmore Street in Riverside and established in November 2008, Black Hive is the obvious choice for any (sober) discerning ink connoisseur.

BEST VETERINARIAN
Dr. Susan Shelton (St. Francis Animal Hospital)
Finalists: Dr. Mark Chick (San Juan Animal Hospital), Jacksonville Humane Society
St. Francis Animal Hospital is a not-for-profit animal clinic founded by Dr. Susan Shelton in 2003 to provide affordable health care for the region’s pets. That’s a mission Folio Weekly readers believe in. The clinic offers reasonably priced care for all owned pets, with a base rate of $33 for a standard office visit. The experienced, compassionate staff often finds ways to help individual animals in need. The Family Pet Fair & Blessing of the Pets, an annual fundraiser for St. Francis, is held 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 3 at Fletcher Park, 1652 Atlantic Blvd., San Marco.

BEST DIVE SHOP
Diver’s Supply
Finalists: Atlantic Pro Dive, Scuba Tiger 
In “Along Came Polly,” a ripped Hank Azaria commanded our attention with his huge … acting ability as he quipped, “So, tell me true. Are you guys for SCUBA?” For Northeast Floridians who answered with a resounding “YES! OH YES!” Diver’s Supply on St. Johns Bluff Road South has everything you’d need to safely swim with the fishes. And if you’re not ready to strap on neoprene and a tank and jump in the deep drink, this year’s Best Dive Shop also offers onsite SCUBA certification courses.

BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE
That Poor Girl Vintage & OLD.SKOOL.JUNK
Finalists: Grease Rags Clothing Co., Goodwill North Florida
Looking for a 1960s lavender chiffon prom dress? On the hunt for some Daisy Dukes from the ’80s? Check out That Poor Girl Vintage. Established in September 2011 by Tori Poor and Linda Blake, the eclectic boutique is located on King Street in Riverside and has recently partnered with OLD.SKOOL.JUNK to “give you a well-rounded and even more unique vintage experience,” says Poor. “That Poor Girl is an ever-evolving creative space/shop in the name of vintage weirdness!”

BEST RECORD STORE
Deep Search Records
Finalists: Young, Loud & Snotty, Yesterday & Today
Established at the end of 2012 by twentysomething Rich Rapp, Deep Search offers vinyl by everyone from Buddy Guy and Bob Dylan to Jimi Hendrix and J Dilla. Besides new and very gently used 33rpm music recordings (in case you don’t know what ”vinyl” means), Deep Search stocks books, generally ones of poetry, philosophy, literature and the arts. They’ve got an online store, too, for those of you who don’t get out much.

BEST FARMERS MARKET
Riverside Arts Market
Finalists: Jacksonville Farmer’s Market, Beaches Green Market
Jacksonville’s RAM has been pulling people from all over the region to its Farmer’s Row, which offers local produce from Congaree and Penn, Eat Your Yard Jax, Maggie’s Herb Farm, and more. Every Saturday, the row is full of produce, cheeses, breads, truffles, and meats. The local crafters and artisans market has certainly made its impact on Northeast Florida after its six years in operation, expanding to include more than 100 vendors. Just recently, RAM stepped up its commitment to offer only locally produced food, expanding consumer consciousness in the process.

BEST SURF SHOP
Sunrise Surf Shop
Finalists: Aqua East Surf Shop, Surf Station
Can’t get the local surf report to snap your pic, brah? You may want to stop into perennial Best of Jax winner Sunrise Surf Shop on Beach Boulevard in Jacksonville Beach. Sunrise has been helping customers step up their schwacking with new surf sleds and rad threads since 1976. Adding to the shop’s street-cred (wave-cred?), Sunrise boasts the most badass surf team in the whole country — they brought home their third National Surf Shop Challenge Championship last fall. While you’re in the shop on your way to the deep blue, pick up a surfboard mount for your GoPro camera. You can shoot surf selfies and show those photogs once and for all just how bitchin’ you truly are.

BEST YOGA STUDIO
Big Fish Power Yoga
Finalists: MBody Yoga, Yoga Den
Promising a more rapid entree through the doors of enlightenment, Big Fish Power Yoga in Jacksonville Beach has nabbed recognition among those in the know, to wit, Folio Weekly readers. Mary Lyn Jenkins opened Big Fish in 2010, with a studio staff that focuses on heated Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga, as well as slow flow, power, deep stretch and kids’ classes. Part of its appeal is that Big Fish caters to practitioners and teachers of all levels. The programs include classes, workshops and other training opportunities, earning Big Fish a loyal following. Namaste.

BEST LOCAL BOOKSTORE
Chamblin BookMine, Chamblin’s Uptown
Finalists: The BookMark, San Marco Book Store
For the Luddites among us, nothing beats the thrill of scoring a classic novel, anciently dog-eared, foolishly annotated with notes to someone’s long lost love, reeking of that same person’s study, a person who’s been dead and gone for decades. Wow, that took a dark turn. But honestly, the love for Chamblin’s (both the bookmine on Roosevelt Boulevard and the uptown location on Laura Street) runs deep among area bibliophiles. With 55,000 square feet of books, providing ample opportunity to unearth used/rare treasures covering topics from Jacksonville history to the black arts, and the intersections in between (of which there are many), it’s one of the city’s finest homegrown cultural institutions.

BEST HOTEL IN NORTHEAST FLORIDA
One Ocean Resort & Spa
Finalists: The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island; Omni Hotel
TripAdvisor contributor (hey, give us a break, this one’s out of our staff’s price range) GoldenMermaid57 had this to say about One Ocean Resort & Spa: “If you are looking for luxury bedding, clean rooms and a romantic getaway, then One Ocean is your place to be. Beautiful aqua colors, modern rooms with all of your needs in mind.” With 193 rooms and suites and floor-to-ceiling vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s no wonder Northeast Floridians prefer this beachfront resort above all others.

BEST DENTIST
Dr. Ronald Roessler, 5 Points Dental

Finalists: Dr. Kevin Neal (Ponte Vedra Cosmetic Dentistry), Dr. Tiffany Shields
Dr. Roessler: Folio Weekly’s readers have anointed you best dentist. We’re frantically sweeping the candy wrappers off our desks and feeling mildly guilty since our last cleaning! Dr. Roessler’s office, in the 5 Points shopping district in Riverside, offers general and cosmetic dentistry. Patients praise Roessler for his laid-back demeanor, and Yelp reviewers (no, people don’t actually have anything better to do) rave about the fancy digs of 5 Points Dental.

BEST LOCAL SPIRITUAL LEADER
Pastor Joby Martin (The Church of Eleven22)
Finalists: Stovall Weems (Celebration), Spike Hogan (Chet’s Creek Church)
Located in the gargantuan space that formerly featured the southern half of a Walmart (or, as we call it, “The Third Most Spiritual Place on Earth”), since 2012 Joby Martin and his The Church of Eleven22 have been attracting a twentysomething, millennial flock (along with older folks) to hear his spin on the Gospel. Folio Weekly readers hath blessed Pastor Joby with our first-ever Best Local Spiritual Leader win! Hallelujah! However, we at Folio Weekly, forever the heretics, were disturbed by a video that came to light featuring a young woman testifying on behalf of Martin’s powers of persuasion and his efforts to De-gay-ify her. According to the video, posted to the Church’s Facebook page in March, Joby told the young woman, “You can’t be gay. You can’t be homosexual anymore. It’s not what god wants from you.” The video invokes a discredited church practice called conversion therapy which virtually all reputable medical professionals – including those from the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians – say is harmful and destructive as it, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “provoke[s] guilt and anxiety while having little or no potential for achieving changes in orientation.” Yo Joby, God don’t make no junk. 

BEST PSYCHIATRIST/THERAPIST/COUNSELOR/SOCIAL WORKER
Etta Ettlinger, LCSW, PA
Finalists: Dr. Jessica Anderton, Psy.D. (New Paths), Bill Hughes, M.A. LMHC  (Community Behavioral Specialists)
Walter Brennan once said, “There’s two types of people in this world: bathed, clean-smellin’ folks with their head screwed on tight, and the rest of us.” As a feller who’s personally wrassled with the mental health varmints of bipolar disorder and drug addiction for nigh on 30 years (true), I know firsthand that a nutty person needs a good psychiatrist like a cowboy needs a reliable saddle: to carry them onward down the cactus-and-rattlesnake-riddled trail of invasive thoughts, web-like depressions, and hopeful wellness. It’s a wobbly ride, friend, no matter how tight the girth. Why travel alone? When looking for a place to hang their glitter-caked spurs and needlessly ass-less chaps, Folio Weekly readers give a tip of their shared, odorous Stetson to Etta Ettilinger, our first ever Best Psychiatrist/Therapist/Counselor/Social Worker readers’ poll winner. So when your brain feels like a roiling spittoon full of turpentine and red eye, mosey on over to Psychotherapist Ettlinger’s down Ponte Vedra way – you’ll be glad you did.

BEST ORTHOPEDIC PRACTICE
Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute (JOI)
Finalists: Heekin Orthopedics, Southeast Orthopedics
When it comes to taking care of Northeast Florida’s musculoskeletal health, our readers say that it’s Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute (JOI) that gets right down to the bone. Powered by a huge team of top-flight physicians and medical support professionals, JOI’s seven locations across Northeast Florida provide a level of convenience and care that’s made them the darling of our local readers. If that’s not enough to show their high quality and effective results, keep this in mind: JOI has been the exclusive provider of sports medicine for the Jaguars since 1995.

BEST CHIROPRACTOR
Dr. Hugo Orozco (Align Chiropractic)
Finalists: Dr. Shane Silver (Silver Chiropractic & Wellness), Dr. Robert DeVincentis (Intracoastal Chiropractic Clinic)
Neck and back pain is no laughing matter, and when Folio Weekly readers need help getting relief from their spinal issues, they turn to the professional services of Align Clinic’s Dr. Hugo Orozco more than anyone else. Since 2009, when he joined the Align practice, Dr. Orozco has provided the utmost in neurostructural correction of the spine for adults, children, and pregnancy patients based on a complete, precise, and thoroughly up-to-date approach to the highest functioning of the body in a comfortable, family-centered environment.

BEST LOCAL TEACHER
Karen Holsey, Ed White High School
Finalists: Nick Martino-FSCJ, Theresa Levy-Raines
Karen Holsey’s ninth and 10th grade students at Edward White High School might never love math as much as she does, but they will at least understand it. An alumnus and former instructor at Raines High School, our readers’ choice for Best Local Teacher identifies with students in a way that can’t be taught. And, like all great teachers, she’s invested in their futures even after they’re long gone from her classroom. “That’s typically the highlight of my career, when they’re able to come back and tell me I made a difference in their lives,” Holsey says.

BEST LOCAL COLLEGE
University of North Florida
Finalists: Florida State College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville University
As Nelson Mandela told us, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” And for those wanting to at least leave this planet a little better than how they found it, the University of North Florida is the place to start. Established in 1972, UNF serves approximately 16,000 undergrad and graduate students, studying a diverse variety of coursework from business and coastal biology to nursing and nutrition. Folio Weekly readers agree that it’s great … to be … a UNF Osprey — I mean, c’mon, it’s a LOCAL university so how about giving it some LOCAL love?

