Best of Palo Alto 2012 Shoe Store Many things under the sun. From glittery Toms and spiky gold-andsilver Steve Maddens to the highend Jimmy Choos and classic Ferragamos, Nordstrom shoe department is the place to go for hands-on selection, including men’s and children’s footwear. A spacious display, plenty of comfortable seating and an attentive, knowledgeable staff ensure a pleasurable shoe-browsing experience. 550 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto, 650-323-5111; shop.nordstrom.com
Sporting Goods & Apparel Hall of Fame: Third Year Year after year, REI has been blowing away the competition and helping its customers do the same. It doesn’t matter if you rely on a kayak, a bicycle, a snowboard or a pair of running shoes to get to the finish line. This popular sporting-goods hub will help get you there. 2450 Charleston Road, Mountain View, 650-969-1938; rei.com
Apricot Lane Boutique has served notice as the area’s Best New Retail Business.
New Retail Business Whoever thought, for even a moment, that Los Altos is stodgy? The latest addition to Main Street, Apricot Lane Boutique, offers hip new brands, such as Naked Zebra, Promesa and Spoiled; chambray shirts by Bella Dahl; and knitwear by Bobi. “It’s not unusual for three generations — daughter, mother and grandmother,” to come in, noted Angela Forte, store manager. To go with the “contemporary style from L.A.,” Forte points to eclectic accessories: belts and jewelry — even a “vegan” (faux leather) handbag. 315 Main St., Los Altos, 650-209-5961; apricotlaneusa.com
Nursery/Garden Supply Stylish decor on the cheap. Summer Winds Nursery will provide you with everything you need to make your garden bloom. The knowledgeable, friendly staff will answer your gardening questions and help you navigate the rows of lush foliage. Selling planting supplies, plants and general gardening wares, this store provides you with all of the tools to create the garden of your dreams. 725 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, 650493-5136; summerwindsca.com
Pet Store Pet Food Express has been serving California’s pets for more than 30 years, providing top-of-the-line supplies and services for the Bay Area’s pampered pets. Palo Alto’s branch boasts exemplary attention to customer service and quality products for its local pets and their owners. The store offers a vaccination
clinic, adoption events and high-end pet food and supplies. Its corporate persona is also giving back to those pets less fortunate than their Palo Alto cousins. In 2011 alone, Pet Food Express donated more than $1.3 million to programs including animal shelters and rescues, police K-9 departments and more than 100 schools. 3910 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-856-6666; petfoodexpress. com
Pharmacy/Drug Store Hall of Fame: First Year Walgreen’s aims to provide each of its customers with quality care and products while maintaining a commitment to the wider community through its dedication to corporate social responsibility, including environmental sustainability and diversity programs. Founded more than a century ago, Walgreen’s continues to serve people all over the country, including three locations in Palo Alto. 4170 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, 650-858-2007; 300 University Ave., Palo Alto, 650-326-3876; 2605 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-5669723; walgreens.com CVS has been focusing on the innovation and reinvention of its pharmacy services. It also engages in numerous philanthropic endeavors such as its All Kids Can program, which aids community-based programs focusing on children with disabilities. CVS is a one-stop healthcare provider, with products ranging from household items to medications. 2701 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 650-330-0132; 116 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto, 650-322-2554; 352 University Ave., Palo Alto, 650-3243248; cvs.com
Whether you’re gearing up for the new baseball season, revving up for a football match or looking to go for a swim, Palo Alto Sport Shop and Toy World will get you what you need. This popular downtown spot boasts a friendly staff and shelves full of the latest sports equipment, from swimming trunks to soccer jerseys. But as the store’s name implies, you don’t have to be an Olympic star to enjoy its offerings. With its wide array of games and toys, this perennial winner can be just as useful for planning a picnic as a pickup game. 526 Waverley St., Palo Alto, 650-3288555; toyandsport.com
Thank you for 2012. You WOW us every year! Palo Alto’s Premiere Hotel & Event Venue 520 Cowper Street, Downtown Palo Alto (650)322-9000 / (800)824-9028 www.GardenCourt.com
Stationery Store Village Stationers sells a variety of greeting cards, journals and stationery supplies. The shop also boasts a sizeable selection of writing implements and office supplies, in addition to many gift items. Whether you’re sending a love letter on pretty letterhead or scribbling a grocery list on a legal pad, this stationery store has you covered. And with locations in Palo Alto and Menlo Park, your stationery options are twofold. 310 S. California Ave., Palo Alto; 650-3267970; 719 Santa Cruz Ave., Menlo Park, 650-321-6920
Toy Store Toy haven Palo Alto Sport Shop and Toy World was also lauded for its sporting goods and apparel. See the complete listing under Sporting Goods & Apparel.
Women’s Apparel The fall collection is IN at Nordstrom, the go-to emporium for women’s apparel. Nordstorm also stepped up as the best spot for shoes. See the complete listing under Shoe Store. (continued on next page)
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Section 1 of the August 17, 2012 edition of the Palo Alto Weekly