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Announcing the...

FOOD, FUN & FITNESS • ASK A LOCAL • RECOMMENDED SERVICES • WHERE TO SHOP Brought to you by The Republican and MassLive.com


READER RAVES

S2 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

Let the Good Times Roll as Reader Raves Turns 10! “This year’s Reader Raves Celebration will be a rousing treat for our guests!” BY TIERA N. WRIGHT

Special to The Republican

Above is Springfield Republican Advertising Director Mark French handing out the awards to business winners at last years Reader Raves 2019 Celebration.

We are saying goodbye to the yellow brick road and rolling out the red carpet for Reader Raves 2020; and I am telling you, we will rock you. Now in its tenth year, Reader Raves is leaving behind the great balls of fire that was last year’s “Red Hot” theme for the purple haze of Rock-NRoll. Amassing over 73,000 votes, voting for Reader Raves 2020 commenced on June 9 and concluded on August 4. Throughout that period, participants were able to vote for their favorite businesses (once per valid email address on ReaderRaves.com) falling under Recommended Services, Where to Shop, Food, Fun & Fitness, and Ask a Local. Featuring 100 categories, this year’s new Reader Raves Hall of Fame inductee categories included Best Entertainment Venue, Best Indian Cuisine,

(HOANG ‘LEON’ NGUYEN / THE REPUBLICAN)

Voted

“BESTOnceBUTCHER” Again!

Best Local Campground, Best Martial Arts School and Best Place to Play Bingo. While bragging rights have their merits, this year’s winners will party like rock stars when they are honored at the annual Reader Raves banquet, which will be held at the Log Cabin Banquet & Meeting House in Holyoke on Wednesday, October 16, 2019. While accepting their award, Reader Raves 2020 winners and their guests will enjoy a celebratory evening of food, fun and plenty of surprises. “This year’s Reader Raves Celebration will be a rousing treat for our guests”, said Mark French, advertising director for The Republican and emcee at the event. “Our team works very hard to make the evening memorable for the winners”, French said. Reader Raves winners will receive two complimentary tickets, while tickets thereafter can be purchased for $55 each by contacting Sheila Gilligan at 413-788-1106

or sgilligan@repub.com. Wednesday, October 7th is the last day to RSVP. Reader Raves recipients aren’t the only winners! Three of this year’s participants who voted in 25 or more categories had a chance to win a grand prize gift certificate of $500; first and second prize runners-up won gift certificates worth $250 and $150, respectively, to a Reader Raves category winner of their choice. The First-place winner was Joseph Van Deventer, who chose Big Y for his $500 certificate and second place winner was Dan O’Brien, with his choice of Arnold’s Meats for his $250 certificate. Reader Raves wouldn’t come together without the team of Republican staff behind it. Most notably, special thanks and recognition are extended to Sheila Gilligan, Maureen Sullivan and Dave Brinnel; simply the best. And now, the show must go on; we present the 2020 Reader Raves winners.

Thank You For Voting Us #1!

We appreciate it! Thank you to all our loyal customers.

AUTO BODY 46 years in business

375 Pasco Road Springfield, MA

359 Shaker Rd., East Longmeadow, MA • 525-5115 OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

307 Grattan St., Chicopee, MA • 593-5505

Easy Access Off Rte 391 • Mon. - Wed. 8-5 • Thurs., & Fri. 8-7 • Sat. 8-4

31 2 08 1 5-0 1

Next to Hasbro • Mon. - Wed. 8-6 • Thurs., & Fri. 8-7 • Sat. 8-4

www.arnoldsmeats.com

413.543.DENT


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S3

#1 Best Golf Course

THANK YOU FOR VOTING US

GOLF

AT ITS FINEST At Greathorse we have the ability to offer the best possible environment for taking golf instruction and club fittings to the next level. Flawless greens, golf simulators, and a high-tech instructional center place us at the top among veteran players and newly initiated. We proudly feature two indoor golf simulators and state of the art teaching facility. Located in the rolling hills of Hampden, MA Great Horse is a secluded haven offering majestic views of the entire Connecticut River Valley. As the seasons change, so too do the breathtaking vistas, the diversity of sports activities, and the locally inspired cuisine. We are relaxed refinement immersed in a quintessential dream landscape.

FOR MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION PLEASE CALL US TO SCHEDULE YOUR TOUR TODAY! 3120177-01

413-566-8010 • MEMBERSHIP@GREATHORSE.COM • 128 WILBRAHAM ROAD • HAMPDEN, MA 01036


READER RAVES

S4 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

Congratulations to all the

We Won!

THE BEST FRESH

Thank you for Voting Elsie’s Creamery the 2020 Reader’s Rave Best Homemade memade Ice Cream!

Thank You!

Be Sure to Come te Celebrate ne! with a Cone!

THE BEST T FARM FARM STAND!

MAZE

RANDALL’S ELSIE’S

Locally Grown Produce Flowers & Plants “Homestyle” Bakery & Deli

RANDALL’S

FARM AND GREENHOUSE

2015

n More than 30 flavors off the made Best Homemade m, Ice Cream, Made fresh in small batches at the y. Creamery.

ELSIE’S S CREAMERY the Best Homemade Ice Cream

631 Center St., Route 21, Mass Pike Exit 7, Ludlow • 589-7071 OPEN EVERY DAY • www.randallsfarm.net

SP41804

for Choosing Randall’s Farm


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S5

BEST FAMILY RUN BUSINESS, BEST PIZZA PLACE, AND BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

Red Rose Pizzeria

Photo by Ed Cohen Special to The Republican

and imported tomatoes from Italy,” Caputo said. The family business was started in 1963 by Nicola and Edda Caputo, who emigrated to Springfield from Italy to live the American dream by opening their own restaurant. With the help of their children over the years – Carmela, Rita and Tony – the restaurant grew and Rita and Tony eventually took ownership in 1986. And, you might say Red Rose has a “jackpot” location at the entrance to MGM Springfield. Serving lunch and dinner, Red Rose is open Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, call 413-739-8510 or visit redrosepizzeria.com.

A Sincere Thank You from Team HB We wouldn’t be where we are without you.

Selling homes one relationship at a time! Ray HB C. 413.244.2233 | 1421 Granby Road, Chicopee MA 01020 ColdwellBankerHomes.com Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC.

19L87D_NENE_9/19

3120345-01

scratch. Nowadays it’s all about conveyor belt ovens and machines to stretch the The name says it all…. pizza dough. But not here at almost. Red Rose, we don’t do any of Red Rose Pizzeria is about more than just pizza. It’s also that. We stretch by hand, the way my dad showed me. It’s about freshly-made Italian a dying art. And we bake our dishes, family and more. pizzas right on stone with corn It is for those three things that Reader Raves voters have meal. No one does that anymore, but our product speaks selected Red Rose Pizzeria for itself,” he said. in Springfield as Best Pizza In a dining room and bar Place, Best Italian Restaurant, that can accommodate some and Best Family Run Busi500 diners, the menu also ness. offers freshly made salads, “We work really hard at sandwiches, and Neapolitan what we do and to be recogentrees, all prepared using nized in three different cateCaputo family recipes. gories is just a great feeling,” “We don’t skimp. We use said owner Tony Caputo. the best domestic white When it comes to making pizza, Caputo noted they “do shrimp found in the Gulf of Mexico, the world’s best it the old-fashioned way.” calamari from Rhode Island, “We make our pizzas from BY KEITH O’CONNOR


READER RAVES

S6 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST PLACE TO HOLD A SPECIAL EVENT/ WEDDING

Log Cabin / Delaney House

Photo submitted by Log Cabin

date up to 260 guests, the Delaney House offers the perfect settings for every occasion from bridal showers and graduation dinners to business events and family get-togethers. “We are always extremely excited to receive this (Reader Raves) award because it is given to us by readers and people who have experienced the facilities,” commented Lynn A. Kennedy, director of sales and marketing.

The essence of the success of The Log Cabin and The Delaney House is treating “everyone who comes through the doors as family,” she said.

