Best & Worst 2022: Shopping & Services – – Richmond magazine


Best new local business

HomeGrown VA

1704 Arlington Road, 804-635-2420

After working in the restaurant industry for several years, Joseph Vega and Peter Hilleary decided to open their own business. Vega enjoyed growing cannabis, and the pair decided to start an indoor/outdoor cultivation business, HomeGrown VA, in July 2021. They offer plant-growing advice, workshops and products. “Cannabis is just another plant as well,” Hilleary notes, “so we can definitely help with the growing of any plant.”

2.  Tie: Celladora Wines; Minglewood Bake Shop

3.  Ruby Scoops

Best local store for game room tables

C.P. Dean

2044 Westmoreland St., 804-355-6588

Trophy and indoor-sports business C.P. Dean, which has operated in Richmond since 1886, got new owners in December, with the Ball family taking the reins. In addition to revamping the showroom, they’ve added pinball machines to the product mix, which already included pool tables, Skee-Ball, foosball, upright and cocktail arcade machines, air hockey, table tennis, poker tables and shuffleboard, as well as darts. C.P. Dean President Sarah Ball notes that they also repair pool tables (minus refinishing the wood): “We actually have one that we’re refurbishing from 1865 in the back,” she says.

Best fair-trade products

Ten Thousand Villages

3201 W. Cary St., 804-358-5170

Ten Thousand Villages started with one person selling handmade items she had purchased from women on her travels. She paid them a fair price, and that process has continued for years at its 10 stores, including the one in Carytown. They have also branched out in creative ways, such as partnering with NBC Universal for a line of products inspired by the film “Jurassic World.”

2.  AlterNatives

Best card and gift shop


2924 W. Cary St., 804-342-1272

Having just celebrated its 31st anniversary in July, Mongrel is a beloved Carytown staple. “To some people we are a gift store, to some people we are the card store,” says Stan McCulloch, who co-owns the eclectic shop with Mark Burkett. “A lot of people, they tell me, ‘When I need to get a gift for somebody and I have no idea what to do, I come to you.’ ”

2.  Hallmark

3.  Tweed

Best locally owned bookstore

Chop Suey Books

2913 W. Cary St., 804-422-8066

When longtime customers Berkley and Chris McDaniel took over Chop Suey Books last year, they did not foresee the enormous support they would receive from the community and other local shop owners. Now more than half a year into their new venture, the McDaniels have made an effort to continue the shop’s mission of introducing customers to the works of local writers. The sale also included the bookstore’s beloved cat, WonTon.

2.  bbgb Tales for Kids

3.  Fountain Bookstore

Best shopping center or mall

Short Pump Town Center

11800 W. Broad St., 804-364-9500

While some malls have had to reimagine themselves in light of shifts in consumer behavior, Short Pump Town Center mostly seems to keep doing what’s it’s done since 2003, packing in shoppers and offering Richmonders a bit of everything, with more than 130 shops and 24 restaurants, plus regular events like its summer concert series.

2.  Chesterfield Towne Center

3.  Stony Point Fashion Park

Best locally owned chocolate/candy store

For the Love of Chocolate

3136 W. Cary St., 804-359-5645

How many sea salt caramels can one person consume before they go into a sugar coma? For the Love of Chocolate is a great place to find out. The almost 30-year-old shop was sold in 2020, continuing its sweet legacy through its new owners, who have had to navigate supply-chain issues. New co-owner Elizabeth Vranas shares that she gets giddy ordering and unpacking inventory and has been overwhelmed with the “outpouring of appreciation for purchasing the shop and keeping it open.”

2.  ZaZoLi Sweets

3.  Gearharts Fine Chocolates

Best hotel

The Jefferson Hotel

101 W. Franklin St., 804-788-8000

Whether they’ve attended a wedding, dined at Lemaire, enjoyed a staycation or called months in advance for a holiday brunch reservation, Richmonders have been making memories at the Jefferson Hotel for 127 years. “Our team is passionate about guest service,” says Jennifer Crisp, the hotel’s director of communications. “Their genuine friendliness and inherent attention to detail, combined with empowerment to put our guests first, allows them to create truly memorable experiences.”

2.  Quirk Hotel

3.  Graduate Richmond

Best locally owned shoe store

Saxon Shoes

11800 W. Broad St., 804-285-3473

Known for its vast selection of shoes for men, women and children — especially the attention paid to fitting each child correctly — Saxon Shoes turns 70 this year. “We want to thank our customers who’ve shopped with us for so many years,” says Gary Weiner, president and CEO of the family business. “They’ve made a point to come to Saxon, and we really appreciate it.”

