Tiffany’s Bakery and Eatery
Best Boiled Peanuts
Most memorable moment: We are about to celebrate our 80th birthday.
Craziest sale: A thousand of our Bushel Bags of popcorn to one company who gives them out as Christmas gifts.
Best Chicken Salad/Best Kitchen Store
The Gourmet Shop
Best French Fries
Five Guys Burgers and Fries
Pawleys Front Porch
Most memorable moment: When we were featured on Guy Fieri’s Diners Drive-Ins and Dives.
Most notable customer: Todd McShay of “ESPN” Taste of the Town
Best Fried Chicken
Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs
Best Frozen Yogurt
32 Degrees A Yogurt Bar
Worst moment: When our entire Glycol system froze up because of all the unusual snow.
Funniest moment: When we accidently spilled an entire container of Jelly Beans in front of the store and two toddlers thought it would be funny to come over and jump up and down on the jelly beans.
Happiest moment: We love when our regulars, who are pregnant, come back to the store to show us their new babies.
Most unusual experience: We had a school, from out of town, that had busloads of students that all came in the store at one time. It ended up being the busiest hour we’ve ever had in the store’s history!
Most memorable moment: Converting a new customer into a life long fan.
Best Ice Cream
Marble Slab Creamery
Best Iced Tea
Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Best Shrimp and Grits/Best Seafood
Most memorable moment: When someone stole the Blue Marlin off the building. We received incredible publicity.
Worst moment: The fire at Blue Marlin.
Happiest moment: When I finally gave my son, Ryan, total responsibility of the Blue Marlin Signature Catering in 2013.
Most unusual experience: Catering Shrimp and Grits, Collards, Peach Cobbler and Boiled Peanuts to the Republican Senators at the Senators Dining room at the U.S. Capital in Washington, D.C.
Most notable customer: When we catered for President Obama and Hillary Clinton when they campaigned in South Carolina.
Best Restaurant in Columbia
Motor Supply Co. Bistro
Happiest moment: Closing up one night after I fully purchased Motor understanding it was mine.
Most difficult moment: Surviving the Gervais Street sweeping in 1996 and the recession of 2009.
Most exciting moment: Really the last two years … knowing that we can expect to pack the house every evening.
Funniest moment: In early1991 — a staff party when we danced on the bar and wore scallop buckets on our heads.
Best Restaurant in Irmo
Alodia’s Cusina Italiana
Most memorable moment: Adam proposing to Betsy at table 40 in the restaurant.
Most difficult moment: Opening the day after the recession began.
Best Restaurant in Lexington
Travinia Italian Kitchen & Wine Bar
Most exciting moment: Hosting the Travinia Open to help support Palmetto Place for Children the past eight years.
Biggest break: We were one of the very first restaurants in the Northeast.
Funniest moment: One of the owners of Travinia marching through the restaurant with a Mexican band during a party.
Craziest sale: A loyal customer who comes in and always orders a pasta that he adds toppings to which comes to $60 in proteins and add-ons.
Most notable customer: Shelly and Mike Genova: they come in and eat with us three times a week.
Best Restaurant in Northeast
Best Restaurant in West Columbia/Cayce
Most difficult moment: Watching the 9/11 attacks on a tiny black and white television while serving customers — all of us were in shock.
Most surprising moment: Being mentioned in Southern Living Magazine as the best breakfast place to go in Columbia before a big football game!
Worst moment: Air conditioning or computer failure with a restaurant full of customers.
Biggest break: Eaton Wrights’ fabulous food review in The State newspaper in 1998 about Café Strudel.
Most unusual experience: Finding out Kenny Chesney came in for breakfast and no one knew it!
Most notable customer: Cal Ripkin Jr. and his family.
Best NEW Restaurant
Most difficult moment: Finding enough Pappy Van Winkle to satisfy our customers.
Most notable customer: Jack White.
Zorba’s Greek Restaurant
Happiest moment: After our first child was born, she spent every day at the old location. We would have a pack and play set up in the office. She was as happy as a clam.
Most notable customer: Merrie and Bob Duggan have been coming to our restaurant every Friday for date night for more than 12 years. Bob passed away this past year, and we miss him so much.
Miyabi Japanese Steak & Seafood House
Best Sushi Restaurant
Inakaya Watanabe Japanese Restaurant
Mai Thai Cuisine
Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse
Most notable customer: On our second night in business, an elderly man ordered two drinks at a time until he had tried all of our beers and wines.
Best Happy Hour
Liberty Tap Room
Best Wine List
Gervais & Vine
Most memorable moment: The annual Beaujolais Celebration, which occurs every year on the 3rd Thursday of November and coincides with Vista Lights.
Most notable customer: Dawn Staley and Judge Sol Blatt, Jr.