Thank you to our Patients for your vote of confidence!

413-525-1870 Providers:

Dr. Leif Nordstrom Dr. Michelle Adams Dr. Mark Belemjian

Dr. Kerri-Ann Fraterrigo Susan Kearney, PNP Dr. Adam Kasper Neil Nordstrom, DNP Meagan Hudak, FNP Rachel Tartaglia, PNP

3120209-01

www.pediatricservices.org

250 North Main St., East Longmeadow • 35 Post Office Park, Wilbraham

Wedding and event-planning professionals work with those who choose the Special to The Republican Log Cabin and the Delaney In the view of participants House; they are detail-oriin The Republican and ented and dedicated to using MassLive annual Reader Raves poll, the Best Place for their expertise to make every a Wedding or Special Event event a success. is the Log Cabin/Delaney The two facilities host a House in Holyoke. total of 160-180 weddings At The Log Cabin, Westeach year. ern Massachusetts’ premier Kennedy said menus can wedding and event venue, be planned to match clients’ there are panoramic views, plans and vision for the beautifully appointed rooms event. “We can take family and first-class service. The recipes and incorporate them setting at the top of Mt. Tom into the menu,” she added. offers perfect spaces for “We will make them as simiprivate ceremonies, open-air lar as possible to how Grandcocktail hours and stunning ma used to make them.” sunset receptions. Function “It’s your day, and you rooms can accommodate up should have it the way you to 450 guests. want it,” she said. So the The historic Delaney Log Cabin and The Delaney House also offers beautiful House are dedicated to makrooms for events. With a ing that happen. selection of spaces for groups For more information, go to of all sizes and a Grand thelogcabin.com. Salon that can accommo-

BY CORI URBAN


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S7

BEST AUTO BODY SHOP Rick’s Auto Body

BY HOPE TREMBLAY

Special to The Republican

For seven consecutive years, Rick’s Auto Body has received top awards from the Reader Raves competition, but the company has been earning the respect of its customers since 1973. Owners Rick Recor and Mari Tarpinian are the husband-and-wife team that drives Rick’s and its success. For four decades the region has relied on Rick’s not only to repair vehicles, but do it right and with a smile. “We see people on their worst days,” Tarpinian said. “After an accident, people need their cars repaired for their livelihood, and we put their mind at ease. A lot of people come in and they don’t know what to do next, so we walk them through it.”

Rick’s also wants to make repairs right. “We are not perfect, so if something isn’t done right, we will make it right,” Tarpinian said. It’s that dedication that has customers returning over and over again. “We are seeing third generations of families now,” said Tarpinian. “A car is usually the second highest expense for people and today, people begin driving at 16 years-old and my mother still drives at 90.” Tarpinian and Recor are on-site running the business because they still care after four decades. “We’re here every day,” Tarpinian said. “The two things that make us stand out are our customer service and the work we do.”

Rick’s is certified to repair 11 brands of vehicles. Tarpinian said many auto body shops are not certified for any brand. “Manufacturer certification means the we meet their standard because of our equipment and training,” Tarpinian said. “We are certified by Mercedes, which has the highest number of standards we need to adhere to. And, we give a lifetime warranty on our work.” The Reader Raves award is an honor, Tarpinian said, especially because she and Recor do not ask anyone to vote for them. “We want it to be as organic as possible,” she said. “We don’t ask our employees or customers to vote for us – during voting we try

to pretend it doesn’t exist because having it be a true win is a source of pride.”

Rick’s Auto Body is located at 375 Pasco Road in Springfield.

WINNER

BEST HAIR SALON Thank You For Voting!

99 ELM STREET, WESTFIELD, MA

✦ (413) www.VividHairSalonandSpa.com

564-0062


READER RAVES

S8 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST WAITSTAFF Center Square Grill

Photo by Ed Cohen

and pass a test before serving customers on their own,” Collins said. Center Square Grill in East Collins said their outdoor Longmeadow has once again patio, where they grow their hit the “trifecta” in Reader own herbs, is “crucial for New Raves as tops in three cateEnglanders to enjoy the short gories: Best Outdoor Dining, Best Waitstaff, Best Bartender. outdoor dining season.” “We’ve tried to create an “We couldn’t do it without our customers, otherwise this oasis in what is basically a parking lot, and tie it into servwould be all for nothing. We ing good food, wine, service are fortunate to have a loyal and a little music,” he added. customer base and commitBest Bartenders – Heather ted employees who make it Haen by day and Mike Hadall possible,” said owner and win by night – are two of the proprietor Bill Collins. Referring to their Best Wait restaurant’s biggest personalities, noted Collins. Staff win, Collins said that “I truly believe that if I never “the Bolognese always tastes showed up at the restaurant better when the service is ever again, people would still good. be coming to the bar for them. “We train new waitstaff They work hard and have for five days and they must shadow a senior staff member made many friends through BY KEITH O’CONNOR

Special to The Republican

their wit, banter and caring nature,” Collins said. Of course, if you don’t have good-tasting food to begin with, the awards won’t follow. “I like to say that I’m a really good collaborator,” said Collins, who can often be found working the line in the kitchen with executive chef Manfredy Carballo and his staff. “While the direction of the menu comes from me, when it comes to creating tasty dishes, I have three guys in the kitchen and we play well off of each other when trying something new,” he added. n daily for lunch and dinner, reservations can be made by calling 413-525-0055. For more information, visit centersquaregrill.com.

Congrats!


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S9

We Thank You For Your Support! BEST VETERINARY CLINIC

4 Plumtree Road Springfield, MA 01118

782-3183

Dr. S. B. Himmelstein

Dr. T. J. Crosson

02583038

Dr. K. S. Bernstein

Possess State & Federal Wildlife Rehabilitation Permits

Thank you for voting us for the 4 th year!

BEST KITCHEN REMODELER AND BEST BATHROOM REMODELER

MEMBER 25 YEARS

Looking to increase the value and beauty of your home?

New or Reface Kitchens, Bathrooms, Custom Countertops Large or small renovations will provide a big return on your investment.

03094703

Ideal Kitchens Home Improvement, Inc. Showroom: 838 Grattan Street, Chicopee, MA Call for your FREE estimate! 413-532-2253 â– idealkitchens.us

Your Home Improvement Specialist Since 1973


S10 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

READER RAVES

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST PICK-YOUR-OWN ORCHARD Dickinson Farm & Greenhouse said, attributing the farm’s success to a solid work ethic. Voters in The Republican The business, based at and MassLive annual Reader 309 East State St., Granby, Raves poll picked Dickinson is open daily from 8 a.m. to Farm as the Best Pick-Your7 p.m. Own Orchard. For more than 65 years, “My family does a great three generations have job and grows beautiful worked year round to procrops,” Brenda M. Cierpial, vide top quality products and manager, said in response service to wholesale and reto the award. “We thank our tail customers and the local customers who enjoy it as communities. much as we do.” In spring the greenhouse Family-owned and operis open for Easter plants, ated, Dickinson Farm works Mother’s Day plants and more than 200 acres of Memorial Day pots as well farmland for wholesale clias annuals, perennials, rose ents and hosts three separate bushes, geraniums, hanging locations for retail customers baskets, bedding plants, to enjoy fresh plants, fruits vegetable plants, herbs and and vegetables. mulch. Her father, Michael LaIn summer the farm stand Flamme, works from 4 a.m. sells corn, tomatoes and a to 7 p.m. seven days a week. variety of vegetables along “He’s a hard worker,” she BY CORI URBAN

Special to the Republican

Photo by Danny Nason

with such items as baked goods and breads, milk, eggs and cheese. Pick-your-own strawberries and blueberries are available at the New Ludlow Road, Granby, location and raspberries at the farm stand/greenhouse location. Come fall, the farm stand is filled with mums, pumpkins, apples, cornstalks, gourds and fall decorations. Apple picking is available at the 134 South St., Granby, location. And at Christmas, Dickinson Farms offers poinsettias, wreaths, Christmas trees, kissing balls, garland, cemetery logs and pots and a Christmas shop. For more information, call 413-467-3794 or go to dickinsonsfarm.com.