2.  Kicks Boomin

Best locally owned eyewear store

Carytown Optical Shoppe

3343 W. Cary St., 804-353-7665

Eyewear has been the focus of this Carytown stalwart since 1983, and optician Cynthia Allen has been operating the business for a quarter-century. It touts itself as a unique eyewear boutique that’s “true to the Carytown name,” offering frames from top names, including Matsua, Face a Face and Sabine Be.

2.  Grove Eye Care

3.  Tie: Brooks Optical; Patterson Eye Clinic

Best local record store

Plan 9 Music

3017 W. Cary St. 804-353-9996

In the age of streaming services, Plan 9 has had to adapt in order to thrive, but music fans’ return to records has been a boon. “Vinyl is the No. 1 physical format for us,” says owner and co-founder Jim Bland, who notes that April’s Record Store Day event, featuring limited-edition releases, was their biggest ever in terms of sales and attendees. “We just want to thank our long-term customers and our new customers for still sticking with us.”

2.  Deep Groove Records

3.  Vinyl Conflict Records

Best commercial gallery in which to buy art

Crossroads Art Center

2016 Staples Mill Road, 804-278-8951

With 25,000 square feet spread across three buildings, Crossroads Art Center has the space to showcase works by more than 225 artists in a variety of media, from paintings and photographs to ceramics and sculpture. “If it’s an art form, we probably have it,” says owner Jenni Kirby. The gallery’s next art opening will be Sept. 16, from 5 to 8 p.m.

2.  Eric Schindler Gallery

3.  Tie: Art Works; Reynolds Gallery

Best local sporting goods store

Green Top

10150 Lakeridge Parkway, Ashland, 804-550-2188

Don’t let its 38,000 square feet of showroom space fool you — Green Top is a local store, serving hunting and fishing enthusiasts for 75 years in Ashland. “Unlike some of the big box retailers, we cater to the regional nuances of Virginia’s fisheries,” says Blaine Altaffer, Green Top’s president and CEO, which means stocking the best locally produced products, including Peake Tide cobia jigs for anglers hitting the bay and Mr. Sooperbass spinnerbaits for bass fishing on local rivers and lakes.

2.  Disco Sports

3.  Fleet Feet/Richmond Road Runner

Best locally owned toy store

World of Mirth

3005 W. Cary St., 804-353-8991

Alongside playtime classics such as LEGOs, jigsaw puzzles and Barbies, the aisles of World of Mirth are known for quirky, out-of-the-ordinary items. From squishy toys like NeeDohs to Glow Baby Light dolls that shimmer from their seams, the store offers a new approach to toys and trinkets for everyone. “We’ve created a space where you can come in and feel like a kid no matter your age — everyone can play,” says owner Thea Brown.

2.  Toys That Teach

3.  RVYay Toys

Best retail customer service

Tie: Tweed; World of Mirth

Tweed: 4035 Lauderdale Drive, 804-249-3900; World of Mirth: 3005 W. Cary St., 804-353-8991

Curbside pickup and local delivery were popular add-ons necessitated by the pandemic at World of Mirth, but customer service at the all-ages Carytown toy shop ultimately comes down to one guiding principle, says owner Thea Brown: “First thing new staff learn — this is a place where people come to feel good. Whether that’s celebrating a birthday or turning around a bad day, it’s our responsibility to foster and maintain that environment in our shop.”

Anyone who’s visited Tweed in search of a gift knows that the Short Pump store’s staff excels in guiding you toward that perfect present, from picking out what you’re giving to wrapping it up for the moment of presentation. And the store’s personalization options — including vinyl, embroidery, engraving and hand personalization — can help take your gift-giving to the next level. “Our personalization makes the ordinary extraordinary, and we love to get creative with our customers,” says Tweed President Kate Stottlemyer.

Best maker of fine custom jewelry

Emily Warden Designs

425 Strawberry St., 804-353-1508

“We just want to make everyone’s ring or piece unique to them and their story,” says jeweler Emily Warden, who handcrafts much of her fine jewelry collection in her studio on Strawberry Street. To help her customers envision what their piece might be, she’s created a step-by-step guide that covers everything from stone shape to setting and band styles.