Biggest break: When Ben Taylor, Carly Simon’s and James Taylor’s son, agreed to play at G&V … free of charge!
Best Coffee House
Drip Coffee Shop
Best Bang for your Buck
Best Business Lunch
Best Family Restaurant
Most memorable moment/notable customer: When President Bill Clinton visited our Elmwood location a few years ago. He insisted on introducing himself to all of our back-of-house staff before entering the dining room. We thought that was very noble of him!
Best Fast Food Restaurant
Most memorable moment: Experiencing the excitement of the Grand Openings! It was so fun to give away ‘Free Chick-fil-A for a Year’ to the “First 100” in line!
Funniest moment: Cow Appreciation Day is a blast! It is incredibly fun to watch our guests come in dressed “head to hoof” in their cow attire for our cow’s big day! And it’s really awesome to get to give away free meals to our biggest fans.
Best Fine Dining
Best Food Truck
2 Fat 2 Fly
Best Healthy Restaurant
Most surprising moment: Opening the doors on Halloween and having a line down the curb from open until close for the next week.
Biggest break: Aldi’s moving in next door and connecting to our parking lot so people have another way to escape the 378 traffic.
Best Outdoor Dining
Liberty Tap Room on the Lake
Best Romantic Dinner
Al’s Upstairs Italian Restaurant
Best Sunday Brunch
Best Wait Staff
Best Antique Store
Old Mill Antique Mall
Best Appliance Store
Jeffers McGill TV Appliance & Furniture
Most surprising moment: When customers come in and they are astounded by our prices. We take pride in providing low prices with great service and experienced sales people.
Most memorable moment: We have been serving the Columbia area for more than 50 years and have experienced many satisfying moments.
Worst moment: Losing our father and founder, Mac McGill, at the much too early age of 67. He taught us how to do things the correct way in dealing with people. He always put the customer first and considered them to be his friends.
Best Art Supply Store
Best Women’s Clothing
Most memorable moment: Market trips to New York City and Atlanta, Ga. — buying for our Columbia clients.
Most exciting moment: Trina Turk commenting on our Instagram account — it’s really her!
Most notable customer: Ann Summer — she always has a smile on her face and is ready to chat!
Best Women’s Evening Wear/ Best Bridal Wear
Most memorable moment: A bride needed a bridal gown within seven days because a dry cleaner destroyed her dress when she went to have it cleaned. We were able to get the same dress from Barcelona, Spain within the seven days and it fit perfectly without any alterations.
Most surprising moment: To have a bride send flowers and cards thanking us for excellent customer service.
Happiest moment: A bride who was 75 years old and had never been married came into the store and successfully found a gown and veil. She looked absolutely stunning.
Best Women’s Shoes
Most difficult moment: Walking into Designer Luis Onofre’s showroom in Milan and being asked to do a TV interview (on the spot) for him.
Most surprising moment: When website sales generated from other European countries.
Most exciting moment: Being asked to participate in the ad campaign for the S.C. Ports Authority and having visibility during the half-time show of the Super Bowl.
Biggest break: Actress Shanola Hampton wore a pair of our shoes to a red carpet event.
Most unusual experience: Getting a note from the lead singers of Little Big Town.
Best Jewelry Store
Best Children’s Clothing
Little Lambs & Ivy II
Most memorable moment: We have dressed many famous children all over the country, seen customers wearing our clothing in celebrity spotlights and in national TV ads.
Favorite customers: The little ones whose birth dates are written on our blackboard and whose births we celebrate as if they were family.
Best Children’s Shoes
Tootsies Children’s Shoes
Biggest break: The acceptance of our store as representative of major brands like Nike, UGG Australia, Hunter Boots, Reebok, Merrell and Keen.
Most notable customer: A beautiful woman who had polio as a child and could never find shoes for her two different sized feet, one was adult and the other was a child size. We did it, and now she has ballet flats, loafers and boots, all age appropriate.
Funniest moment: Children dancing and singing on our platform fitting stand. We hear everything from Taylor Swift to Meghan Trainor. Personalities blossom with new shoes and a stage.
Best Clothing Consignment Store
Most difficult moment: Deciding to close our furniture shop which was in the same location we are in now.
Most surprising moment: Being asked to join the cast of Resale Royalty in New York City for an episode of their reality TV show.
Worst moment: Water pouring in through the ceiling during a busy day and having to turn the electricity off (but we stayed open for our customers).
Funniest moment: Dressing some of Columbia’s most popular drag queens from head to toe.
Happiest moment: Realizing we could do more than just donate unsold clothing to various local charities and opened Revente’s Second Chances to benefit The Women’s Shelter.
Most unusual experience: Helping a favorite customer find the perfect outfit to bury her mother in.