Thank You Again For Voting Us The BEST APPLIANCE STORE on the Reader Raves Poll

We Service Everything We Sell.

Shop 24 hours a day online at: mannystv.com

3 11 9 46 0- 01

WILBRAHAM • WESTFIELD • HADLEY • GREENFIELD • SPOFFARD, NH

3119460-01

5 LOCATION LOCATIONS -


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S11

If you want to have FUN why not shop at the #1 Furniture Store! Where you get guaranteed savings

EVERY DAY!

Thank You Western Mass for Making Us #1!

Pieroway’s

Visit us for a Hassel Free Experience. 20 East St • Ludlow, MA 413.589.0955

139 Myron St • West Springfield, MA 413.739.1101 03093736

locations! 03074827

Monday - Friday: 10 AM - 8 PM * See Associate Saturday: 10 AM 6 PM • Sunday: 12 NOON - 5 PM for- Details

Two great

Monday - Friday: 10 AM - 9 PM Saturday: 10 AM - 6 PM • Sunday: 12 NOON - 5 PM

0 3 09 51 1 1

PIEROWAYFURNITURE.COM


S12 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

READER RAVES

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST APPLIANCE SHOP Manny’s Appliances & Bedding

“Eight hours at a bench,” he said. “I couldn’t stand it.” So, he took a sales job when he was 16. Everyone knows the Manny’s slogan: “We have to be better. We Now here we are in 2019, and Manny’s Appliances & Bedding live here.” As number one in the has been in business for 44 “Best Appliance Shop” categoyears. They have grown to eight ry, owner Manny D. Rovithis is extremely grateful for yet another locations across New England: Wilbraham, MA; Hadley, MA; Reader Raves victory. “My favorite thing about winning Leominster, MA; Greenfield, MA; Reader Raves is the recognition Westfield, MA; Spofford, NH; for a job well done,” says RoClaremont, NH; and Canton, CT. vithis. “It’s rewarding to know In addition to appliances, Manny how our customers feel about also sells his own brand of olive our business.” Rovithis was born oil and wines, plus Greek pottery and raised on the Greek island in his stores. The olive oil is harof Crete, which is evident in his vested and made in Crete, as are hospitable personality (Greeks the grapes for his wine. You can love to get people together). His find his olive oil and wine at Table father immigrated first, then sent & Vine, another Reader Raves for the family when Rovithis was winner. 12. They settled in the Springfield “Above all, thank you to the votarea and Rovithis went to trade ers for all of your loyal support all school to learn electronics repair. these years,” he concludes. Learn But the solitary life of a repairmore by visiting mannystv.com. man wasn’t for him. BY ALLISON LITERA

Special to The Republican

Photo by Don Treeger

REHAB INC. Thank You for Voting Us Best Chiropractor! • Medical • Chiropractic • Physical Rehab • Acupuncture • Massage • Alcohol Testing • Laser Therapy • D.O.T. Physical Exams

(413) 781-8900

4 Maple Street, Springfield, MA

maplegaterehab.com


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S13

THANK YOU FOR VOTING: BEST LOCAL HOSPITAL

For nearly 150 years, our community has entrusted Baystate Health with their health and wellbeing. Every day, it is a privilege for our entire team to care for our patients and their families – from the moment you are greeted through all the care you receive, our dedicated employees strive to deliver high quality and compassionate care. We thank you for recognizing Baystate Medical Center as the “Best Local Hospital” for Reader Raves 2020. Baystate Medical Center - the region’s only: • Academic medical center, bringing innovative teaching and research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School - Baystate • Level 1 trauma center and pediatric trauma center • Neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit • Baystate Children’s Hospital, a comprehensive and accredited children’s hospital • Heart & Vascular program with cardiac surgery

3120222-01

BaystateHealth.org

CS11470


READER RAVES

S14 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST ELECTRICIAN

Goodless Electric Company Inc.

Photo by Nate Blais

service and response,” explains Hannouche. “You can call our business number at Goodless is nothing less than good. Real good. We’re any time and somebody will talking the winners of “Best personally answer. We will have a service tech contact Electrician” nearly every you at any time, day or night, year of Reader Raves since to take care of your electrical the very beginning. situation.” In addition to “We believe it has been 8 their dependable service, times we have won,” says Goodless loves to keep their Judy Hannouche, Service customers engaged and Advisor and Purchasing reward their employees for a Manager at Goodless job well done. Electric. “And as of January “For example, we give 2, 2020, we will have been comment cards to our cusin business for 75 years.” tomers, and each September Goodless Electric Co., we will pull one lucky winner Inc. is owned by Jeffrey S. Goodless and is an electrical who receives two premier New England Patriots tickets contractor specializing in to a game in that same year,” commercial, industrial and says Hannouche. “Each card residential service. Their claim to fame? Always being that comes back with a tech’s there when their customers name on it gives the tech a small incentive, too. In addineed them. tion to promotions like this, “We are best known for our 24-hour round-the-clock we enjoy using Reader Raves BY ALLISON LITERA

Special to The Republican

& GREENHOUSE

Rte. 202 East State St., Granby MA 413-467-3794

THANK YOU

to all our loyal customers for voting us for the 8th consecutive year! BEST PICK - YOUR - OWN

ORCHARD!

03 0 94 6 94

Hope to see you soon!

as a motivational tool and incentive to help us to continue to grow our customer base.” The Goodless crew also loves the culture that Reader Raves has created in western Massachusetts. “We love Reader Raves and really enjoy all of the people we meet from it,” says Hannouche. “We enjoy the dinner also, especially Mark French (advertising director of The Republican) and his long story with everybody in it! “We would like to thank all of our customers for voting for us each year and pride ourselves on the customers who have been with us for so many years,” adds Hannouche. “We appreciate the trust and confidence they instill upon us.” Learn more at goodlesselectric.com.


READER RAVES

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S15

BEST INTIMATE RESTAURANT The Federal

has been named Best Intimate Restaurant by Reader Raves voters. Dressed up as a special Built by Samuel Converse in occasion restaurant, “but sociable and affordable enough 1862, the restaurant is housed for every occasion,” according in a Greek revival structure on Cooper Street in Agawam. to their website, The Federal BY KEITH O’CONNOR

Special to The Republican

It became the Federal Hill Club in 1936 operated by the Moretti family for over 50 years. Today’s current owners, Ralph Santaniello and Michael Presnal, “integrate the white linen elegance of

KITCHENS

When You Want It Done Right!

that bygone era with a fresh and innovative ‘new American’ cuisine that is perfectly prepared and impeccable served,” as written on their website. “It is an honor to be selected as Best Intimate Restaurant. It is always nice to be singled out, especially for something like this. We pride ourselves in creating a unique atmosphere for a special night out for couples and groups. That is what we work toward every day,” Santaniello said. “We create that intimate atmosphere through the use of lighting and music. We also use oversized tables instead of smaller ones for two diners, and we place those tables a little further apart from one another, so that you are not on top of others dining in the restaurant. We’re cognizant of the fact that people come

B AT H S

C O N S T R U C T I O N ,

to our restaurant for special occasions, such as getting engaged, and then come back for their first wedding anniversary. So, we give everything we do a lot of thought in order to make their night special,” he added. Santaniello noted his brother-in-law, Chef Michael Presnal, works hard to constantly reinvent their menu so it “never gets old for customers.” “It’s all about putting our customers first. We try to take care of all their needs. Yes, they are going out for an excellent meal, but they want the service that goes along with it…..to be taken care of and enjoy their night without having to worry about a thing,” Santaniello said. For more information, visit thefederalrestaurant.com or call 413-789-1267.

DECKING

I n c .

We’d like to thank our clients for raving about our work Voted “Best Improvement Contractor” and “Best Voted “BestHome Home Improvement Contractor” Bathroom in the 2018 MassLive’s for TheRemodeler” Republican’s 2020 ReaderReader RavesRaves

2017

MA Lic. #CS-063810 • MA Reg. #188456 • CT Lic. #606800

54 Mainline Drive, Suite E • Westfield, MA • kgroyconstruction.com • 413.485.7533


READER RAVES

S16 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR

Keith G. Roy

Photo by Fred Gore BY HOPE TREMBLAY

Special to The Republican

Doing the right thing is what Keith G. Roy Construction is all about. “When you want it done

right” is the company’s longtime slogan, but it’s not just a catchy tagline, it’s truly how business is conducted. It’s this commitment that earned the Westfield-based

company the 2020 Reader Raves Best Home Improvement Award. And while it’s not the company’s first award – owner Keith G. Roy proudly displays

Thank you for 37 years in business! HAMEL’S CREATIVE CATERING

555 Northampton Street, Holyoke, MA (413)538-7431 • hamelscreativecatering.com

We Are Proud To Be Recognized In The Pioneer Valley As The

“BEST CATERER” For the fourth year! Thank You to our customers!

03094958

Weddings, Rehearsal Dinners Breakfast, Lunches & Dinners Corporate or Private BBQ’S, Clambakes, Pig Roasts Customizable menus for all occasions!

his seven Reader Raves Awards in his office on Mainline Drive – it is still a source of pride. “Thank you to everyone who voted for us,” Roy said. “It’s an honor.” Roy’s father, John L. Roy, started the company in 1946 with the same attention to quality and detail that brings customers back today. Roy said he learned from the best. “I started working with my father in 1972 when I was 12,” Roy said. “In 1983 when I graduated college, I took over and dad retired.” His degree in accounting has proved to be advantageous to the business, in addition to his construction expertise. Roy is now continuing that tradition with his son Joshua, 30, who will run the business himself one day, perhaps with his children. “Josh started at 16,” Roy said. “He wanted to help, and he was one of those kids who liked to take things apart and put them back together. He takes after me, I guess.” Father and son work side-

by-side to bring homeowners’ dreams to fruition. Most of the work they do is remodeling of kitchens and bathrooms. However, Roy said more and more people want to create master bedroom suites, complete with large en suite bathrooms and walk-in closets. And, people tend to want to stay in their current homes rather than buy something new. Roy said remodeling a kitchen or bathroom will give the homeowner a return on their investment quickly. “It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or selling, remodeled kitchens and bathrooms are always going to improve a home’s value,” said Roy. Quality work, attention to detail and on-time project completion set Keith G. Roy Construction apart from its competitors, said Roy. “We’ve been doing this for a long time – over 70 years – and we are now doing this for our third generation,” Roy said. “And we plan to keep doing things right into the future.”


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S17

BEST YOGA STUDIO Heartsong Yoga

respect themselves and others, to practice selfcare and to Participants in The Repub- cultivate “santosha” (contentlican and MassLive annual ment) with life as it unfolds. Reader Raves poll were singEstablished in 1993, Hearting the praises of Heartsong song is a welcoming place for Yoga Center, voting it Best “every-body” to learn about Yoga Studio. yoga, meditation, mindfulness and healthy living. There “I’m thrilled, excited to be recognized by the community are two practice spaces and more than 40 yoga classes a and to know the work we’re week. Heartsong hosts prodoing every day is impacting people in positive ways,” said grams with its staff of skillful and experienced teachers, Sheila W. Magalhaes, who bringing students together to owns the business with her support one another in their husband, Tony. quest for radiant health and The staff of the small, family-run business includes wellbeing. “When we say yoga is for her mother, Beth Wadden, of East Longmeadow, one of the ‘every body,’ we really mean that,” Magalhaes said. “Every teachers. person is unique and comes to An East Longmeadow class with their own expenative, Magalhaes reminds riences … and preferences. her students that yoga is not We can meet people where just about the physical body, they’re at. There is no compebut that it teaches people to BY CORI URBAN

Special to the Republican

Photo by Nate Blais

tition or judgment.” Heartsong Yoga Center offers Kripalu Yoga, Ashtanga Vinyasa and Power Flow variations, Yin Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Laughter Yoga and Chair Yoga. Benefits of yoga include more flexibility, lower blood

pressure, increased muscle strength and tone, metabolism balancing, help in protection against injury, calming the nervous system, quieting the mind and weight regulation. “Our teachers are skillful and help people to navi-

gate this practice and feel the benefits immediately,” Magalhaes said. “All ages, shapes and sizes and level of ability — all are welcome.” Heartsong Yoga, 264 North Main St., East Longmeadow, can be reached by phone at 413-525-0720.

4 FOR 4

Trinity Health Of New England Medical Group is once again proud to accept the Reader Raves Best Family Physician for the fourth year in a row!

MercyCares.com/medicalgroup-springfield


READER RAVES

S18 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

RECOMMENDED SERVICES BEST ACCOUNTING FIRM Meyers Brothers Kalicka BEST ASSISTED LIVING COMMUNITY Landmark at Monestary Heights BEST ATTORNEY Hyman Darling BEST AUTO BODY SHOP Rick’s Auto Body BEST AUTO REPAIR Greg’s Auto Repair

BEST BARBER Tony’s Famous Barbershop

BEST DAY CARE/ PRESCHOOL Square One

BEST KITCHEN REMODELER Ideal Kitchen & Bath

BEST PHOTOGRAPHER Robert Charles Photography

BEST BATHROOM REMODELER Ideal Kitchen & Bath

BEST DENTIST OR ORTHODONTIST Kasperowski Family Dentistry

BEST LANDSCAPER Mountain View Landscaping

BEST PLACE TO HOLD A SPECIAL EVENT WEDDING Log Cabin/Delaney House

BEST CATERER Hamel’s Creative Catering BEST CHIROPRACTOR Maplegate Rehab BEST CREDIT UNION Polish National Credit Union

Our Customers are the Best!

Thanks for voting us the Best Pet Supply Store

BEST DRY CLEANER Belmont Laundry BEST ELECTRICIAN Goodless Electric BEST FAMILY PHYSICIAN Trinity Health Of New England Medical Group BEST FUNERAL HOME Forastiere Funeral Home BEST HOME HEATING COOLING SERVICE A+ Plus HVAC BEST HOME IMPROVEMENT CONTRACTOR Keith G. Roy

BEST LOCAL BANK PeoplesBank BEST LOCAL HOSPITAL Baystate BEST LOCAL INSURANCE AGENCY Phillips Insurance BEST LOCAL PET GROOMER Tails & Tangles BEST MORTGAGE LENDER PeoplesBank BEST OPTOMETRIST Dr. Belisa Balise BEST PEDIATRICIAN Dr. Leif Nordstrom

BEST PLUMBER Skibel Plumbing BEST POOL COMPANY Teddy Bear Pools BEST REALTOR Team HB Ray Hoess-Brooks BEST RETIREMENT LIVING COMMUNITY Glenmeadow BEST SPECIAL EVENT DISC JOCKEY Steve Nagle BEST VETERINARY CLINIC Spruce Hill Veterinary Clinic

AGAIN!

to all our Loyal Customers for voting us

“Best Plumber”

for 2013, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019 & 2020! Agawam | Hadley | Ludlow | Northampton Agawam | Hadley | Ludlow | Ware Springfield | Stafford Springs | Ware Northampton | Stafford Springs

Skibel Plumbing 413-533-0907


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S19

FOOD, FUN & FITNESS BEST BAKERY LaFiorentina BEST BARTENDER Center Square Grill BEST BEAUTY SALON Vivid - Westfield BEST BREAKFAST PLACE Memo’s BEST BURGER SPOT Max Burger BEST BUTCHER Arnold’s BEST CANDY SHOP Maureen’s Sweet Shoppe BEST DAY SPA Puffer’s

BEST LOCAL MICROBREWERY Iron Duke

BEST OUTDOOR DINING Center Square Grill

BEST LOCAL SPORTS TEAM Springfield Thunderbirds

BEST PIZZA PLACE Red Rose

BEST MARTIAL ARTS SCHOOL Santana’s Kung Fu Studio BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Frontera Grill BEST MUSEUM Springfield Museums

EAST LONGMEADOW, MA

everyone is welcome. everyone is loved. everyone is worthy.

BEST PLACE TO GET WINGS Wings Over Springfield BEST PLACE TO PLAY BINGO Fairview Knights of Columbus BEST SKATING RINK Amelia Park

Voted Best Place to Worship

BEST WAITSTAFF BEST NEIGHBORHOOD Center Square Grill BAR Nathan Bill’s BEST YOGA STUDIO Heartsong Yoga

(413)-525-4253 StMichaelsEL.org

Thank You! LANDMARK SENIOR LIVING at Monastery Heights

BEST DELI Frigo’s BEST ENTERTAINMENT VENUE MGM Springfield BEST FAIR The Big E BEST GOLF COURSE Great Horse

413-478-0825

Thank You For your Vote!

452 MAIN STREET • WESTSPRINGFIELD, MA 01089 www.santanaskungfustudio.com

3120158-01

BEST HOME MADE ICE CREAM Elsie’s Creamery

Classes Now Forming

BEST INDIAN CUISINE Pintu’s BEST INTIMATE RESTAURANT The Federal

Landmark at Monastery Heights is proud to be your choice for the Reader Raves award for Best Assisted Living for 7 straight years

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT Red Rose BEST LOCAL FAMILY DESTINATION Six Flags

SP46861

www.aplushvacinc.com 413-398-2020 26 Airport Drive, Westfield MA 01085

31 20 6 13 -0 1

BEST LOCAL FOOD TRUCK Holyoke Hummus

for voting us the Best Heating and Cooling Contractor for 2020! 110 Monastery Avenue, West Springfield, MA 01089 www.LandmarkSeniorLiving.com • 413-781-1282


S20

S21

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

We at CSG thank all of our loyal customers, friends and vendors who took the time to vote for us for Reader Raves 2020. Many thanks!

THE RECIPE IS SIMPLE. GREAT FOOD, GREAT SERVICE, GREAT LOCATION, AND AWESOME CUSTOMERS.

CENTER SQUARE GRILL 84 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA 413-525-0055 • centersquaregrill.com

3120495-01

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHINGS GOING ON AT THE GRILL

3120495-01

2020 WINNERS OF: BEST BARTENDER BEST OUTDOOR DINING BEST WAIT STAFF


S20

S21

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

We at CSG thank all of our loyal customers, friends and vendors who took the time to vote for us for Reader Raves 2020. Many thanks!

THE RECIPE IS SIMPLE. GREAT FOOD, GREAT SERVICE, GREAT LOCATION, AND AWESOME CUSTOMERS.

CENTER SQUARE GRILL 84 Center Square, East Longmeadow, MA 413-525-0055 • centersquaregrill.com

3120495-01

THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHINGS GOING ON AT THE GRILL

3120495-01

2020 WINNERS OF: BEST BARTENDER BEST OUTDOOR DINING BEST WAIT STAFF


READER RAVES

S22 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

ASK A LOCAL BEST CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Springfield Regional Chamber

BEST CHARITY EVENT Rays of Hope

BEST CITY OR TOWN LOCAL OFFICIAL Mayor Domenic Sarno BEST COLLEGE OR UNIVERSITY Springfield Technical Community College BEST FAMILY RUN BUSINESS Red Rose BEST FARM STAND Randall’s Farm & Greenhouse

Thank you for voting us Best Auto Repair!

BEST PLACE TO WORK Mental Health Association

BEST LOCAL ONAIR TELEVISION PERSONALITY Brian Lapis - TV22

BEST PRIVATE SCHOOL Wilbraham Monson Academy

BEST NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION Mental Health Association

BEST SCHOOL PRINCIPAL Anne O’Connor, Blessed Sacrement

BEST PICK YOUR OWN ORCHARD Dickinson Farm

BEST TEACHER Kathe Hebert Blessed Sacrement

BEST PLACE OF BEST HIGH SCHOOL WORSHIP St. Michael’s Parish COACH East Longmeadow Lyle Washington

BEST TOWN/CITY TO LIVE IN Southwick

3120242-01

413-562-9725

BEST LOCAL CAMPGROUND Sunset View Family Campground

301 North Elm Street, Westfield MA 01085

Though some of ‘my fans’ on MassLive would like to give me the ‘one finger salute’ – it’s now a ‘full hand’ – plus ‘a good number one finger’ – six years in a row! Thank you Reader Raves voters – I’m truly humbled and honored. It’s a privilege to be the Mayor of Springfield and I love it and live it 24/7. I accept this award on behalf o of all our city employees from ccabinet heads to the rank and file. We are Team Springfield. Continued success and God Bless. Respectfully, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno


READER RAVES

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S23

WHERE TO SHOP BEST APPLIANCE SHOP Manny’s

BEST GIFT BOUTIQUE Cooper’s

BEST BIKE SHOP Mickey’s Bike Shop

BEST HARDWARE STORE Rocky’s/ACE Hardware

BEST CAR DEALER Balise Auto Group BEST CLOTHING BOUTIQUE Chico’s Longmeadow BEST CONSIGNMENT SHOP Mimi’s Consignment Boutique

BEST LOCAL BRIDAL BOUTIQUE Pearl Bridal Boutique BEST LOCALLY OWNED FENCE COMPANY Hastie Fence

BEST SUPERMARKET Big Y World Class Markets

BEST NURSERY OR GARDEN CENTER 16 Acres Garden Center

Since 1907

BEST PACKAGE STORE Table and Vine

VOTED BEST DRY CLEANER AGAIN!

BEST PET SUPPLY STORE Dave’s Soda & Pet Food City

n

BEST PLACE TO BUY OUTDOOR STRUCTURES Skip’s Outdoor Accents

THANK YOU!

Same-Day Service at All Locations! n 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed n Carcininogen-FREE Dry Cleaning n FREE Home Pick-Up & Delivery!

CLEAN Your SUIT with us, and Get your SHIRT CLEANED...

FOR FREE!

Longmeadow 921 Shaker Road 413-567-9655

America’s Healthy Dry Cleaning Non-Toxic Environmental Friendly Tested By Dermatologists Non-Hazardous Pollutant Free! Exclusively with Belmont

r 3 r 3 3 r 3 r 3 r 3 r

Traditional Dry Cleaning (Perchloroethylene) (Used by 8/10 Dry Cleaners! r r r r r r

Sixteen Acres 1804 Wilbraham Rd. 413-783-7226

Springfield West Springfield 333 Belmont Avenue 804 Westfield St., RT. 20 413-736-3616 413-732-2768 www.BelmontCustomCleaners.com • M-F 7:30am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm

Hyman G. Darling, Esq.

Reader Raves Best Lawyer 2014-2020

Thank you, Republican Readers, for naming Hy Darling as 2020’s Best Lawyer!

3120812- 01

BEST FLOWER SHOP Durocher Florist

BEST JEWELER Hannoush

BEST LOCALLY OWNED FURNITURE STORE Pieroway’s

3120810-01


READER RAVES

S24 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

2019 Winners - Team HB - Ray Hoess-Brooks and Kasperowski Dental are winners again! Congrats!

Principal Anne O’Connorr A for being voted Best B School Principal

and to

Kathe Hebert

3120621 3120621-01

for being voted Best Teacher ffrom the parish and staff ff off

BLESSED SACRAMENT SCHOOL 21 Westfield Rd.,Holyoke, MA (413) 536-2236 blessedsacramentholyoke.org

Thank you for voting us “BEST DENTIST”

Alan M. Kasperowski, DDS • Bryan M. Kasperowski, DMD, FAGD • Griffin B. Udelson, DMD

Specializing in expert dental care including preventive, restorative, implant and cosmetic services 79 Broad Street, Westfield, MA • (413) 562-5494 • drkasperowski.com


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S25

BEST DAY SPA

Puffer’s Salon & Day Spa BY TIERA N. WRIGHT

Photo by Fred Gore

Special to The Republican

Relaxation and pampering have become synonymous with seven-time Reader Raves winner for Best Day Spa, Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa. Located on 56 Southwick Road, Puffer’s is a Westfield staple and has become the pinnacle of self-care offering services such as body massages and treatments, facials, lash tinting and extensions, as well as waxing. Additionally, Puffer’s offers all hair services, manicures and pedicures. Adds Judy Puffer, a stylist and the owner of Puffer’s Salon & Day Spa, “visit us for a little TLC; you’ll be glad you did, as we enjoy spoiling our guests.” Puffer opened the salon and day spa over 30 years ago as a natural extension of her “love and passion for the hair and spa industry”. With signature packages such as the “Bride to Be”, “Just for Teens”, “His Turn”, and “New Moms Day”; Puffer’s is a mecca of rejuvenation and luxury for women and men, alike. Guests can choose to treat themselves to an hour or an entire day full of relaxation with a fully customizable experience to suite their needs. “We have great employees who work as a team,” says Puffer. “They are always learning and improving how

ing. Concludes Puffer, “we are so appreciative to each person who has voted for us seven years in a row. Each year is exciting and a motivation for us to keep delivering excellent service.”

Whether you are a bride-to-be or just need a day to decompress, ultimately, Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa is all about customer satisfaction and enhancing their guests’ well-being. they do things. They stay up to date with our guests needs.” Whether you are a brideto-be or just need a day to decompress, ultimately, Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa is all about customer satisfaction and enhancing their guests’ well-be-

Puffer’s Salon & Day Spa is open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 8:00pm, and Saturday 8:00am to 4:00pm. For more information or to plan your visit to Puffer’s Salon and Day Spa, visit www.pufferdayspa.com.

Thank you for voting us Best Chamber for the seventh consecutive year.


READER RAVES

S26 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST CHARITY EVENT Rays of Hope

Photo by Ed Cohen

BY CORI URBAN

Special to the Republican

Michelle A. Graci is “absolutely tickled pink” that Rays of Hope was named Best Charity Event in the annual Reader Raves poll presented by The Republican and MassLive. Since its inception in 1994, Rays of Hope has been helping women and

Namasté & Thank You for Voting Us “Best Yoga Studio”! Yoga for Every-Body, since 1993. Drop in to any class, anytime. Gentle Yoga for stress reduction & relaxation. Ashtanga & Flow for strength and power. Kids, Family, Chair, Men Only, Restorative, and more.

264 North Main St., East Longmeadow, Ma 01028 www.heartsongyoga.com 3120814-01

Peace Available daily, nights and weekends

men in the fight against breast cancer. The event has grown from 500 to more than 20,000 participants, and pink is a prominent color for them. “It’s the universal color in recognition of breast cancer, and a lot of people wear it or like to have a pink ribbon (displayed) because it is a reminder of breast cancer

awareness,” said Graci, manager of events for the Baystate Health Foundation. Through the Baystate Health Breast Network, Rays of Hope cares for the whole person from diagnosis and beyond by supporting research at the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research, providing funding for state-of-the-art equipment, breast health programs and outreach and education throughout Baystate Health as well as providing grants for complementary therapies and cancer programs to community partners throughout Western Massachusetts. Rays of Hope has raised more than $14.8 million, and all funds raised remain in Western Massachusetts. “It’s a very emotional event because a lot of people are affected by breast cancer,” fighting it themselves or knowing someone who is or did, Graci said. “Coming to this event means a lot to them because they see other people with breast cancer … (and) family and friends, and they even celebrate lives that have been lost” to the disease. The next Rays of Hope Walk & Run Toward the Cure of Breast Cancer will take place Oct. 27, beginning at Temple Beth El in Springfield; the run begins at 8:30 a.m. and the walk at 10:30 a.m. For more information, call 413-794-8001.

“It’s a very emotional event because a lot of people are affected by breast cancer,” fighting it themselves or knowing someone who is or did, Graci said.


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S27

to oo our ur rresidents id and d neighbors iighbors hb for voting us the “Best Town To Live In” Reader Raves 2020!

3120767-01

Help us celebrate our 250th in 2020!

We’re Tickled PINK!

Thank you for voting us Best Charity Event!

Sunday, October 27 Springfield, MA

BaystateHealth.org/RaysofHope

03094468

Register Today!


READER RAVES

S28 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST MORTGAGE LENDER PeoplesBank

Photo by Ed Cohen BY TIERA N. WRIGHT

Special to The Republican

You don’t want to trust you money and finances to just any bank.

Reader Rave voters have placed their confidence in Peoples Bank naming them Best Local Bank and Best Mortgage Lender.

“We are so fortunate, because this award means so much to our associates. We don’t set out to win awards, though, we set

Thank You For Voting Us “Best Consignment Shop”

out to actually be the Best Local Bank and the Best Mortgage Lender in the region. If we succeed at that, we believe the awards will follow,” said Matthew Bannister, first vice president, Marketing and Innovation at PeoplesBank. Bannister cited a number of reasons why readers may have voted PeoplesBank top in this year’s Reader Raves. “Everyone has their own criteria about what makes ‘The Best’ in anything. It could be the customer service, the personal relationships, the product mix, the convenient locations, the rates, the community involvement, or any of a host of other qualities. But ultimately, it’s that people feel so strongly about us that they actually make the effort to vote for us,” he said. When it comes to being the Best Mortgage Lender, Bannister noted he consistently hears from customers “how easy the process is with us.” “Our ‘turn times’ are the

envy of the industry – we do it fast, but we do it right,” he said. As an example of what makes PeoplesBank the Best Local Bank, Bannister referred to the recent opening of the Pedlar Banking Center in Holyoke. “Look at what we’ve just completed in Holyoke, the city where we were founded in 1885, and where we continue to be based today. The saving of the Hildreth House/Yankee Pedlar, refurbishing and converting it into not only a state-ofthe-art banking center, but also adding a community room where non-profits can meet, speaks volumes about our commitment to ‘do the right thing,’” Bannister said. “We don’t believe anyone else would have made that same commitment to our community and our heritage, while still embracing the future,” he added. For more information on PeoplesBank, visit bankatpeoples.com.

Twice Is Nice. Voted “Best Place to Work” and “Best Non-Profit”

mhainc.org

3120732-01

Shopping Hours: Monday-Friday: 10:00-6:00; Saturday: 10-5 (Closed Sunday)

02 99 0 55 6

54 Shaker Road, East Longmeadow, MA 01028 413-525-0300 • w w w . m i m i s c o n s i g n m e n t . c o m


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S29

Thank You.

2020

FOR VOTING US...

BEST LOCAL BANK 7 time winner

BEST MORTGAGE LENDER 8th year in a row

Find out what we can do for you at bankatpeoples.com

413.538.9500 bankatpeoples.com

Member FDIC/Member DIF


READER RAVES

S30 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST PLUMBER Skibel Plumbing

Photo by Don Treeger

BY KEITH O’CONNOR

Special to The Republican

“We’ve been selected at least six times,” said Daniel Skibel of Skibel Plumbing in

South Hadley. Voted as Best Plumber in the Reader Raves poll, Skibel said he believes their customers are “happy with their work.”

“They appreciate when we deliver on what we say we are going to do…..to take something of theirs that is not working correctly and return

it to the way it should be,” he said. But, Best Plumber should actually be Best Plumbers. Daniel and his brother James run the operation which was founded by their late father, Walter, in 1934. “When we were kids our dad would occasionally take us out on calls with him,” said Skibel. So, when they graduated from high school, the two brothers went to night school at Smith Vocational and eventually earned their Master Plumber license. When you are a plumber, it’s not just about working “9 to 5.” “We get calls after hours and on the weekends. We could get three calls on one weekend, then not have an emergency for another month,” said Skibel, who remembers being called on not just any ordinary Thursday, but on Thanksgiving. “We needed to do a sewer cleaning. Yes, it was Thanks-

giving, but in essence you are able to enjoy your own holiday celebration even more knowing that you served someone in distress,” he said. In addition to their quality work, Skibel said they pride themselves on calling people back. “We’ve had people tell us that we were the only ones to call them back. Even if we can’t help them at the time for some reason, we still call to let them know and maybe suggest someone else. Or sometimes we can walk them through fixing a minor problem,” he said. Skibel noted among the more common calls they receive are for fixing leaky faucets, clogged pipes, hooking up appliances such as water heaters and garbage disposals, as well as more complicated jobs. Skibel Plumbing is located at 276 North Main Street in South Hadley. Call them at 413-533-0907.

Thank you for voting us BEST LANDSCAPER for the 7th Consecutive Year! • Full Service Commercial Grounds Maintenance • Residential Design & Installation of Outdoor Living Spaces • Hardscape Patios, Walkways & Retaining Walls • Irrigation Install

413-536-7555 • www.MountainViewInc.com • Chicopee, MA & Manchester, CT

3120355-01

Landscapes and Lawncare, Inc.


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S31

BEST BREAKFAST PLACE Memo’s

BY KEITH O’CONNOR

Special to The Republican

There’s nothing like a hearty breakfast. And Reader Raves voters have selected Memo’s Restaurant and Catering in West Springfield for the sixth time in a row as Best Place To Get A Breakfast. “We are consistent in quality, price and service. We’ve created a great atmosphere in our restaurant. It’s fresh, festive and clean looking and we change our decorations for each season. We also add new things to the menu so that it doesn’t go stale,” said owner Dominic Pompi. “Their votes tell us that they appreciate what we do and how hard we work to make them happy….it means we’re doing something right,” he added. Founded in 1953 by Claude

Balestri, Memo’s was later turned over to his daughter, Claudia Balestri Corkum. She hired Pompi as a cook, later becoming restaurant manager and purchasing the business in 1995 at the age of 26. In 2010, Pompi expanded his operation by purchasing a building just a few doors down from his current location on Memorial Avenue where he now has eight cooks and 45 employees. “I love the challenge of cooking. I’ve never had any official training….just picked it up over the years by reading so many recipes. It comes naturally to me. I always strive to put out the best product from at the restaurant to catering special events,” Pompi said. What’s for breakfast? What isn’t? Pancakes, waffles, omelets, home fries, eggs, toast, hash, eggs benedict,

Photo by Nate Blais

cereal, breakfast sandwiches and plenty more. Customer favorites? “Anything to do with French toast,” Pompi said, adding that they always have new specials to try.

And, there is lunch, too. Memo’s is open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, or to

view their extensive breakfast and lunch menu, visit https:// www.memosrestaurantandcatering.com/

YOUR DAY + YOUR WAY

WE COMMIT TO YOU Experience Our First Class Service Whether you choose the Log Cabin or our tented Upper Vista you are guaranteed to have the wedding of your dreams! The Log Cabin venue sits on the top of the scenic Mt. Tom with breathtaking views of the valley. Our ballroom offers a private outdoor ceremony site and terrace. Upper Vista sits on the highest peak of the property and provides unforgettable views of the Pioneer Valley. 500 Easthampton Road | Holyoke, MA | thelogcabin.com

BOOK TODAY: 413-535-5077


READER RAVES

S32 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST SUPERMARKET Big Y World Class Markets

the hard work and dedication of our employees from our warehouse selectors ensuring our stores are well stocked to our buyers who work with our local farmers to bring the freshest produce to our stores to our store teams that deliver the quality, freshness and value with an enjoyable and personal shopping experience,” said Big Y CEO Charles D’Amour. “Whether it’s curating a special selection of olive oils or assisting with a special recipe, we can help. Fresh sustainable seafood,

Photo by Ed Cohen

for voting us #1 Reader Raves best local local Pet Pet Grooming Grooming best

“We care about each other, we care about our customers and we care about the communities we serve...” BY KEITH O’CONNOR

Special to The Republican

Fresh, local and convenient” are on the minds of grocery shoppers today. When looking for those three qualities, Reader Raves voters have for the eighth consecutive year

VOTED

BEST DAY SPA FULL SERVICE GROOMING FOR DOGS AND CATS TAILS AND TANGLES PET GROOMING, LLC. 459 Main Street, Indian Orchard, MA 01151

(413)543-4847

chosen Big Y Supermarkets as Best Supermarket. “At Big Y, we always love hearing from our customers. It helps us to better serve them. Their vote as the best supermarket in the area shows that we are on the right track. It also shows that

composting, better for you foods and a healthy environment are also important to us and our customers and we try to be responsible members of our communities,” he added. As a family operated company, Big Y Supermarkets has a culture of caring that sets them apart from others, noted D’Amour. “We care about each other, we care about our customers and we care about the communities we serve. Our business is increasingly dynamic and changing. As to the future, we’re very excited about our new distribution center expansion and how that can help us to continue to meet the needs of our customers,” he said. Did you know that when the Big Y began as Y Cash Market in Chicopee back in 1936, a loaf of bread cost 8 cents and milk was just 47 cents a gallon? For more information and locations of Big Y Supermarkets, visit bigy.com.


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S33

Thank You for voting us Best Electrician! 24 H o ur E m e rg e n cy S er v ice | Q u a lit y T r a in e d Pr o f essionals

Serving Commercial, Industrial & Residential Communities in Western MA & Northern CT Cellebrating

75

YEARS OF SERVICE 2020

Electrical Contractors 100 Memorial Avenue West Springfield, MA (413) 739-3835 w ww .goodlesselectric.com MA License 17430A • CT License 125677


READER RAVES

S34 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THANK YOU FOR VOTING US BEST BURGER SPOT!

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

2019 Winners - Mountain View Landscaping and Robert Charles Photography are winners again! Congrats!

Featuring award-winning all-natural burgers, American-style comfort food and a large selection of craft beers in a casual atmosphere.

2019-2020

684 Bliss Road, Longmeadow, MA 01106 www.maxrestaurantgroup.com/burger • 413-798-0101

Mon-Thu 11:30am-10:30pm, Fri & Sat 11:30am-11:30pm & Sun 11:30am-9:30pm

Thanks to you, change is coming to the Springfield Science Museum

Discover more at SpringfieldMuseums.org/evolution

Thank You to All of Those Who Voted Us Best Funeral Home. We appreciate being able to help your family and friends when guidance and support are needed most.

Colonial Forastiere Funeral & Cremation 985 Main Street Agawam, MA

786-2600

Southwick Forastiere

Forastiere Smith Funeral & Cremation

Funeral & Cremation

624 College Highway Southwick, MA

220 North Main Street East Longmeadow, MA

45 Locust Street Springfield, MA

Funeral & Cremation

569-5306

525-2800

Forastiere 733-5311

ART • HISTORY • SCIENCE • SEUSS IN SPRINGFIELD

3120281-01

www.forastiere.com


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S35

BEST NONPROFIT & BEST WORKPLACE Mental Health Association

Photo by Ed Cohen

Cheryl Fasano, president and CEO. “Being voted Best NonSPRINGFIELD—MHA Inc., a profit and Best Place to Work again this year is a wonderful nonprofit provider of resireflection on everyone here at dential and support services based in Springfield, garnered MHA.” MHA (Mental Health Assotwo wins in the annual Reader Raves poll: Best Nonprofit and ciation) helps people live their best life. It provides access Best Place to Work. to therapies for emotional “As the CEO of this orgahealth and wellness; services nization, it is tremendously fulfilling, both professionally for substance use recovery, developmental disabilities and personally, to know that and acquired brain injury; MHA is thought of in such services for housing and high regard by those in the community and those within residential programming, and more. With respect, integour organization,” reacted BY CORI URBAN

Special to The Republican

rity and compassion, MHA provides each individual served through person-driven programming to foster independence, community engagement, wellness and recovery. The agency’s core values are respect, integrity and compassion. It has nearly 400 full and part-time employees and serves about 700 participants annually. It operates nearly 30 residential sites as well as extensive outreach and supported living programs.

Programs provide individuals the safety, consistency and assistance to help them move toward increased independence. Kimberley A. Lee, vice president of resource development and branding for MHA, said the working environment there is positive and team-oriented: “I mean that sincerely and genuinely.” She said employees support one another, and communication is open, honest and transparent. “Every individual who works at MHA has a shared value, a shared belief system

that everybody puts in 100 percent to ensure overall optimal health of the people we serve,” she added. Beginning in the 1960s, MHA’s ground-breaking efforts and advocacy helped to transition people away from institutional living to a life in the community. Today, MHA leadership continues to advance awareness of mental health conditions and needs at local, regional and national levels. Reader Raves 2020 was presented by The Republican and MassLive.

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READER RAVES

S36 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT Frontera Grill

Photo by Ed Cohen

BY TIERA N. WRIGHT Special to The Republican

From the jovial strumming and dulcet singing of the Mariachi Mexico Antiguoto on Wednesday or Thursday

nights to the cacophony of happy patrons; it’s no wonder that Frontera Grill has been voted by Republican Newspaper readers as the Best Mexican Restaurant seven times in a row.

es to New England, especially Western Massachusetts.” It’s safe to say he has succeeded. A popular destination with locations in Chicopee and Springfield, Frontera Grill boasts dishes such as the Marco Polo Tacos (shrimp wrapped in bacon with chipotle aioli), World Best Tacos (skirt steak with mango salsa), and Street Tacos (Grilled chicken with pico de Gallo and Cotija cheese). Mendiola also names the fajitas, featuring the choice of steak, veggies, chicken, shrimp or pork, as a favorite amongst guests. Also known for their signa“We have been in business for ture margaritas and variety of flavors, such as the Coconut seven years,” says Federico Mendiola, owner of Frontera Margarita, Frontera Top Shelf, Grill. “The motivation to start Presidenté, Dos Patrones this business was to be able to and Blackjack; Mendiola bring authentic Mexican dish- adds, “the authenticity of

our cuisine, the quality of our drinks, our attention to detail and quality of service,” sets Frontera apart from other restaurants and the reason why people keep coming back. Ultimately, Mendiola says he would like to thank those who have continuously voted for Frontera Grill; “we are very appreciative of being your choice every time” he says; concluding, “at Frontera Grill we have the best customers in the world; thank you for the love and support.” Frontera Grill is open Sunday through Thursday from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm and Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm at two convenient locations, in Chicopee and Springfield, 1625 Memorial Drive and 1411 Boston Road, respectively.

Awards Won:

Thank you for your business and voting us

7 consecutive times

Best Mexican Restaurant In Western Mass.

➤Live Mariachi Band Every Week ➤Best Margaritas in Massachusetts SP48465

Fronterafreshmex.com


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S37


READER RAVES

S38 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

BEST LOCAL CAMPGROUND Sunset View Family Campground

Photo by Danny Nason BY KEITH O’CONNOR

Special to The Republican

It took Sunsetview Farm Camping Area in Monson some 50 years to be recog-

nized as Best Local Campground by Reader Raves voters. That’s how long the popular campground has been around.

However, the long wait was due to a couple of reasons. Reader Raves hasn’t been around for that long, and Best Local Campground is a new

Dr. Belisa A. Basile THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONFIDENCE! Our mission is to provide our patients with thorough, compassionate care to ensure their best possible eye health and crisp, comfortable vision. ~ Eye Examinations ~ Medical Treatment of Eye Conditions ~ Specialty Contact Lens Fitting ~ Spectacle Dispensing

8 Center Square East Longmeadow (413) 525-2900

entry this year. “I attribute our selection as Best Local Campground to our amazing group of loyal customers and staff, who got behind promoting our camp among voters when they learned about the new category,” said Lisa Adams. “I would have to say what makes us so popular is the many activities and entertainment we offer along with maintaining a very clean campground and having a friendly staff and campers. We’re like a big family here,” she added. Adams is among the second generation owners of the campground along with Robin Carpenter and Carol Carpenter. The camping area was started in 1970 by Harold and Lillian Carpenter on what was originally a dairy farm and apple orchard owned and operated by the Carpenter family. Adams called the area camp “a destination type place” where people can enjoy amazing bands, themed weekends with all sorts of planned

activities, and commiserate with nature. “Some folks stay here for the entire time we are open. There are ‘snowbirds’ who live in Florida in the winter and spend their summers here. Also, for local families, it’s like having a lake house to go to every weekend, where there is plenty of family fun awaiting them,” Adams said. “We also do a lot of charity work with our campers, who are very community minded, and this year our charity of choice was Springfield Shriners Children’s Hospital,” she added. A typical season for Sunsetview Farm Camping Area runs from about mid-April to mid-October. For more information, call 413-267-9269. Or for a complete list of amenities that includes a store, swimming pond and beach, ball fields, fishing, hot showers, inground pool, shuffleboard, laundromat and much more, visit sunsetview.com


THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

READER RAVES

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 | S39

BEST BEAUTY SALON Vivid

By CORI URBAN

Special to The Republican

Vivid Hair Salon and Spa washed out the other contenders for “Best Hair Salon” in the annual Reader Raves poll conducted by Masslive and The Republican. Owner/stylist Basia Belz tried to jump for joy when she heard the news, despite having a foot in a cast because of a broken ankle. “I was honored, surprised and ecstatic,” she enthused. This was Vivid’s first Reader Raves win, and Belz expressed appreciation for everyone who voted for her salon and spa, “giving us such a high honor.” She also acknowledged her “amazing” staff of eight fulland part-time employees. Vivid’s mission is to make each guest feel special and cared for. “It’s so rewarding to be able to help others appreciate their natural beauty and put a smile on someone’s face,” Belz said. In addition to hair services, Belz and her team offer spa services, eyelash extensions and special promotions for services and products. Hair designers and master colorists not only assess guests’ hair type and condition but evaluate their features, the shape of their face and hair shapes. Then the professionals build a style around guests’ personality so

Photo by Fred Gore

that their look is one of harmony, symmetry and perfect proportion. As a professional salon, Vivid Hair Salon assists guests in achieving the perfect hair design to fit them and their lifestyle. Staff members attend ongoing education seminars to learn the most current fashion styles. Their focus is to keep guests’ needs first and continuously offer the best in products and services. The salon and spa also has a commitment to the com-

munity: Vivid staff members enjoy partnering with local citizens of all walks of life to donate their time and services, for example, to give

Westfield. To make an appointment call 413-564-0062 or go to vividhairsalonandspa.com.

Yes, you can That’s the answer you can expect to hear from us. When you call Glenmeadow, we’ll take the time to learn what’s important to you.

A Reader Raves favorite 7 years in a row!

24 Tabor Crossing Longmeadow, MA 800.633.6313 glenmeadow.org

www.AmeliaParkArena.org

makeovers to cancer patients and those in remission and to donate to an anti-bullying organization. Find Vivid at 99 Elm St.,

In keeping with our non-profit mission to serve seniors, we offer a continuum of care and services to help you stay independent, whether you live in your own home, in one of the apartments on our campus, or in another retirement community. We can help you thrive in the place you call home.


READER RAVES

S40 | SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019

THE REPUBLICAN | MASSLIVE.COM

Best Supermarket! 8th YEAR IN A ROW!

Thank you! For Letting Us Serve You! bigy.com *65:,*<;0=,>05:

THANK YOU

for voting us

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Best Package Store!

… Phil Leblanc, Store Director

Profile for repubnews

Reader Raves 2020  

Celebrating the best in the area as voted by the public.

Reader Raves 2020  

Celebrating the best in the area as voted by the public.

Profile for repubnews