2.  Vera’s Fine Jewelers

3.  Sun & Selene

Best casual/costume jewelry


With nine locations across Virginia, including four in the Richmond region, you’re never far from Penelope’s great inventory of fashion jewelry from popular brands such as Pandora, Kendra Scott, Vera Bradley, Brighton, Julie Vos and more. This family-owned business also carries a selection of stylish women’s fashions to complement jewelry purchases. While there’s nothing like trying on new pieces in person, Penelope is set to debut a new website to enhance its online shopping experience.

2.  Emily Warden Designs

3.  On U

Best jewelry store

Fink’s Jewelers

11800 W. Broad St., 804-377-8589

Fink’s delivers a big-city selection — think David Yurman, Roberto Coin, Mikimoto, and Rolex and Cartier timepieces — with small-town customer service, says Lindsey Sinozich, marketing director for the 92-year-old jeweler. “Ours is a happy business,” she says. “We cherish the relationships we have with our customers, and the opportunity to help them celebrate special moments.”

2.  Emily Warden Designs

3.  Lustre by Adolf

Best locally owned shop for men’s clothing

Franco’s Fine Clothier

5321 Lakeside Ave., 804-264-2994; 11800 W. Broad St., 804-364-9400

“This year is our 50th anniversary,” says co-owner Kevin Reardon. “Franco [Ambrogi] officially started in 1972, although he started the business out of his garage earlier than that. That’s kind of big.” Reardon says their stores haven’t experienced too many supply chain issues, and they “always have plenty of merchandise because Franco’s philosophy is ‘you can’t sell it if you don’t have it.’ ”

2.  Peter-Blair Accessories

3.  Ledbury

Best locally owned women’s boutique

Mod & Soul

323 W. Broad St., 804-210-2803

When you shop at Mod & Soul, you know you’re getting something unique. Owner Jazmina Zulic says she sources her occasion wear from smaller brands, stocks styles with classic silhouettes that don’t expire every season and will take the time to help each client find the outfit they’ve envisioned. You can also reserve a dress online and try it on in-store.

2.  Traveling Chic Boutique

3.  Tweed

Best vintage clothing store

Bygones Vintage Clothing

2916 W. Cary St., 804-353-1919

“We make the whole shopping experience fun,” says Bygones owner May Cayton, who constantly re-merchandises to keep things interesting. Quirky window displays draw people into the store, and a wide range of offerings — vintage and reproduction clothing; accessories and jewelry for women; suits, tuxedos and beautifully patterned shirts for men; summer of love (’60s and ’70s) fashions; and kitschy kitchenware — keep them coming back.

2.  Halcyon Vintage

3.  Blue Bones Vintage

Best consignment shop

Fit for a Queen

9000 Quioccasin Road, 804-277-2675

“We are kind of a community of curvy women supporting each other, curvy women who have found fabulous fashion,” says Laura Ricker, owner of Fit for a Queen. With new consignments of accessories and plus-size fashions arriving daily, Ricker and her team aim to give every customer a royal experience. Plans call for launching an online store within the year.

2.  Ashby

3.  Clementine

Best thrift shop

Diversity Thrift

1407 Sherwood Ave., 804-353-8890

This rambling store is well worth exploring, whether you’re looking for a good read, gently used fashions, music, electronics, home furnishings and accessories, or a quirky collectible or tchotchke. Kaia Sorensen, assistant manager for the store, notes that it is “really big on furniture,” with some of the best used furnishings to be found in the city.

2.  Hope Thrift

3.  Goodwill

Best dry cleaner

Puritan Cleaners

Puritan Cleaners has 14 area locations, a 24-hour drop-off service and provides free home delivery to about 5,000 customers each week. The friends of those customers might get a treat as well. “Our home delivery drivers carry dog biscuits for our friends that they see in yards at the houses on their delivery route,” says Gary Glover, company president.

2.  Bill’s Cleaners & Laundry

3.  Tie: Humming Cleaners; Joy Cleaners

Best local business for children’s haircuts

Kidtopia Salon

13106 Midlothian Turnpike, 804-594-5896

This niche salon that caters to children is a repeat performer in this category, and its name reflects its focus, says co-owner Ashley Wrobel. “[Kidtopia] just sounds fun and inviting for all kids,” she says. “It takes a special person to do children all day every day. You have to be compassionate and have a whole lot of patience. Kids are unpredictable, and we are ready for it all.”