Best Furniture Consignment Store
Most challenging moment: Preparing floral arrangements for a large Greek wedding that was held on the Fourth of July weekend a few years ago. It was 105 degrees with 650 guests and with 65 tables that needed flowers. I must have lost 20 pounds that day from the heat, from the incredible set up, plus another wedding on the same day.
Best Frame Shop
Best Gamecock Store
Garnet and Black Traditions
Most memorable moment: When the University of South Carolina won the National Championship in Baseball and then did it again the next year.
Biggest break: For us, we started handing out the “beat” stickers in 1984 — just so happened to be the best year in Carolina history at that point. The beat sticker tradition was born because of that.
Happiest moment: Beating Clemson five years in a row and Baseball Championships.
Craziest sale: When we sold 100 Taneyhill hats with long blonde hair — to Taneyhill’s parents in Pennsylvania.
Best Gardening Store
Woodley’s Garden Center
Most surprising moment: In the 1980s, when Ridgeway Gold Mine purchased three tractor-trailer loads of plants.
Most exciting moment: In 1994, Danny DeVito was filming the movie, Renaissance Man here on Fort Jackson. He stayed at a private home in Northeast Columbia. When we delivered the “privacy hedge” plants to the home, we got to see him!
Funniest moment: A customer touched what they thought was a giftware item and the live tree frog they had been admiring jumped at them!
Most unusual experience: A baby doe ran into our nursery and became separated from its mother by our fence. We caught the baby and released him in the tree line to find its mom.
Craziest moment: Figuring out how to ship eight large Flowering Mimosa trees overnight to a perfume photo shoot in New York City.
Best Gift Store
Just the Thing
Most unusual experience: We did some major renovations in the store a few years ago (twice actually) and we stayed open almost the entire time. Customers didn’t seem to mind the major noise, mess and chaos. But we still laugh about how it all worked out and how we all survived. It’s amazing the obstacles women will go through to shop.
Best Glass Store
Best Home Furnishings
Best Hunting/Fishing Store
Best Running Specialty Store
Best Bicycle Specialty Store
Best Lighting Store
The Lite House
Most memorable sale: March 2006, Quoizel’s National Tour ‘de Tiffany. Quoizel’s specially painted trailer travels across the country filled with Tiffany style lamps and fixtures. Someone torched the trailer at about 1 a.m. the day before the sale in our parking lot. Inside the truck were two original Tiffany lamps! (Valued over $60,000.) Luckily they were heavily crated and in the front of the trailer so there was no damage to them.
Best Home Specialty Store
The Tile Center
Best Mattress Store
Most memorable moment: Having National Public Radio call and broadcast a 10-minute interview with us nationwide.
Most exciting moment: Watching a five-minute segment about us on MSNBC’s nationwide Sunday morning news program.
Funniest moment: Dressing both of my young children in mattress costumes for TV commercials — they still give me a hard time about it.
Best Men’s Clothing/ Best Men’s Formal Wear
Brittons of Columbia
Most surprising moment: We had a ring bearer move up two whole coat sizes in less than a month. He was growing pretty fast for a 5 year old!
Biggest break: We once had a 21 person wedding party, which is the biggest we have ever had to date.
Best Men’s Shoes
Best Office Furnishings
Lorick Office Products
Best Office Supply Store
Best Outdoor Store
Most notable customer: Recently, one of our regulars did the 14-day trek to Mt. Everest Base Camp.
Best Outdoor Furniture Store
Most unusual experience: When a van full of costumed clowns from Ringling Brothers circus showed up at our store and delighted both staff and customers.
Craziest sale: The day of the 9/11 attacks, a customer came in and bought furniture because she said she wouldn’t be doing any traveling for a while and wanted to create a vacation spot at home.
Most surprising moment: When the AAA on Forest Drive had an explosion and fire a few years ago. An unidentified woman called, said she had heard about the explosion and wanted to know if we were okay.
Best Pet Boutique
Mill Creek Pet Food Center
Best Pet Supply Store
Best Shopping Venue
Best Organic Food Store
Most notable customer: A couple of our favorites were Scott Avett (Avett Brothers) and Dave Chappelle.
Most exciting moment: Our Publix in Lexington is celebrating 20 years next year! Additionally as a company, we are celebrating our 85th birthday in 2015.
Best Toy Store
Best Vision Wear
Sansbury Eye Center
Best Wallpaper/Wall Covering Store
Best Wine Shop
Total Wine & More
Best Apartment Complex
The Residence at Marina Bay
Most difficult moment: When we began to realize the high demand on our popular floor plans and had to create a waiting list to accommodate future residents.
Most exciting moment: Having a film crew on-site to film our property’s commercial — we all felt like movie stars!
Funniest moment: When some of our mild-mannered, businessmen-residents walked into our annual Halloween Party dressed as Baywatch Babes!
Most unusual experience: The big snowstorm in February 2014 that kept our residents stranded at home for two days and resulted in an awesome all-day Board Game Marathon in our Billiards Room.
Best Home Remodeler
Palmetto Construction & Renovations
Best Home Builder
Best NEW Home Community
Saluda River Club
Best Retirement Community
Still Hopes Episcopal
Best Assisted Living
Most exciting moment: As staff/caregivers, we are amazed time and time again at how quickly new residents acclimate to their home at the Heritage at Lowman. Our new residents typically jump right into their new environment of life enrichment activities, trips and social engagements. This involvement really helps them to feel at home in just a short period of time.
Most notable customer: Mr. ‘Smith’ was a notable resident in the fact that he acclimated so well to assisted living, that he was able regain his independence to the point of being able to move from assisted living to an independent apartment. One of his most exciting achievements was learning how to use the walking sticks/hiking poles. He moved into one of our independent apartments where he lived for several years assistance-free!
Best Farmer’s Market
Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday Party
Best Sporting Event Facility
Best Golf Course
Best Children’s Park
Saluda Shoals Park
Best Auto Repair Company
Best Car Dealer
Best Car Rental Agency
Best Boat Dealer
Best Bridal Photographer
Clark Berry Photography
Best Carpet Cleaner
Chiropractic Wellness Center
Funniest moment: Telling patients they are wearing two different shoes or socks or their clothes are on wrong side out!
Happiest moment: When patients tell me how their quality of life has improved and they can return to doing what they love to do!
Craziest sale: Patient Appreciation Day. Occasionally, we will have a day when we provide care in exchange for donations to a local charity or need.
Most notable customer: I had a young woman patient who was 29. She came for chiropractic care because she had a headache that had lasted her entire life. She said she never remembered a time in her life when she didn’t have a headache. We evaluated her, adjusted her neck and spine. Her headache was gone. We both cried and she never had another headache while I knew her.
Southern Way Catering
Best Chimney Sweep
Top Hat Sweepers
Most memorable moment: During the Christmas season, when I see the excitement and pleasure in a young child’s face when I “find” a piece of red velvet with a bit of soot on it in the chimney.
Most difficult moment: Being called to remove a noise-making animal from a chimney, expecting the usual squirrel or bird, only to open the damper to find a snake!
Most unusual experience: Legend has it that receiving a kiss from a chimney sweep is good luck. It is always a pleasure to be invited to a wedding reception to bestow a ceremonial kiss on the cheek of a bride to bring good luck to the newlyweds!
Best Dry Cleaner
Tripp’s Fine Cleaners
Most memorable moment: Cleaning the jersey worn by Ray Tanner during the University of South Carolina National Championship celebration. It was covered in red Gatorade but we were able to clean it nicely.
Most exciting moment: The day we began our home pick-up and delivery service in 1995. At that time, no one else in Columbia had that service.
Funniest moment: A confused customer came into one of the stores and asked for a 1/2 gallon of Vodka!
Happiest moment: Seeing the expression on a customers face when you “save” a garment they truly love.
Most unusual experience: Cleaning a wedding gown with a care label that said, “Dangerously flammable if washed!”
Craziest sale: Elton John’s concert wardrobe.
Best Fence Company
Best Facial/Nail Salon
OCCO Luxury Spa
Most memorable moment: Bringing in a large selection of mineral based makeup — Glo! Minerals
Most difficult moment: Overly Mimosa’d Bridezillas!
Most exciting moment: When we receive the new OPI Nail Laquer Collections!
Worst moment: The sound of polish bottles shattering on the floor!
Funniest moment: Seeing the many interesting ways clients suit up in their spa-wear.
Most unusual experience: An older gentleman who comes in quarterly to have his toes polished green.
Best Event Planner
Flock and Rally
Most exciting moment: Hitting our 4th anniversary as a company in Columbia!
Worst moment: Learning the hard way that large coffee percolators pull much more power than you’d think, resulting in the lights blowing during the opening keynote of a conference. Lesson: always double- and triple-check power loads with your tech crew, facilities crew and caterer.
Funniest moment: We show up to the office at 701 Whaley wearing similar outfits all the time. It’s ridiculous.
Most unusual experience: Doing local event consulting and PR for Bravo TV reality stars Tina and Tarz during season one of the show Newlyweds when they were living in Columbia. They were larger than life yet so down to earth!
Best Hair Salon
Metropolis Salon & Dry Bar
Best Furniture Refinisher
Best Heating/ Air Service
2nd Wind Heating & Air Conditioning
Most exciting moment: Watching as we had our first truck logoed. It was very exciting to watch our creation come to life.
Worst moment: When I had five senior technicians leave at the same time: three to go into bus