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT
Mark Fagan
Finalists: Shelton Scaife (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty), Crissie Cudd (Watson Realty)
“Best Real Estate Agent” is one of Best of Jax’s most hotly disputed categories every year. This year, proud Neptune Beach resident Marc Fagan has been voted the guy you want in your corner if you’re buying or selling a home. Powered by both Berkshire Hathaway Home Services and Florida Realty Network, Marc provides a level of care and service that has brought him not only the attention of our readers, but, according to his website, he was also named 2015 Best Realtor of the Year by the LGBT Community. Clearly, Marc’s services are much in demand, so if he’s not available, you can feel comfortable giving a holla at Shelton Scaife or Cassie Cudd, your chosen finalists.

BEST BUILDER/CONTRACTOR
The Pineapple Corporation
Finalists: Tom Trout, Bosco
The pineapple isn’t indigenous to Northeast Florida but this year’s readers’ choice for Best Builder/Contractor, The Pineapple Corporation, is totally local. The custom homebuilder brings a personalized touch and attention to detail that creates luxurious, inviting getaways guaranteed to impress even the most discriminating connoisseur. “From the blueprint to the block,” nothing is overlooked.

BEST INTERIOR DESIGNER
Gary Adler (Adler Interior Design Associates Inc.)
Finalists: Amanda Webster (Amanda Webster Design), Bianca Beattie (Just B Interiors)
For more than 25 years, Jacksonville interior designer Gary Adler has created elegant, stately and restful interiors for his Northeast Florida clientele. His subtle color palette soothes the eye and the way he assembles furnishings, fabric and objects turns a house into a home with the art, artifacts and architecture that together contribute to the well-lived life.

BEST COMIC BOOK STORE
Superhero Hive
Finalists: Black Hive, Cosmic Comics 
Friendly neighborhood comic shop Superhero Hive specializes in a range of interests appealing to a broader demographic than the 40-year-old man-child. Yes, you might actually see a real, live girl in there! The dedicated, friendly staff stocks a cross-section of old standbys, new favorites and children’s comics that will have you happily lost in the glossy pages. Bonus: there’s a second location, Superhero Beach, in Jax Beach.

BEST GROCERY STORE
Publix Super Markets
Finalists: Trader Joe’s, The Fresh Market
Publix’s slogan is, “Where shopping is a pleasure.” And all y’all seem to agree. Founded in September 1930 in Winter Haven by George W. Jenkins, Publix now boasts more than 1,100 locations throughout the Southeast. So whether you’re looking for canned crushed tomatoes, frozen pepperoni pizza, fresh bakery items, some semi-soft Stilton (that’s cheese), or a famous Pub Sub, then Publix is the place to be. And if that’s not enough, the clean, courteous folks at the grocery chain always have some awesome BOGO (buy-one, get-one) deals.

BEST LOCAL GROCERY STORE
Grassroots Natural Market
Finalists: Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Freshfields Farm
“There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” That bon mot was uttered by none other than Nobelist George Bernard Shaw, the wise and witty socialist playwright. With everything from freshly squeezed juices and homemade take-away items to craft beers and organic wines, Grassroots, on Park Street in Riverside, has stolen the collective hearts of Best of Jax voters. Established in 2006 by brothers James and Jack Robison, Grassroots is all about offering regional, organic and sustainable edibles, like tempeh from Gainesville, coffee from Jacksonville and eggs from South Georgia.

BEST ANTIQUE SHOP
Southern Crossing Antique Mall
Finalists: Fans & Stoves Antique Mall, Avonlea Antiques & Design Gallery
“SCAM is a very large antique mall, and so it is inevitable that you’ll find a few things that strike your fancy,” Yelp user Stewart P. has written of Southern Crossing Antique Mall. “It’s one of the few places that I occasionally find things that satisfy my nerd passion of fountain pen collecting.” Located on Park Street in Riverside, SCAM (not the most flattering acronym for a proprietorship) features more than 5,000 square feet of everything from vintage piggy banks to antique telephones. And a few fountain pens, too.

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