2.  HAIR the Salon

3.  Tiny Textures Salon

Best locally owned barber shop or men’s haircut

High Point Barbershop & Shave Parlor

112 N. Meadow St., 804-980-6982; 1705 Altamont Ave., 804-762-0260; 11000 Three Chopt Road, Suite D, 804-500-3500

A repeat winner in this category, High Point in the past year opened a new location in the West End and launched a line of grooming products, with plans to expand its offerings, according to David Foster, a co-owner. “Barbershops are a special place where you can bond with other people outside of your own network, share and learn new perspectives, and ultimately walk away feeling better about yourself,” he says. “Everyone deserves to feel the best about themselves — we hope to play a small part in that.”

2.  Parkside Barber Shop & Grooming Lounge

3.  Tie: Barber of Hell’s Bottom; Cutz for Guys; Hair, the Salon

Best locally owned nail salon

ATiR Natural Nail Care Clinic

2505 Cary St., 804-360-9254; 11649 W. Broad St., 804-360-3300

They make their own treatments and solutions in ATiR salons, says Rita Lampkin, who has locations in Short Pump and Carytown, as well as a third in Williamsburg. The name is a mirror image of her first name, inspired by Oprah Winfrey’s production company name, Harpo.

2.  Escape Nails & Spa

3.  Fusion Nail Spa

Best medispa

Rêvée Aesthetics (formerly Rejuvenate MD)

5300 Patterson Ave., 804-885-3242

This medispa has a new name and a new space for 2022. Dr. Lonnie Green, the medical director and owner of Rêvée Aesthetics, says he kept the “Re” from the original name and that morphed into “rêvée,” taken from a French verb that means “to dream.” “At Rêvée we dream of a world where every single person wakes up confident in their own skin,” he says. “We know that we will never fully achieve this, but I can tell you that we will never give up trying.”

Best massage therapist

Anita Morgan Rigo, Massage & Movement

2117 W. Main St.

Anita Morgan Rigo has been serving metro Richmond residents as a licensed massage therapist for 11 years. Massage & Movement grew out of personal experience: A back injury that required physical therapy led Rigo to combine massage and movement into her business, hence the name. “It cannot be bodywork alone that makes you feel better,” she says. “There has to be a movement practice involved.”

2.  Tie: Resolve Bodyworks; Jodi Urban, Weinstein JCC

3.  Tie: Camille Bird, Sacred Waters Holistic Spa & Boutique; Kristen Gaulin, Richmond Sports Massage

Multicategory Winner


10 S. Crenshaw Ave., 804-485-1453; 2243 Old Brick Road, 804-485-1451; 4821 Commonwealth Centre Parkway, 804-485-1454

Bombshell co-founder Melissa Black has been a licensed aesthetician since 1988, and her husband, co-founder Scott Black, says she “has a deep treasure chest of skin care programs which she curates for guests based on their needs.” Bombshell is also expanding its skin care offerings. “We are extremely excited to be bringing in organic body sculpting with wood, metal and ice therapy,” Scott says.

“As far as spas and salons go, we are unconventional and always have been. We are passionate about leading when it comes to trends, new services and fashion.” And Bombshell has its own continuing education beauty school, which means clients can discover a stylist with expertise in their hair type ranging from new artists to master stylists.

Best locally owned spa

1.  Bombshell Brazilian Waxing & Beauty Lounge

2.  Scents of Serenity Organic Spa

3.  Vitality Float Spa

Best locally owned hair salon

1.  Bombshell Brazilian Waxing & Beauty Lounge

2.  Katie Blue Salon

3.  Tie: HAIR the Salon; PRISM Hair; 1213 Hair Studio

Multicategory Winner

Weinstein JCC

5403 Monument Ave., 804-285-6500

Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the Weinstein JCC has served generations of Richmonders as a community center offering an aquatics facility, a fitness center, a theater and arts programming, an award-winning preschool program, after-school care, summer camps and more. A new strategic plan is under development, reflecting the JCC’s long-standing commitment to healthy change. “This plan will be the road map on how our agency should evolve and expand in the next three to five years to serve and meet the shifting needs of Richmond residents,” says JCC CEO Orly Lewis.

Children learn and grow through the JCC’s popular after-school and preschool programming. “We encourage the creative freedom for our children to fully represent their ideas and to develop confidence in their abilities,” says Donna Peters, early childhood director.

Best after-school care program

1.  Weinstein JCC

2.  The Goddard School

3.  YMCA

Best children’s summer camp program

1.  Weinstein JCC

2.  Greater Richmond School of Music

3.  The Music Tree

Best preschool education

1.  Weinstein JCC

2.  The Goddard School

3.  Primrose Schools

Best indoor swimming facility

1.  Weinstein JCC

2.  YMCA

3.  SwimRVA

Best private school

Collegiate School

103 N. Mooreland Road, 804-740-7077

Scott Smith, Collegiate’s director of admission and enrollment management, says the private school aims to “prepare well-rounded students to be able to make a difference in the world,” turning out “inquisitive thinkers, responsible citizens and compassionate leaders.” Though it has seen an uptick in interest since the pandemic upended public education, Collegiate has not increased its enrollment. “The focus has been on how to optimize the experience of each individual child,” Smith says.

2.  St. Christopher’s School

3.  Tie: St. Catherine’s School; The Steward School

Best day care provider

The Goddard School

With nine locations in the Richmond area for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years old, The Goddard School uses academically endorsed methods that blend fun and learning to cultivate skills needed for lifelong success. Michelle Engro, a spokesperson with The Goddard School, says, “The Goddard School’s curriculum, focused on social-emotional development, teaches children life skills such as how to be kind to themselves and to others.”

2.  Primrose Schools

3.  Bundle of Joy Child Development Center

Best tutoring service

Tie: Kumon; Mathnasium

Educating children in math and reading, Kumon embraces individualized lesson plans. “I have to target who the student is and what they’re learning and how do I continue to motivate them to continue learning,” says Anh Nguyen, center director for the Kumon Libbie location. It’s an approach mirrored by Mathnasium, which practices The Mathnasium Method, assessing each child’s math strengths and weaknesses and developing an individualized learning plan. “It’s making sure children understand how numbers work rather than having them memorize a lot of facts,” says Marissa Shaffer, Mathnasium marketing coordinator for Richmond/Chesterfield.

Best locally owned pet store

Dog Krazy

3310 W. Cary St., 804-447-4391; 3520 Pump Road, 804-510-1600; 3040 Stony Point Road, 804-510-1600

From stress-free grooming services to fresh-baked cookies, Dog Krazy co-owner Nancy Guinn says, “We have everything your pets need.” As a clinical pet nutritionist, Guinn creates all the bakery items and caters to pets’ food allergies and sensitivities. Plus, everything the store sells has been staff tested. “If it’s not approved by the Dog Krazy pets and their picky humans, it won’t be available at Dog Krazy,” Guinn says.

2.  Fin & Feather Pet Center

3.  Dogma Grooming and Pet Needs

Best vet

River City Veterinary Hospital

5305 W. Broad St., 804-308-8920

River City Veterinary Hospital Practice Manager Stacey Turner says good client experience is paramount, whether it’s in the hospital, curbside or via telephone. She advises new pet owners to find a veterinarian they love and establish care. “Don’t wait until your pet is sick,” she says. Turner adds that the hospital has outgrown its current space and will move across the street to a new state-of-the-art building by early 2023.

2.  Locke A. Taylor Veterinary Hospital

3.  Bon Air Animal Hospital

Best pet grooming

Dogma Grooming and Pet Needs

3501 W. Cary St., 804-358-9267

For 22 years, Dogma has treated their human and animal clients as part of the family. “Our team takes pride in the decades of experience we have in the ‘culture of dogs’ as we like to say,” notes Shop Manager Jennifer Heath. “Our team has over 100 years of experience combined.” Heath says Dogma has plans to host future events, including pet adoption opportunities.

2.  Holiday Barn Pet Resorts

3.  Ridge Dog Shop

Multicategory Winner

Holiday Barn Pet Resorts

3800 Mountain Road, Glen Allen, 804-609-1760; 614 Johnston Willis Drive, 804-506-9811

Celebrating 50 years, Holiday Barn was founded in 1972 by “Head of the Pack” Michael Hughes’ parents, Emerson and Kathy Hughes, as the couple pursued a higher quality of boarding care for cats and dogs. They offered activities, treats and dedicated staff to furry guests. That foundational philosophy holds up. “The essence of our business has always been driven by my parents’ passion for pets, people and the best services possible,” Hughes says.

Best pet day care

1.  Holiday Barn Pet Resorts

2.  Toby Town RVA

3.  Diamond Dog House

Best pet boarding

1.  Holiday Barn Pet Resorts

2.  Toby Town RVA

3.  Diamond Dog House

Best locally owned plant store


12111 W. Broad St., 804-360-2800; 3313 Mechanicsville Turnpike, 804-321-2200

Strange’s is one of the nation’s largest retail garden centers. Customer service is a focus, says says HR Director Meg Gouldin. “We are hopeful to improve resources for the new Richmond gardener while also supporting the curiosities of the seasoned gardener or collector,” she says.

2. PlantHouse

3. Great Big Greenhouse

Best flower shop

Vogue Flowers

Founded in 1985, Vogue is open 360 days a year. Fresh flowers are a passion for co-owner Steve Papoulakos. He notes that some of the blooms are home grown on the company’s farm in Hanover. The other focus is customer service: “It’s our main objective here, 100%,” he says.

2.  Strange’s

3.  Strawberry Fields Flowers & Finds

Best local mechanic

Ironwood Automotive

2104 N. Hamilton St., 804-213-1300

Ever since he could drive, Aaron Williams has loved taking things apart and putting them back together. Today, he and his wife, Kayla Williams, run Ironwood Automotive, where he has an opportunity to do what he loves and provide exemplary customer service. “We wanted to create an approachable atmosphere where customers feel educated and welcome,” he says.

2.  Paradise Garage

3.  Wallace Automotive

Best local car dealership

McGeorge Toyota

9319 W. Broad St., 804-655-0361

Buying a car hasn’t been the same since the pandemic reduced the supply of new automobiles. Still, customers keep coming to McGeorge Toyota, even when the vehicle they want isn’t there — yet. “Fortunately, most of our customers are reserving vehicles,” says Marketing Manager Courtney Taylor, who appreciates the recognition. “It’s a huge accomplishment for us and a huge win for the guys on the front line who take care of our customers each and every day.”

2.  Haley Automotive Group

3.  Pearson Signature Dealerships

Best place to buy a pre-owned car


11090 W. Broad St., 804-346–2277; 901 Murray Olds Drive, 804-379-7264

Mammoth used car retailer CarMax makes a sincere effort to offer specialized service to its customers. The company has also worked to keep prices low at their 235 locations, while concentrating on their ultimate goal: “We’re laser focused on providing the most customer-centric experience in the industry, personalized to each customer’s needs,” says Catherine Gryp, public relations director.

2.  McGeorge Toyota Preowned

3.  CarLotz

Best locally owned tire shop

Dyke Tire Pros

2503 N. Skipwith Road, 804-270-1010

Dyke Tire Pros has offered quality tire and auto repair services to Richmonders since 1968. The Richmond location was opened by Doug Dyke and is now run by his son Jimmy, who is following in his father’s footsteps by focusing on their clients. “I think we have good staff that understand what it takes to be successful,” Jimmy Dyke says. “The better we communicate with our customers, the less problems we have.”

2.  Vonderlehr Tire Pros

3.  Seredni Tire and Auto Center

Best car wash

Car Pool Car Wash

Despite the recent influx of places to wash your car, locally owned Car Pool Car Wash is still cleaning up. Started by local businessman Barry Percival in 1977 on Chamberlayne Avenue, the shop now has seven area locations, as well as a car detailing operation. According to its website, Car Pool’s philosophy is based on four key factors that won’t wash away: courtesy, speed, quality and value.

2.  Flagstop Car Wash

3.  Tommy’s Express Car Wash

Best bike shop

Agee’s Bicycles

7439 W. Broad St., 804-672-3441; 11020 Midlothian Turnpike, 804-794-6754; 3116 W. Cary St., 804-353-4888

Started by Louis Agee in the Byrd Park area, Agee’s Bicycles has served Richmond cyclists since 1910 and now offers bikes from Trek, Electra, Haro, Del Sol and Univega. Co-owners Bill and Monty Agee have been with the business their grandfather founded for more than 60 years, and the next generation is ready to roll. “Some of my grandchildren are starting to spend time in the stores to learn the basics,” Bill Agee says.

2.  Carytown Bicycle Co.

3.  Outpost Richmond

Best car body shop

Tie: Koontz Paint & Body Works; Bruce’s Super Body Shops; Dorn’s Body and Paint

Before the breweries, restaurants and shops moved in, the ombre orange and yellow sign for Koontz Paint & Body Works stood out in Scott’s Addition. For 10 years, the business has stood for high-quality work and professional service. They offer a lifetime warranty on all repairs, a children’s area in their waiting room and free estimates.

If you’ve lived in Richmond for a while, it’s hard to not hear about Bruce’s Super Body Shops and its owner, Bruce Hutchins. Their commercials are a television staple, featuring Hutchins promoting his company’s quality restorations made with advanced technology. After 45 years in business, their customers know it’s not just a pitch, but a promise.

Raymond Dorn opened Dorn’s Body and Paint in Mechanicsville in 1965 in a 2,500 square-foot workshop, and a lot has changed since then. The shop has expanded to a 35,000-square-foot operation, but their ability to provide professional service remains the same. “We are able to take a car and build it up so that it looks new — it doesn’t look like a rebuild,” says owner Barry Dorn.

2.  Tie: Affordable Body Shop; Chester Body and Mechanical; Head Over Wheels

Multicategory Winner


Truist cites its customer-centric approach as the key to its numerous appearances on this list and notes how it has rolled out new products in response to customer comments on what they need from a financial institution. That includes Truist One checking, planned for a late summer launch and which will provide a $100 negative balance buffer and no overdraft fees. Later this year, Truist is set to offer a line of credit to qualified customers that won’t rely on traditional credit scores in the qualification process.

Best mortgage lender

1.  Truist

2.  CapCenter

3.  Virginia Credit Union

Best bank

1.  Truist

2.  Atlantic Union Bank

3.  Wells Fargo

Best credit union

Virginia Credit Union

With inflation on the rise, and threats of a recession looming, financial security is more important than ever. Year after year, voters in this survey have made it clear who they trust. “As a repeat winner in this category, we deeply appreciate the confidence our members show in Virginia Credit Union,” says Tim Kelly, executive vice president of member services. “This year, we began pioneering smaller, more adaptable branches in Richmond to reach more members and help them thrive. The new locations will leverage technology and enable us to connect with more members.”

2.  Navy Federal Credit Union

3.  Henrico Federal Credit Union

Best private wealth advisor

Salomon & Ludwin

1401 Gaskins Road, 804-592-4999

Local investment advisers Salomon & Ludwin work with a limited number of affluent clients, and the ones they do business with seem to like the service they receive. They’re not the only ones taking notice: CEO and founding partner Dalal Salomon was named one of Barron’s Top 1,200 Advisors by Barron’s for 2022. “Salomon & Ludwin has been serving the Richmond community since 1984, and there is no greater honor than to be recognized by our clients, friends and neighbors,” Salomon says.

2.  Davenport & Co.

3.  Tie: Edward Jones; Kanawha Capital Management; Truist; Wells Fargo

Best law firm

Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen

If you’re not familiar with the Allen, Allen, Allen & Allen TV ads, you must be new to town. As a firm that’s been around for more than 100 years, Allen & Allen enjoys a reputation for bringing abundant expertise to representing injured clients in cases large and small.

2.  McGuire Woods

3.  River Run Law

Best urgent care

Patient First

Patient First has been serving urgent-care needs in Virginia and three other mid-Atlantic states for more than 40 years. “We are grateful to our patients for their trust in Patient First, and we appreciate all those familiar and new friendly faces who have turned to us for medical care over the years,” says Taylor Robertson, director of community relations.

2.  BetterMed    

3.  KidMed

Best hospital

Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital

5801 Bremo Road, 804-285-2011

St. Mary’s has been serving the West End since 1966, expanding and changing to accommodate a growing city while still seeking to provide quality, compassionate care to all. “Our mission to improve the health and well-being of our communities and bring good help to those in need, especially people who are poor, dying and underserved, as well as our incredible staff, are what really set us apart,” says Bryan Lee, who assumed duties as president of the facility in 2021.

2.  VCU Medical Center

3.  Henrico Doctors’ Hospital (HCA Virginia)

Best grocery store


What started as a family company in 1916 based in Rochester, New York, is now a supermarket chain with 107 locations. The business is still owned and run by the same family, led by CEO Collen Wegman. The 14 stores in Virginia offer far more than typical grocery fare, with some featuring in-store restaurants.

2.  Publix    

3.  Kroger

Best grocery store customer service


Richmond shoppers know who treats them right, and it’s not just Richmond magazine readers who have settled on Publix when it comes to groceries: The Florida-based chain topped a similar category in Forbes magazine earlier this year. Since its debut in the crowded supermarket scene here back in 2017, shoppers have come to expect the personalized service and support that Publix employees provide.

2.  Wegmans    

3.  Trader Joe’s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *