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Southern Oregon’s

Best of the

BEST 2016

The Original Mail Tribune Readers’ Choice Awards

Southern Oregon’s Best in 86 categories • Great Dining • Kids & Education • Services • Shopping

• Beauty & Health • Fitness & Recreation • Entertainment

I NDEX BEAUTY & HEALTH ACUPUNCTURE CLINIC............... 2 CHIROPRACTIC OFFICE ............. 2 DENTIST....................................... 2 HEALTH CARE PROVIDER ............ 2 HEARING AID CENTER ................ 4 HOSPITAL .................................... 4 MEDICAL GROUP ....................... 4 NATUROPATH .............................. 4 PEDIATRICIAN ............................. 4 MASSAGE THERAPY ................... 4 SALON OR DAY SPA ................... 6

KIDS & ENTERTAINMENT DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL ............ 17 ELEMENTARY SCHOOL.............. 18 MIDDLE SCHOOL ...................... 18 HIGH SCHOOL........................... 18 PRINCIPAL .................................. 18 TEACHER ................................... 20


SERVICES ATTORNEY ................................. 20 FINANCIAL INSTITUTION............. 20 CARPET CLEANER ..................... 22 COMMUNITY SERVICE ORGANIZATION......................... 22 CONTRACTOR .......................... 22 ELECTRICIAN ............................. 22 HVAC ......................................... 24 FINANCIAL ADVISOR ................. 24 INSURANCE AGENT................... 24 PAINTER...................................... 25 PLUMBER .................................... 25 REALTOR .................................... 25 RETIREMENT RESIDENCE ........... 26

ENTERTAINMENT LIVE THEATER............................... 8 LOCAL EVENT ............................ 8 SOUTHERN OREGON BREWERY .................................... 9 SOUTHERN OREGON WINERY ....................................... 9



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FITNESS & RECREATION BIKE SHOP ................................... 9 GOLF COURSE .......................... 11 GYM .......................................... 11 PERSONAL TRAINER ................... 11 OUTDOOR GEAR ...................... 11 YOGA STUDIO ........................... 12



GREAT DINING BAKERY ...................................... 12 BREAKFAST ................................. 12 BURGER ..................................... 13 CHINESE RESTAURANT ............... 13 COFFEE SHOP ........................... 13 FINE DINING .............................. 13 HEALTHY LUNCH ........................ 15 ITALIAN RESTAURANT ................. 15 JAPANESE RESTAURANT ............ 15 MEXICAN RESTAURANT ............. 15 OUTDOOR SEATING .................. 15 OVERALL RESTAURANT .............. 16 PIZZA .......................................... 16 RESTAURANT CUSTOMER SERVICE ................. 16 STEAK ......................................... 17 THAI RESTAURANT ...................... 17 VEGETARIAN MEAL ................... 17


1st Middleway Medicine 2nd Rose Acupuncture 3rd Acupuncture and Natural Health Center HONORABLE MENTION Three Treasures Chinese Medicine

PETS PET GROOMER ......................... 20 PET DAYCARE/BOARDING ........ 20 VETERINARIAN ........................... 20

SHOPPING ANTIQUE STORE ........................ 26 BOOK/COMIC BOOK STORE ... 27 FURNITURE STORE ...................... 27 GARDEN STORE ........................ 27 GROCERY STORE ...................... 27 HOME IMPROVEMENT STORE .. 27 NATURAL FOODS STORE ........... 28 CHILDREN’S GIFTS ..................... 28 GLUTEN-FREE FOODS................ 28 PRODUCE .................................. 28 SKIN CARE PRODUCTS .............. 29 VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS ... 29 RETAIL CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM........................... 29 VEHICLE DEALERS & SERVICES AUTOMOTIVE MECHANIC SHOP ..................... 29 BOAT DEALERSHIP ...................... 29 BODY SHOP ............................... 29 CAR WASH/DETAIL .................... 29 NEW CAR DEALERSHIP .............. 29 TIRES .......................................... 31 RV DEALERSHIP .......................... 31 USED CAR DEALERSHIP.............. 31

MIDDLEWAY MEDICINE Practicing for 10 years in Talent, the Chinese medicine practitioners at Middleway Medicine offer acupuncture, herbal medicine and lifestyle/diet counseling. Acupuncture is excellent for treating all kinds of pain, according to acupuncturist Clark Zimmerman, but Middleway Medicine serves patients with other concerns, too. “People often come to us because of pain, but they return because we provide a wellness approach that keeps them feeling as good as possible,” Zimmerman said. “We believe in empowering our community to make better choices for health and longevity. Not only do we help individuals, we keep them well by seeing them as people, not as patients.” Middleway Medicine also specializes in headaches, digestive disorders, fertility/pregnancy, women’s health and herbal prescriptions. In addition to having exceptional clinical skills, Clark and Ann Zimmerman, Ryan Baker and Jen Glaser feel their success is also due to the warm and professional atmosphere at Middleway.


1st Southern Oregon Chiropractic and Wellness Clinic 2nd Complete Care Health Centers 3rd Pro Spine and Sport HONORABLE MENTION Crater Chiropractic Clinic, Lenz Chiropractic

The four chiropractic physicians at the clinic share a hands-on style and personable demeanor that creates trust in their clientele, Bains believes. Bains and her husband, Dr. Eric Reed, opened the clinic 12 years ago, and it has now grown to two locations with a third under consideration. “We started from humble beginnings, and we are excited to be in a position to help so many people,” Bains said. “We cannot stress enough how thankful we are that people took time to vote for this. We work hard, we love what we do and we take pride that our patients are part of our family and feel like they are in the right place.”


1st Dr. Tamara K. Abbett 2nd Dr. Bruce Mitchell 3rd Dr. Robert Stebbins HONORABLE MENTION Dr. John Linstrom

TAMARA K. ABBETT, DDS Helping patients have healthy smiles is the focus of Dr. Tamara Abbett of Abbett & Associates in Medford. Abbett has practiced general dentistry for 24 years. “We provide painless dentistry with honesty and integrity,” she said. “Our patients feel like family. I feel very lucky to have wonderful, loyal patients.” Keeping current with treatments and technology is a core value at Abbett & Associates, with the entire staff devoted to continuing education in the field of dentistry, Abbett said. “Without my incredible staff, this practice would not be as successful as it is today,” she added. “We all believe that we are here to take the best care of our patients. Our commitment to excellence is reflected throughout our office. Every choice we make in procedures, training and technology is guided by a simple rule: It must be the most advanced, patient-friendly approach available in the practice of dentistry.”


Living pain-free and educated on how to stay that way is the goal for patients at Southern Oregon Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Medford, according to co-owner Dr. Joty Bains. “Our job security is in creating effective treatment plans proven to provide results,” she said.

2nd Dr. Eric Ring, Family Practice Group 3rd Jason Jex, FNP, Rogue Functional Wellness

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Southern Oregon’s


The Original Mail Tribune Readers’ Choice Awards

$100 VISA card $100 VISA card $100 VISA card $100 Kaleidoscope Pizzeria Gift Certificate $100 Sherm's Food 4 Less Gift Certificate $100 Blue Giraffe Spa Gift Certificate $100 Bricktowne Gift Certificate $100 Red Lily Vineyard Gift Certificate

OCTOBER 23, 2016


Central Point Central Point Medford Medford Grants Pass Medford Phoenix Ashland


Best of the

Heather S Jennifer A Rylee W Brad B Robert F Jessica P Jose B Suzanne W



Congratulations to our online contest winners



COMPLETE CARE HEALTH CENTERS The daughter of a hospital chaplain, Sarah Roberson grew up wanting to work in health care. She has worked as a family nurse practitioner in the Rogue Valley since 2006. As an FNP, Roberson enjoys focusing on prevention and education with patients. “I believe there is no right way for everybody,” she said. “We have to find the groove for the individual. Many of my patients don’t want to be on medication, but prefer a natural alternative. I love how I can blend alternative therapies with traditional allopathic medicine.” In addition to general health concerns, Roberson specializes in hormone management and other endocrine issues for men and women. A mother of three, Roberson also makes time to give back to the community with her husband, Jeff, who is the founder of the Professional Wheelchair Basketball League. “We both feel it’s important to give back to the community where we live,” she said.




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1st Oregon Ear, Nose and Throat Center 2nd Soundscape Hearing Aids 3rd Dr. Elizabeth “Beth” Tangel, Imaginears


OREGON EAR, NOSE AND THROAT CENTER For 22 years, Dr. Jeffrey Rice and his team of healthcare providers at Oregon Ear, Nose and Throat Center have helped the Rogue Valley have better hearing. The staff serves newborns to seniors with a full-range of hearing tests and hearing aids, including a cochlear implant program for adults. “We strive to educate patients regarding their hearing problems and options,” Rice said. “We want them to be equal participants in the possibilities and limitations of amplification, as hearing works differently for everyone.” Rice said their practice emphasizes superior after-purchase service. Unlike most products where the customer relationship ends at the cash register, hearing aids will need adjustments, modifications and updates. “We emphasize the need for a con-

tinued relationship,” Rice said, adding there is no cost for after-care service. Rice and his colleagues, Dr. Amanda Meyers and instrumentation specialist Robert Lee, also collaborate with the six physicians and surgeons of OENTC.


1st Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center 2nd Providence Medford Medical Center 3rd Asante Ashland Community Hospital

ASANTE ROGUE REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER More than 1,700 babies were born at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center last year, which has the region’s only neonatal intensive care unit. As a 378bed regional referral center, the hospital employs 2,600 people to serve 17,000 in-patients and 50,000 emergency room visitors a year. The only hospital in Oregon to rank in the Truven Health Analytics’ Top 100 Hospitals in the nation, the medical center is governed by a local board. “We are proud to be a communityowned health system,” said CEO Scott Kelly. “We have a great group of caregivers. Health care is a team-delivered effort that requires everybody. We are blessed with amazing staff, physicians and volunteers.” Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center has made the Truven Top 100 in three consecutive years. Winning the local “best” honor recognizes the confidence patients have that they will receive excellent medical care, Scott said. “We thank the community for choosing us,” he said. “It is a great honor to be recognized.”


1st Asante Physician Partners 2nd Providence Medical GroupMedford Family Practice 3rd Ventana Wellness HONORABLE MENTION Complete Care Health Centers

ASANTE PHYSICIAN PARTNERS A multi-specialty medical group, Asante Physician Partners is a team of 230

providers at 29 clinics stretching from Grants Pass to Ashland. Though largely a primary care group, there are several specialists within the network, including the only board-certified colorectal surgeon in the area. “At Asante Physician Partners, we are known for having high-quality care offered by compassionate providers who are able to provide a holistic approach,” said Dr. Doug Diehl, the vice president and executive medical director. “One of our strengths is being part of the Asante health system, which means we have a highly collaborative and transparent relationship to manage patients’ health inside and outside of the hospital.” Diehl thanked readers for voting and dedicated the honor to the group’s providers and staff. “We are committed to providing comprehensive, coordinated care, and they are at the heart of what we do,” he said.


1st Bear Creek Naturopathic Clinic 2nd Dr. James Said 3rd Siskiyou Vital Medicine

BEAR CREEK NATUROPATHIC CLINIC A comprehensive medical clinic for all ages, Bear Creek Naturopathic Clinic in Medford has three physicians, an acupuncturist, a laboratory, an IV infusion room and an in-house medicinary for natural medications. For Dr. Cory Tichauer, the whole is greater than the parts in health. Though the physicians at Bear Creek offer palliative care and prescriptions from Western allopathic medicine when called for, they also work to restore health by minimizing the risk factors of underlying causes. Collectively, the experience and specialties among the physicians, including Dr. Daniel Smith and Dr. Angela Carlson, give the Bear Creek team an advantage in diagnosing complex patient cases, Tichauer believes. Also, having a lab on-site offers an array of diagnostic options to more easily identify underlying causes, he said. “A number of our patients had given up on feeling better or on the symptomatic treatments they were prescribed in other practices,” Tichauer said.


1st Dr. Mary Murdoch, Southern Oregon Pediatrics 2nd Dr. Gregory Conway, Southern Oregon Pediatrics 3rd Dr. R.D. Jones, Kids Clinic HONORABLE MENTION Dr. Martin Young, Children and Adolescent Clinic; Dr. Sarah Christensen, Children and Adolescent Clinic

DR. MARY MURDOCH, SOUTHERN OREGON PEDIATRICS Though she loves the energy and enthusiasm of children, what motivates Dr. Mary Murdoch is engaging in meaningful conversations and providing excellent medical care. “I like to have real dialogue and work together to help children become healthier,” she said. “I want people to feel safe and able to be honest when they come visit. I want to be sensitive to the ways they may be feeling insecure, stressed or judged. Parents want their kids to be well, so it’s energizing to team together.” Murdoch grew up in Medford, the daughter of a pediatrician. She came to medicine after a career in dance. She has practiced in Medford since 2008. Murdoch thanked the people who nominated and voted for her. “I don’t think I could be considered for this honor if I didn’t have such good partners and staff,” she said. “I am grateful.”


1st Jen Dixon, Gervais Day Spa and Salon 2nd Brittney Boren, Southern Oregon Spine and Rehab 3rd Tracey Rhodes, Complete Care Health Centers HONORABLE MENTION Tina Matthews, A Time 4 U Massage; Amie Woyna, Anatrypsis Massage Studio; Amanda Rhein, Aspire Fitness; Kali Hull, Benevolent Touch; Cynthia Kapaska, Cynthia’s Hands; Amber England, Lenz Chiropractic

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GERVAIS DAY SPA AND SALON To be a successful massage therapist, you have to be able to leave your own issues at the door and create a safe, nonjudgmental space, Jen Dixon believes. Dixon, a licensed massage therapist, has worked at Gervais Day Spa and Salon for six years, providing therapeutic massage. She uses deep tissue and Swedish massage modalities most frequently, though she also performs hot stone massage, reflexology and maternity massage. “When my clients come in hurting and leave feeling 10 times better, that makes my day,” Dixon said. “Clients tell me they love my pressure and that I know what spots to work.” Connecting with clients and creating an atmosphere that allows for being vulnerable is important to help release the tension people hold in their bodies, Dixon explained. “Our environment is very relaxed and fun, and it’s an uplifting place to be,” she said. “Everybody needs to get a massage!”




OCTOBER 23, 2016

1st The Blue Giraffe Day Spa & Salon 2nd Gervais Day Spa and Salon 3rd Rogue Hair Design


HONORABLE MENTION Cielo Salon, River Rock Spa at Seven Feathers Casino Resort

THE BLUE GIRAFFE DAY SPA & SALON The Blue Giraffe Day Spa & Salon has won this category for five consecutive years, a testament to its dedicated staff, loyal customers and exceptional customer service, said owner Joanne DeRoo. Located one block from Ashland’s downtown plaza, DeRoo described The Blue Giraffe as an oasis of relaxation and comfort, offering individual spa treatments such as massage, facials, nail care, hairstyling, waxing and hydrotherapy, as well as decadent spa packages designed to pamper clients from head to toe. The Blue Giraffe also offers contemporary medi-spa techniques such as microdermabrasion, peels, Botox and cosmetic fillers, as well as chiropractic care and medical massage, both of which may be covered by health insurance. Celebrating its 15th year in business, DeRoo said The Blue Giraffe offers a worldclass spa experience for Rogue Valley residents and visitors by bringing together beauty, comfort and knowledge, personalized to create a wonderfully memorable and relaxing experience.


1st Kid to Kid 2nd JCPenney 3rd Macy’s HONORABLE MENTION BeGeared, Gymboree

KID TO KID Owner Kori Forney said buying the Medford Kid to Kid six years ago was like jumping off a cliff, but it’s been an amazing ride. Forney is passionate about the mission of the children’s resale shop in the community and even in the world. Providing an easy way for parents to recycle their children’s clothing, toys and equipment, Kid to Kid buys quality merchandise for resale year-round. Meanwhile, truckloads of donations leave the storage to help 25 local nonprofits. Kid to Kid customers also recently raised nearly $10,000 to help build schools in Africa. The Medford store’s contribution was the largest throughout the franchise. Atypical in resale, Kid to Kid offers a 7-day return policy for store credit. Forney said this allows parents to shop without their kids, knowing they can check the fit at home. “We love supporting families by creat-

ing an environment where parents feel good about letting go,” Forney said.


1st Fred Meyer Jewelers Rogue Valley Mall 2nd Father & Son Jewelers 3rd Kay Jewelers HONORABLE MENTION Facets Jewelry Studio, Hart Jewelers

FRED MEYER JEWELERS One of the original occupants of the Rogue Valley Mall in Medford, Fred Meyer Jewelers has helped customers celebrate and remember special milestones through jewelry since 1987. “For all of our staff, it is exciting to share in our customers’ occasions, from engagement rings to childbirth gifts,” said Tresa Habis, the store manager. Fred Meyer Jewelers offers the finest in bridal engagement rings in addition to a vast selection of diamond and gemstone jewelry at extremely competitive prices, Habis said. The store offers lifetime warranties, deferred interest financing plans, repair services and custom design. The professional staff members are certified

C L O T H I N G & AC C E S S O R I E S

by the Diamond Council of America. “We take pride in our products and stand behind them,” Habis said. “We enjoy helping customers find the right piece, whether it is an item in stock or a customized request.”



1st Macy’s 2nd Kohl’s 3rd JCPenney HONORABLE MENTION La Strada Boutique Men’s HangUps Consignment Clothing

MACY’S In the men’s department at Macy’s, customers will find apparel for both work and leisure, according to Sara Stiles, the manager of the store within the Rogue Valley Mall in Medford. “Whether a man is shopping for his day off or for a sharp look for work, we have what he needs,” Stiles said. “We feature popular brands such as Nike, Adidas and Under Armour for athletic and casual comfort. We also feature

designer brands like Tommy Bahama, Waterman by Quick Silver, Ralph Lauren and Tasso.” Macy’s also stocks accessories especially for men, from socks to colognes and wallets to ties. “Our first priority is to ensure our customers receive excellent service during all of their shopping trips,” Stiles said. “Our friendly and knowledgeable associates will make it a great experience.”



1st Macy’s 2nd T.J. Maxx 3rd Maurice’s HONORABLE MENTION La Strada Boutique

MACY’S Macy’s is located on the upper and lower levels of the Rogue Valley Mall in Medford. As a shopping destination, the store showcases the latest in designer fashions for women, including casual and business attire, shoes and accessories. A large selection in skincare,

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C L O T H I N G & AC C E S S O R I E S


makeup and jewelry polishes off the fashion choices. Macy’s designer brands are heavily influenced by its Northwest “Freestyle Lifestyle.” Assortments include Free People, Lucky, William Rast, Patricia Nash and Frye. Macy’s also features designer labels such as Michael Kors, Calvin Klein and Dooney & Bourke. “Macy’s tailors merchandise to address our Rogue Valley customers’ tastes and preferences,” said Sara Stiles, the store manager. “We carry several new brands as a result of customer feedback, and we expect that to continue in the upcoming year.”



1st My Daughter’s Closet 2nd Deja Vu Fashion Consignment Shop 3rd Goodwill Industries HONORABLE MENTION



OCTOBER 23, 2016

Kid to Kid, Runway Fashion Exchange



An upper-end consignment store with high-quality, slightly used preowned clothing that has a boutique atmosphere, My Daughter’s Closet in Medford has favorite fashion brands at substantial savings, according to owner Tami Abeloe. “We are all about customer service and attention to detail,” she said. “We are so fortunate to have wonderful, clothes-conscious consigners who travel all over, bringing us a wide variety of styles that are not available at local retail stores.” Opened in 2009, the store has clothing, handbags and accessories. Clothing is offered in juniors, misses, petites and plus sizes. Popular brands commonly in stock include Chico’s, Cabi, Diane von Furstenberg, Coach, Lucky and premium denim brands such as True Religion, Hudson, 7 for All Mankind and NYDJ. Abeloe said the shop is known for its high standard for consignment, a comfortable atmosphere and easyto-find organization.

E N T E R TA I N M E N T 


1st Oregon Shakespeare Festival


1st Pear Blossom Festival

2nd The Craterian Theater at the 2nd Art in Bloom Collier Center for Performing Arts 3rd Jackson County Fair 3rd Oregon Cabaret Theatre HONORABLE MENTION HONORABLE MENTION Camelot Theatre Company Randall Theatre Company

Medford Cruise, Red, White and Boom



The Oregon Shakespeare Festival welcomes visitors from around the globe from February through October. The 2016 season offered five Shakespeare classics as well as four world premieres that showcased the talent and artistry of the OSF company — almost 100 actors and hundreds of artisans working to create a spectacular theater experience. “Increasingly, many OSF patrons are proud to say ‘I saw it in Ashland first!’ as more original work created here in Ashland tours and has success across the country,” said Bob Hackett, the marketing manager. “Our local audience is a key partner in the creation of new work that helps put the Rogue Valley on the national artistic map.”

Drawing parade crowds of up to 30,000 people, the annual Pear Blossom Festival is Medford’s oldest and largest event celebrating the history and culture of the Rogue Valley. Other aspects of the festival include a street fair, pageants, food and wine tastings, and walks/runs. Last year, the festival inaugurated a cycling event and brought back a golf tournament. Darcey Mann-Self has served as the festival president for 22 years and a board member for 31 years. “The Pear Blossom Festival is an all-volunteer organization,” she said. “We are people that care about the community and want to keep a tradition going.”


Mann-Self said other communities have visited the festival to learn their success secrets. “They are amazed at how much the City of Medford is involved,” she said. “Our greatest appreciation goes to city’s personnel from the police department, parks and rec, and public works. They help make this happen for us.”



1st BricktownE Brewing Co. 2nd Caldera Brewing Co. 3rd Standing Stone Brewing Co. HONORABLE MENTION Southern Oregon Brewing Co. Swing Tree Brewing Co.

BRICKTOWNE BREWING CO. With a dozen varieties of handcrafted beers on tap, BricktownE Brewing Co. in Medford is a favorite local retreat, according to Angela Parker, who co-owns the pub with her husband, Scott.

“The beer we are most proud of is OreGunslinger, a double IPA that put us on the map,” Parker said. All the beers are brewed on site, supervised by brewmaster Neil Smith. Combining Smith’s creativity with customer suggestions, there is always a new beer to try, often reflective of the season, Parker said. The pub also has a rotating tap for ciders. The pub serves lunch and dinner daily, with happy-hour specials on weekday afternoons. Monday is “Geeks Who Drink” trivia night, and there is live music on Fridays twice a month. “We have an amazing location, a great wait staff and awesome customers,” Parker said. “We are proud to earn this honor. Thanks for voting for us.”



1st Red Lily Vineyards 2nd RoxyAnn Winery 3rd Del Rio Vineyards & Winery HONORABLE MENTION 2Hawk Vineyard & Winery, DANCIN Vineyards

RED LILY VINEYARDS Owners Rachael and Les Martin opened Red Lily Vineyards in the Applegate Valley in 2011, specializing in classic Spanish wines, including tempranillo and verdejo. The chicly rustic tasting room is set alongside the Applegate River, so visitors can take their tasting flights down to the water or to tables on the expansive grounds. A menu of sandwiches and soups is also available. As a winemaker, Rachael Martin loves the complexity and character of Spanish wines and believes in a patient approach with the least amount of manipulation possible. Red Lily’s 2012 Tempranillo won Double Gold honors at the San Francisco Chronicle’s Wine Competition this year. For the Martins, honoring the land and working in agriculture is important. “I feel so lucky to be part of the wine community in the place I grew up,” Rachael Martin said. “Southern Oregon wineries are taking great strides, and we share such camaraderie and forward momentum.”



1st Al’s Cycle and Hobby 2nd Marty’s Cycle 3rd Medford & Ashland Cycle Sport

AL’S CYCLE AND HOBBY Growing up in Klamath Falls, Brett Jensen’s favorite shop to visit was half bicycles and half hobby supplies. He opened his own version, Al’s Cycle and Hobby, in Medford 35 years ago. The shop’s inventory caters to recreational riders and families, from striders for toddlers to three-wheelers for seniors. The shop also offers parts, accessories and repair service. “We are known for quick turnaround in our service,” Jensen said, crediting his lead mechanic, Mike Marlow. “When someone comes in for a bike repair, we go out of our way to get it done as quickly as possible.” Jensen believes the secret to the longevity of his “mom-and-pop” business has been honesty. “We are straight-forward with our

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F I T N E S S & R E C R E AT I O N BIKE SHOP cont. customers and we stand behind all our cycling products,” he said. Jensen also credited Jayme Enriquez, the shop manager, for keeping the store up-to-date with new and interesting merchandise.


1st Eagle Point Golf Club 2nd Centennial Golf Club 3rd Rogue Valley Country Club HONORABLE MENTION Quail Point Golf Course, Stone Ridge Golf Club

EAGLE POINT GOLF CLUB Owners Bob and Chana Hyer had a vision of providing a first-class golf experience at an affordable price when they opened Eagle Point Golf Club in 2013. The semi-private course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and is immaculately maintained by David Stephens, the course superintendent. “It’s the total golf experience that we provide our members and guests that sets us apart,” said Patrick Oropallo, the general manager. “Our course ac-

commodates for all skill-levels. Then we offer the Talon Grill, a wonderful dining experience, and our golf shop, stocked with the hottest brands and latest tech. I pride myself on being on the pulse of what’s happening in the golf industry.” Oropallo also credits the customer service provided by all the staff of the course, restaurant and shop. “It takes a whole team to win an award like this,” he said. “Thanks to everyone who participated. To have our guests recognize our effort feels amazing.”

+ GYM +

1st Superior Athletic Club 2nd Anytime Fitness - Central Point 3rd Rogue Valley YMCA HONORABLE MENTION Aspire Fitness Club, Higgs Gym

SUPERIOR ATHLETIC CLUB Making fitness goals a reality is the focus of Superior Athletic Club, which is celebrating 38 years in business. With three locations, this membership club offers fitness equipment, group exercise, youth and senior programs, and

includes special services such as a nutrition program and personal trainers. The Cardley Avenue facility has a 25-yard swimming pool and aquatics program, with a youth swim team. “Superior Athletic Club strives to inspire and encourage our members to achieve and succeed in their goals not only physically, but mentally,” said Pennie Pons, the general manager. “We invite you to let us show you the way to a healthier you.”


1st Byron Higinbotham, Higs Gym 2nd Brady Inn, Superior Athletic Club 3rd Andy Howell, Aspire Fitness Club HONORABLE MENTION Peter Wolf, CrossFit Potential


HIGINBOTHAM Byron Higinbotham considers himself a coach rather than a trainer. Higinbotham has devoted years of training to competitive Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Olympic Tae Kwon Do and Functional Fitness. He leads by example at Higs Gym in

Central Point, showing that sacrifice and hard work pay off. “I’ve been told I have a unique ability to see a person’s strengths and foster them,” Higinbotham said. “Some people are naturally athletically gifted, but others have to work hard for skills. I’m able to see a student and find the one thing he or she is good at and expand on it.” Whether working towards a competition or pushing students to set goals, Higinbotham wants his students to accomplish large and small victories. “I pump up my students and try to bring out the best in them,” Higinbotham said. “My excitement spills over in how I teach. I am honored to help others reach their goals.”


1st Black Bird Shopping Center 2nd REI 3rd Sportsman’s Warehouse HONORABLE MENTION Bi-Mart, Northwest Outdoor Store


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In the same Medford location for more than 50 years, Black Bird Shopping Center is a local institution and certainly the only one with a whistling mynah bird. Patrons love shopping at the locallyowned store because it has a hometown eccentricity that is a fun experience to visit and browse, said Joy Erickson, an assistant buyer. Black Bird stocks supplies for all outdoor experiences including camping, hunting, fishing, boating, swimming and more. Erickson said Black Bird’s knowledgeable staff members are a strong customer resource, particularly in fishing and hunting. Also, though they stock a large inventory, staff members will do their best to special order any specific customer requests. “We’re not a chain store; we are still a local, hometown store,” Erickson said. “Black Bird is fun, unique and reasonably priced. A family can get outfitted for a camping or fishing trip without going broke.”


1st Rasa Center for Yoga and Wellness



OCTOBER 23, 2016

2nd Soul Shine Yoga and Massage 3rd Om Sweet Om Yoga



The variety of classes, skilled instructors and beautiful studios at Rasa Center for Yoga and Wellness are what make it popular with students, according to Julie Freed, the general manager. “Our top priority is to provide a safe and clean environment,” Freed said. “We hold our studios like temples. Yoga is a sacred practice, but it is also fun. Another priority is that no matter someone’s ability or age, there is a class for them to feel comfortable.” \With locations in Medford and Ashland, Rasa Center also sponsors special workshops and retreats. \Freed said students praise the quality of teaching instruction. “Some of our teachers have been with us since we opened,” she said. “We’re a tight family as a staff. Our masterful teachers care about the practice of yoga. Yoga means ‘union,’ so we want people to feel part of the whole, part of something bigger.”

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1st Great Harvest Bread Co. 2nd Buttercloud Bakery & Café 3rd Puck’s Doughnuts HONORABLE MENTION


1st Morning Glory Restaurant 2nd Buttercloud Bakery & Café 3rd Black Bear Diner HONORABLE MENTION

Artisan Bakery Café, Berg’s Bakery & Bistro

Elmer’s, Mrs. Q’s Punky’s Diner



The scent of French-press coffee brewing mingles with the delicious aroma of freshly baked breads at Great Harvest Bread Co. in Medford. The bakery café has an open atmosphere where customers can easily view the bakers kneading the bread and the stone mill grinding fresh flour. The Great Harvest team adheres to the value of “baking bread the way it ought to be,” using whole grains and simple ingredients, according to owners Dan and Lisa Allen. In 2011, the Allens expanded the bakery into a café to serve soups and handmade sandwiches, complemented by their many varieties of daily-made breads. Two customer favorites are Cinnamon Chip and 5-Seed Dakota loaves, according to the owners, who also praised their friendly staff for making the café a success.

An Ashland favorite for 19 years, Morning Glory serves breakfast and lunch daily. Chef and owner Patty Groth is a 1986 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. “We are organic when possible and try to support our local farms, mushroom foragers and bakeries as much as we can,” Groth said. The charming restaurant is so popular, there are often lines for breakfast, but waiting on the outdoor patio is pleasant and service is efficient and attentive. Customer favorites include the lemon ricotta stuffed French toast, the chorizo scramble, homemade berry syrup, muffins and a variety of omelets and pancakes, all served in generous portions.

G R E AT D I N I N G 


1st Jaspers Café 2nd In-N-Out Burger 3rd Red Robin HONORABLE MENTION Barney’s Better Burgers Jake’s Wayback Burgers

JASPERS CAFÉ Jaspers Café has been serving the Rogue Valley since 1976, beginning as a hot dog and pie shop. Today, this quaint café serves over 40 signature gourmet burgers, using only the finest meats from local vendors, including Cherry Street Meats and The Butcher Shop. Proprietors Janet Lopez and John Lenz, who purchased the Medford café in 2007, have brought a gourmet twist to a historic old-fashioned hamburger stop, blending a fun atmosphere into the mix. Nothing is sacred at Jaspers, where burgers can include peanut butter, poppers, pot stickers, pineapple or pastrami and a great variety of lean, wild-game meats as well. Jaspers has a large variety of milkshakes and a good selection of craft beer, too. Readers’ Choice voters have rewarded Jaspers Café’s taste creativity and

friendly service with the “Best Burger” honors for the seventh year in a row.


1st The Silver Dragon 2nd New China Restaurant 3rd Yummy Yan’s Chinese Restaurant

THE SILVER DRAGON A family-friendly restaurant in Medford, The Silver Dragon opened 23 years ago. Manager Yvette Goodson said she now sees second- and even third-generation customers returning for their favorite Chinese food in the valley. “We are blessed with wonderful customers,” Goodson said. “Our longevity is due to the support our customers have shown us over the years.” The restaurant serves Hong Kong and Mandarin-style Chinese food with a few American dishes, too. Goodson said customers love the House Special Chow Mein, Yung Chow Fried Rice, Walnut Shrimp and Mar-Far Chicken. Many of their dishes are gluten-free, also. “Our wait staff is very knowledgeable about our menu options and can help

our customers work through any dietary restrictions,” Goodson said. “We offer consistent, good quality food with good quantity for the price.”


1st Dutch Bros. Coffee Company 2nd The Human Bean 3rd GoodBean Coffee HONORABLE MENTION Central Point Perk Starbucks Coffee Co.- Biddle Road

DUTCH BROS. COFFEE COMPANY With more than 260 drive-thru locations in seven states and more than 7,000 employees, Dutch Bros. Coffee Company continues to grow and bring life to the vision of the co-founders, Dane and Travis Boersma. Known for coffees, smoothies, Italian sodas and private-label Blue Rebel energy drinks, Dutch Bros. also has a strong commitment to giving back. Each year, several days are dedicated to supporting the community including Dutch Luv Day, which benefits local food banks, and Drink One for Dane, supporting research for ALS in memory of

Dane Boersma. “Southern Oregon is where we started, and we are lucky to call it home,” said Travis Boersma. “It means a lot to all of us at Dutch Bros. in the Rogue Valley that we are a hometown favorite.”


1st Porters Dining at the Depot 2nd Jacksonville Inn 3rd Larks Inn at the Commons HONORABLE MENTION Vinny’s Italian Kitchen

PORTERS DINING AT THE DEPOT Housed inside Medford’s historic rail depot building, Porters is once again the popular choice among Mail Tribune readers for classic American dining from casual to upscale. Known for extra-aged beef, chops, seafood and seasonal chef’s specials, Porters also offers a “Get Giddy” happy hour with food deals and “Train Fare” comfort entrees under $15. Porters has a plate for every pocketbook, according to co-founder Rolar Yondorf. Porters offers many seating choices

Continued on page 15






OCTOBER 23, 2016

G R E AT D I N I N G FINE DINING cont. from a private Pullman booth to a festive banquet table to the romantic, trackside patio, Yondorf said. After 15 years in business, Yondorf said Porters is grateful for a loyal following. “We strive to offer dependable, quality products and service for everything from a casual bite to a special celebration,” he said. “We’re proud of what we’re doing for the community and downtown. And I think our guests appreciate that as well.”


1st Squeeze Inn Sandwich Shop 2nd Downtown Market 3rd Pita Pit- Medford HONORABLE MENTION Café Dejeuner, Organic Natural Café, Spoons


1st Rosario’s Italian Restaurant 2nd Cicily’s Pastaria and Grill 3rd Vinny’s Italian Kitchen HONORABLE MENTION Paisan’s Pizzeria, Pomodori Bistro & Wine Bar

ROSARIO’S ITALIAN RESTAURANT Rosario’s Italian Restaurant was originally established in 1975 as a small deli. Since Mike and Laura Hogan bought it in 2001, Rosario’s has grown into one of Southern Oregon’s favorite restaurants. “As a family restaurant, we use family recipes,” Laura Hogan said. “We offer a variety of pasta, meat and fish dishes, and wood-fired pizzas, focusing on freshly made food, bursting with flavor that reminds you of Italy.” In addition to the trattoria-style indoor seating, Rosario’s offers an expansive covered outdoor seating that is nicely heated to accommodate for cooler nights, Laura Hogan added. The restaurant also offers catering for area events. The Hogans thanked their customers for recognizing their hard work. “We strive to offer consistency of products and service,” Laura Hogan said.

of fresh, quality ingredients, according to owners John and Karol Cartmill. The chefs at Shoji’s have trained for years, the Cartmills explained, to entertain with fun, flair, flames and flashing knives. Customers are wideeyed in awe when they witness the chefs’ skillful knife work, their humorous antics and the excitement of a flaming volcano of onions, according to John Cartmill. Cartmills described the restaurants décor as clean, casual and classy. Many of their customers come to Shoji’s to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries or other special occasions.


1st Mazatlán Grill

Jonas Wahlberg, the manager, credits his wife and partner, Rosalinda, with the popularity of the restaurant. “Like a perfect margarita, she brings it all together; she is the heart, soul and salt of the operation,” he said. Born and raised in Mazatlán, Rosalinda’s career started with serving tourists and nationals alike at a famous beachside restaurant. Wahlberg said she quickly gained a natural sense for preparing Mexican regional cuisine, as well as adapting and appreciating the tastes of the North. For the last 15 years, Rosalinda greets friends and customers at the restaurant, or she is in the kitchen making her famous flan, Wahlberg said. Both Wahlbergs complimented their staff for their efforts.


2nd Si Casa Flores 3rd El Molcajete Mexican Grill HONORABLE MENTION

1st Bella Union Restaurant & Saloon

El Arriero Mexican Restaurant, La Tapatia Mexican Restaurant

2nd Kaleidoscope Pizzeria & Pub 3rd Porters Dining at the Depot

MAZATLÁN GRILL Located in Central Point, the authentic and regional dishes of Mazatlán Grill are inspired by the seaside city in Mexico for which it is named.

HONORABLE MENTION Jacksonville Inn, The Point Pub & Grill

Continued on page 16


1st Shoji’s 2nd Bonsai Teriyaki & Sushi 3rd Oh’s Osaka HONORABLE MENTION Kobe Modern Japanese Cuisine



When Patricia Gearey opened a sandwich shop in Medford 45 years ago, it was a tiny space where the cooking was done on a hot plate. Now a beloved tradition, customers constantly tell Gearey and her co-owner and son, Jason, how much it means to them that the Squeeze Inn is still in business. Through the years, the Squeeze Inn expanded in space and menu variety. Popular menu items include the Southwestern turkey sandwich with guacamole made fresh each day, from-scratch soups and comfort favorites such as egg salad and tuna salad. Everything on the menu can be customized. “Quality has always mattered a lot to us, so our whole concept is fresh ingredients and quick service,” Patricia Gearey said. “We’re very proud of what we do. We’ve developed relationships with generations of customers. It’s quite a compliment to receive this award. We appreciate them supporting us all of these years.”


For almost four decades, Shoji’s in Medford has hand-prepared lunch and dinner in the unique “Old World” Japanese style of teppanyaki (stir frying on a grill), to capture the full, juicy goodness

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The outdoor patio at Jacksonville’s Bella Union Restaurant & Saloon shelters under a magnificent wisteria vine, reputed to be over 100 years old. Christian Hamilton, the restaurant’s owner/ operator, said it takes effort to keep the outdoor space lush. “In the summer, it’s magical under the canopy of leaves and twinkling lights,” he said. “From June through September, some customers who could be seated immediately indoors prefer to wait an extra 20-30 minutes to sit outside.” Bella Union is in its 28th year of offering a broad dining menu, live music, a full bar and casual atmosphere. There is outdoor seating for about 100 diners. Because the patio is open to the elements, it is generally closed in the winter except on Thursdays for Oysters and Ale. “For the last 18 years, rain or shine, from October to April, we barbecue oysters on the deck,” Hamilton said. “Customers will even stand in the rain for oysters. It’s almost a badge of honor.”



1st Kaleidoscope Pizzeria & Pub 2nd Porters Dining at the Depot 3rd Jacksonville Inn HONORABLE MENTION Larks Inn at the Commons, The Point Pub & Grill


1st Kaleidoscope Pizzeria & Pub



1st Kaleidoscope Pizzeria & Pub 2nd Bobbio’s Pizza 3rd Wild River Brewing & Pizza Co. 2nd Jaspers Cafe HONORABLE MENTION 3rd Jacksonville Inn Jackson Creek Pizza, HONORABLE MENTION Papa Murphy’s



Winning this award again is a thrill for the owners and staff of Kaleidoscope, because it is the result of a genuine team effort, according to co-owner Jake Allmaras. “We consider our staff to be the most important element of our operation,” he said. “It is a joy to see everyone working together. Our ongoing efforts to give better service include the creation of a separate facility across our parking lot that will be dedicated to carry-out orders. This will cause a major reduction in wait-times for both in-house dining and to-go orders.” Allmaras said the plan is to open “Kaleidoscope To-Go” in the spring of 2017.

Kaleidoscope’s pizza has been voted “best” ever since the restaurant opened in 2004. The local owners of Kaleidoscope make quality their top priority, which is recognized and appreciated by their customers. According to co-owner Ben Allmaras, quality begins with the Kaleidoscope kitchen crew, who make nearly every ingredient from scratch. They make the dough and sauces, and then handstretch and toss each pizza. The quality is also reflected in the creativity of the kitchen crew, he said, who frequently introduce new pizzas, soups, salads and desserts. The menu is always changing to offer these new items. “Our success comes from our people, who we greatly appreciate,” Allmaras said. “We do not take anything for granted.”

Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine, Ooblies Waffles Food Truck

KALEIDOSCOPE PIZZERIA & PUB Co-owner Kristi Haavig credits their front-of-house team of managers, bartenders, servers, cashiers and host staff at Kaleidoscope Pizzeria & Pub for earning this service award. In Haavig’s opinion, “Good people give good service.” An emphasis on teamwork results in smoothly handling a chaotic environment. “We have many excellent and hardworking managers who have implemented effective training procedures,” Haavig said. “As a result, our front-ofhouse staff works well together as a team. We owe so much to our talented senior management staff as well. Thank you for a job well done.”

G R E AT D I N I N G 


1st Porters Dining at the Depot 2nd Texas Roadhouse 3rd Original Roadhouse Grill HONORABLE MENTION Jacksonville Inn, Smithfields Restaurant & Bar

PORTERS DINING AT THE DEPOT Co-owner Rolar Yondorf said the secret to a great steak at Porters Dining at the Depot in Medford starts with great beef. “We’ve worked with the same local purveyor, Bruce Emerson, for decades,” Yondorf said. “He sources the best of the Northwest. Then he extra-ages our custom cuts for enhanced tenderness and richer flavor.” Next is the preparation and presentation of the steaks. “Our broiler chefs work to intensify those flavors with just the right amount of seasoning, chargrilling and the desired temperature,” Yondorf said. Guests can then choose from a variety of toppers, such as Rogue Creamery

blue cheese and caramelized onions, green peppercorn sauce, sautéed cremini mushrooms, house-made Worcestershire sauce, or several other options. “The real trick is to consistently execute all of this hundreds of times a week,” Yondorf said. “We thank the voters and all our loyal supporters for recognizing Porters as the best place for a steak dinner.”


1st Bambu Restaurant 2nd Thai Bistro 3rd Thai Garden HONORABLE MENTION Siam Café, Tasty Thai

BAMBU An elegant yet casual place for lunch or dinner, Bambu in Medford offers a blend of regional Asian cuisine. Owners Veronica and Adam Ward grew up in the area and took ownership of the restaurant in 2006. Adam Ward serves as the head chef, mixing flavors and spices from throughout Southeast Asia and Indonesia. “Our kitchen does a fabulous job with consistency,” said Veronica Ward. “We

are particularly known for our delicious fresh fish dishes and inventive new appetizers. We have a friendly environment that’s not stuffy, but is an upscale neighborhood restaurant and very affordable for what we offer.” Customers rave about the lobster pot stickers and hand-rolled dumplings. Because they offer only fresh fish and many seasonal foods, Bambu’s specials change frequently. The restaurant also features local wines. Veronica Ward also credits their employees and the connection they make to the customers and the community for the restaurant’s success.


1st Organic Natural Café 2nd Larks Inn at the Commons 3rd Sauce Whole Food Café

ORGANIC NATURAL CAFÉ Famous for the 60-item salad bar, Organic Natural Café menu offerings are just as the name announces. Fresh ingredients and bright flavors enhance the sandwiches, wraps, soups and breakfast dishes at the downtown Medford restaurant. Many salad fixings

and soups are vegan or vegetarian, but there also some options for meat lovers. The café, open for breakfast and lunch, also serves coffee and fresh-squeezed, raw, organic juices.


1st Grace Christian School 2nd Sarah Corson Child Care Center 3rd Sonshine Early Learning Center HONORABLE MENTION Discovery Preschool, St. Peter Lutheran Church Preschool, The Learning Loft Preschool at Kid Time, Westminster Presbyterian, Rogue Valley YMCA

GRACE CHRISTIAN SCHOOL Educating children since 1974, Grace Christian School in Medford has 72

Continued on page 18



K I D S & E D U C AT I O N DAYCARE/PRESCHOOL cont. preschoolers and pre-kindergarteners enrolled this year. The preschool program begins for 3-year-olds and the Pre-K program is for 4-year-olds. “We are grounded as a faith-based school for the care and nurturing of the whole child,” said Devon Rickabaugh, head of schools for Grace Cascade Christian Schools. “It is so evident to parents that their kids are safe and cared for and learning at a developmentally appropriate level. Our program is academic in nature, with children learning through play and experience. The children also learn about relating to others to prepare them for elementary school.” For parents looking for additional childcare, Grace Christian School has an extended enrichment option for preschool. The school offers a summercamp program for preschool through age 12 that is open to the public.


1st Grace Christian Elementary School 2nd Lone Pine Elementary School 3rd Jewett Elementary School HONORABLE MENTION Hoover Elementary School Richardson Elementary School



OCTOBER 23, 2016



Academic achievement and servant leadership are what distinguish Grace Christian Elementary School, according to Devon Rickabaugh, the head of schools for Grace Cascade Christian Schools. “I think the word is out that our students are thriving academically, as we consistently perform above the national average in standardized tests,” she said. “But also, putting others first is a cultural norm at our school that emanates from our dedicated teachers, philanthropic donors and parent volunteers.” The school serves over 250 children in grades K-5. For kindergarten, Grace has two full-day classes and one half-day class. “It costs to attend private school, but parents see a return on investment in the lives of their kids,” Rickabaugh said. “They are receiving an excellent education and a strong foundation of truth. This influences how they interact with their peers, how they demonstrate respect to adults and how they handle tough societal issues.”


1st Scenic Middle School 2nd Grace Christian School 3rd Hedrick Middle School HONORABLE MENTION Hanby Middle School, St. Mary’s School

SCENIC MIDDLE SCHOOL The staff members at Scenic Middle School in Central Point create a safe, positive and engaging environment for their approximately 800 students in grades 6-8, according to Principal Brad Eaton. “Our Scenic team communicates well with parents and students, and as a result, I think people know that we care about our kids,” he said. “We work hard to support families. As a professional learning community, our staff effectively collaborates to develop and implement innovative best practices designed to increase our students’ success.” Creating connections for students outside of academics is also valued at Scenic, Eaton added. The school supports a host of extracurricular activities, clubs, sports and music programs. “Being recognized is exciting, and I appreciate the Scenic staff for their commitment to serving the community and our kids,” he said. “In turn, all of us at Scenic appreciate the support we get back from parents and the community.”


1st Crater High School 2nd Cascade Christian High School 3rd North Medford High School HONORABLE MENTION South Medford High School St. Mary’s School

CRATER HIGH SCHOOL Crater High School in Central Point is actually three schools in one: Crater Academy of Health & Public Services (CAHPS), Crater School of Business Innovation and Science (BIS) and Crater Renaissance Academy (CRA). Serving approximately 1,300 students in grades 9-12, Crater’s innovative,

three-school structure gives students the personalized and tight-knit community of a charter school with the extracurricular options of a traditional high school, according to Samantha Steele, the superintendent of schools. Further, since the transition to three schools in 2007-08, the Crater campus has exceeded the state and led the region in percentage of students passing the English Language Arts state assessment. Compared to the state, that gap has only increased since the introduction of the more rigorous Smarter Balanced state test. The home of the Comets, Crater High School also has a full range of highly successful athletic teams and student activities.


1st Tom Rambo, Jewett Elementary 2nd Tim Teterud, Grace Christian School 3rd Kristi Anderson, Lone Pine Elementary HONORABLE MENTION Tiffany Slaughter, Crater High School

TOM RAMBO, JEWETT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL In his sixth year as principal of Jewett Elementary School in Central Point, Tom Rambo has a vision for building a school that kids want to attend. “What motivates me is seeing the potential and finding ways to be innovative and creative,” he said. “I like implementing new programs and seeing them be successful. For example, at Jewett we have an aquaponics system, outdoor classroom and a Spanish Language Immersion Program. We are offering students a variety of experiences that foster creativity, problem-solving and exploration of their world.” Nearly 600 children attend Jewett Elementary in grades K-5, including Rambo’s son. “I love getting to know so many great kids and seeing how they develop over the years,” he said. “I feel very privileged to be the principal of such a great school. I have seen firsthand all that can be accomplished when teachers, parents and community members work together.” the warm and professional atmosphere at Middleway.



OCTOBER 23, 2016



1st Mike Rogan, Crater High School 2nd Lori Miller, Jewett Elementary School 3rd Karen Tally, PES HONORABLE MENTION Dee Robino, Hoover Elementary School; Elysia Gabaldon, Southern Oregon Education Service District; Jan Wood, Lone Pine Elementary School



OCTOBER 23, 2016

CRATER HIGH SCHOOL Crater High School-Crater BIS creates smaller learning communities by giving about 70 juniors and seniors a 2.5-hour daily block with co-teachers for two years. BIS stands for Business Innovation and Science. Mike Rogan, in his 19th year at the high school in Central Point, is excited by this progressive approach. “Our kids do internships, explore careers, learn web design, use Photoshop and Illustrator,” he said. “It’s fun, and we mesh this use of technology with traditional curriculum.” Rogan also finds working with young people and co-teaching exciting. “Working alongside Jeremy Sinks, my energetic and creative teaching partner, makes for a fun and incredible learning environment,” he said. “I respect my kids and expect respect back from them, and that defines success in our classroom. Rogan appreciates the show of support behind this award. “We should all be proud of our kids,” he said. “They’re awesome. In my opinion, our future is bright.”





1st PetSmart 2nd Just Great Grooming 3rd Amanda’s Classy Clips Pet HONORABLE MENTION Groomery, Petco

PETSMART According to Brooke Bloomquist, you can’t do a good job as a groomer unless you love it. As the grooming salon manager at PetSmart in Medford, Bloomquist said all the staff members



are passionate about making decisions that are right for pets and pet parents. PetSmart grooming services are offered seven days a week, with online booking for convenience. Services include bathing, hair cutting, nail trims, ear cleanings and more. “Our groomers go through 400 hours of training,” Bloomquist said. “They are taught the importance of different haircuts as well as to recognize signs of stress. I feel proud of my team because we all work hard and stay positive.” Trust is essential for people to bring in their pet “children.” Bloomquist noted PetSmart’s national partnership with Banfield veterinarians and 100-percent satisfaction guarantee to reassure customers that their pets will be safe and in good hands.



1st R&R Pet Resort

2nd Alpha Gay Kennels 3rd Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care HONORABLE MENTION North Pole Kennels

R&R PET RESORT Located in Phoenix, R&R Pet Resort offers dog and cat boarding, as well as doggy daycare and training. The dog boarding facility offers three sizes of climate-controlled suites with outdoor runs. For smaller visitors, there is an open playroom called “Tiny Town.” Owners can add on additional services for individual walks, administering medication, providing snacks and grooming. Kitties also have three boarding options, with upgrades including windows for outdoor viewing. Again, owners can add on extras, including lap time and TLC with R&R Pet Resort caregivers.


1st All Creatures Animal Hospital 2nd Dr. Steve Poet, Best Friends Animal Hospital of East Medford 3rd Crater Animal Clinic HONORABLE MENTION Animal Medical Hospital; Dr. Danna Catt, Pear Blossom Veterinary Clinic; Siskiyou Veterinary Hospital

ALL CREATURES ANIMAL HOSPITAL A small animal clinic in Eagle Point, All Creatures Animal Hospital has served

the Rogue Valley’s pets and pet owners since 2000. The clinic has eight veterinarians on staff. “All of our doctors and staff thank our clients, Mail Tribune readers, and the community for voting for us,” said Dr. Liana Barron, the managing veterinarian. “We are truly honored to receive this accolade. Our clients and their beloved pets coming to see us for veterinary care is all the reward we need.”

S E RV I C E S 

Blackhurst is involved in several local civic organizations and is a devoted fan of the University of Oregon Ducks, his undergraduate alma mater. He and his wife, Kristi, enjoy spending time with friends and family, golfing, fishing and traveling.


1st Rogue Credit Union 2nd Chase Bank 3rd U.S. Bank HONORABLE MENTION Key Bank, Wells Fargo


1st John Blackhurst, Hornecker Cowling 2nd Craig Galpern 3rd Idiart Law Group HONORABLE MENTION Brandon Rennie; Dick Stark, Stark & Hammack; Douglass Schmor, Brophy Schmor

JOHN BLACKHURST, HORNECKER COWLING A native of Medford, John Blackhurst followed a family tradition of pursuing a career in law. He earned his law degree at Northwestern College of Law at Lewis and Clark College in Portland. In practice now for over 30 years, he specializes in estate planning, probate and trust administration, and business and real property law. Blackhurst is the managing partner of Hornecker Cowling, the largest firm in Southern Oregon, located in downtown Medford. “I like meeting and helping people with their legal problems,” Blackhurst said. “I enjoy developing relationships with my clients, and I am responsive to their needs.”

ROGUE CREDIT UNION For the eighth straight year, Mail Tribune readers have recognized Rogue Credit Union as their favorite financial institution. Celebrating 60 years of serving Southern Oregon, Rogue Credit Union has invested in living, giving and supporting local. The business is focused on taking care of its members and giving back to the communities it serves. “Every employee is committed to doing the right thing for our members,” said Gene Pelham, the president/CEO. “I am so proud of our dedicated staff and that their efforts are being recognized with the award for the best financial institution in Southern Oregon.”


1st Stanley Steemer 2nd Kelly’s Carpet Cleaning 3rd Brothers Carpet Cleaning HONORABLE MENTION Integrity Carpet Care, K & L Chem-Dry

Continued on page 22



OCTOBER 23, 2016







OCTOBER 23, 2016

Though a nationwide company, the Stanley Steemer location in Medford is locally owned by Erik Vandendriesche, who opened the franchise out of his garage in 2005 when he was just 24 years old. His brother, Nicholas Vandendriesche, currently operates the business for the Southern Oregon region. Stanley Steemer is certified by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America for removing 94 percent of allergens through their environmentally friendly cleaning process, Vandendriesche explained. Though specializing in deep-cleaning carpets, Stanley Steemer also cleans hardwood floors, upholstery, and tile and grout. Stanley Steemer crews move furniture at no cost, and have all passed background checks, Erik Vandendriesche added. “Seeing the happiness of people with our results and how we help save the investment in their homes stuck with me,” Erik Vandendriesche said. “That’s why I love this business. Personally, I love the Rogue Valley and am grateful for the support of our customers.”




1st CASA for Children 2nd ACCESS 3rd Maslow Project HONORABLE MENTION Team Overland, Rogue Valley YMCA

CASA OF JACKSON COUNTY CASA exists because there are more than 800 children a year who need a voice and someone to rely on when their world is turned upside down due to abuse and/or neglect, according to Jennifer Mylenek, the executive director of CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) of Jackson County. “We feel this award belongs to the 160-plus CASA volunteers, volunteer board members, generous donors, foundations and local government entities who strive to ensure hundreds of children a year can thrive in safe and permanent homes in our county,” she said. “We can only reach about 60 percent of those 800 children because we need more CASA volunteers and funding to reach every child waiting.”

Through the collaboration of CASAs, foster parents, judges, social workers and others, Mylenek said the organization turned 591 children’s experiences of hurt into hope during 2015. “We are honored to have been chosen, and we are honored to do this work every day to make life for children and families in Jackson County healthy and safe,” she said.


1st Claudio Alvarez Construction 2nd Pressure Point Roofing 3rd Advanced Tree Service & Landscaping HONORABLE MENTION Ausland Group

CLAUDIO ALVAREZ CONSTRUCTION In 2016, Claudio Alvarez Construction (Alvarez Construction and Restoration) celebrates 30 years of remodeling, renovating and restoring homes in Southern Oregon. With over 30 employees, the company specializes in insurance damage restoration as well as custom home remodels.

“We rely on our amazing crew and project managers, who take great ownership in their work, as we build our company,” said Tim Alvarez, the second generation Alvarez Construction president. “With insurance remodeling, we enter sensitive situations where home or business owners have recently suffered an insurance loss. As a family business, we’re empathetic to each situation and do our best to restore their home or business back and better than new. We’re extremely thankful and honored that the community has shown us through this award that we’re doing our job well.” Claudio Alvarez Construction also volunteers as the general contractor for Grace House, the safe-house currently under construction for sexually trafficked girls for the Redemption Ridge organization.


1st Precision Electric 2nd Pacific Electrical Contractors 3rd Winters Electric HONORABLE MENTION Deschutes Electric

Continued on page 24



OCTOBER 23, 2016





1st Jahnke Heating & Air Conditioning 2nd Southern Oregon Heating & Air Conditioning 3rd Long’s Heating and Air Conditioning HONORABLE MENTION Air Pro Air Conditioning & Heating, Glacier Heating and Air Conditioning, Spring Air


1st Gary Duvall, Rogue Credit Union 2nd Ryan Suvoy, Morgan Stanley 3rd Derek Kane, Eagle Home Mortgage HONORABLE MENTION Dale E. Foster


Glen Jahnke started Jahnke Heating & Air Conditioning in Talent in 1987. Jahnke brings over 50 years of professional experience in both residential and commercial HVAC systems sales, repair and maintenance to his business. The company has been a Trane Independent Dealer since 1999. “We appreciate our customers’ loyalty and want to thank you for your votes,” Jahnke said. “We truly believe in quality work and exceptional service as our top

Gary Duvall has been a CFS* Financial Advisor at Rogue Credit Union for over 16 years, helping his clients navigate the world of mutual funds, annuities and managed accounts. Duvall invests his time in order to truly understand the needs and goals of his clients, whether the goals are saving, investing, planning for retirement or protecting their financial future. “It’s rewarding to help people reach their financial goals,” Duvall said. “I’m



priorities. Our motto is ‘Your Comfort is Our Mission.’ I look forward to serving the Rogue Valley for many years to come.”


OCTOBER 23, 2016

Precision Electric is a full-service electrical contractor based in Medford. Serving the region for over 40 years, the company handles everything from high-voltage distribution to small residential remodels, custom homes to data systems. They have experience with power and lighting; phone, data, alarm and control systems; audio/video systems; and fiber-optic installations. “Our experience and knowledge are often the factors that keep a project on-track and on budget,” said Travis Snyder, the CEO. “We will not present a problem without proposing a solution.” Snyder also takes pride in the company’s prompt response time, both in the field and from the office. Jack Schmidt, the owner, emphasized the company’s unshakable commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. “We also have a thorough and efficient office staff, and an outstanding, 40-man electrical crew,” Schmidt said. “Our clients are precious to us. We honor their trust by our focus and commitment to their projects and priorities.”

+ HVAC +

Southern Oregon’s

Best of the

BEST 2016

The Original Mail Tribune Readers’ Choice Awards


thrilled to be recognized, and I’m honored by the trust and confidence of my clients. I’m looking forward to continuing to help individuals and families improve their financial security.” *Securities offered through CUSO Financial Services, L.P (Member FINRA/ SIPC). Not NCUA/NCUSIF insured; not credit union guaranteed; may lose value.


1st Rory Wold, State Farm Insurance 2nd Shannon Harris, State Farm Insurance 3rd Russ Wimmer, State Farm Insurance HONORABLE MENTION

Ben McCormick, Brian Gabaldon, Farmers Insurance; Harry Gerhard, Farmers Insurance; Lyle McCaw American Family Insurance

RORY WOLD, STATE FARM INSURANCE For 26 years, Rory Wold has been an agent for State Farm Insurance, the largest homeowner and auto insurer in America, he said.

S E RV I C E S “The best part about my job is I take care of people,” Wold said. “I eat, breathe and sleep insurance, but I don’t expect clients to, so I have to help my clients navigate through the options to find the most suitable choices for them.” Wold said he has more than 100 different insurance products for every aspect of life and ownership. He has seven employees dedicated to helping people with these products at the office at 2019 Aero Way in Medford. The insurance business is very much about relationships, and Wold and his colleagues prize those relationships. “Our main goal is to deal with people with honesty and integrity – that has to come first,” he emphasizedv.


1st Brotherhood Painting 2nd Chris Silva Painting 3rd Robert Fitzsimmons Painting

BROTHERHOOD PAINTING Over 17 years in business, Clay Bustin has learned that high employee satisfaction naturally leads to high customer satisfaction.

“I hire carefully and set high expectations for our guys,” said the owner of the Medford-based painting business. “As far as painting goes, we’re good at the basics: showing up on time, communicating well, keeping things clean, being nice – the simple stuff.” Brotherhood Painting currently works on large residential projects, such as apartment complexes and retirement homes. Having a large staff makes them one of only a few local companies equipped to handle projects of this scale, Bustin said. Though the company handles a large volume, by focusing on fewer, larger projects, Brotherhood Painting is still able to provide close and personal service, he added. The company’s slogan, “Taking the ‘Pain’ out of Painting,” means making the customer experience easy, Bustin said. “That’s the real difference we offer,” he added.


1st Curtius Huntley Plumbing 2nd Drainpros Plumbing 3rd Tankersley Plumbing HONORABLE MENTION Accurate Plumbing Solutions Artoff Plumbing

CURTIUS HUNTLEY PLUMBING Partners and co-owners Ted Curtius and Gary Huntley began their Medford-based plumbing business in 1999. Today, the business mainly focuses on new commercial installations, ranging as far away as Portland and over the border into Washington. Colette Curtius, the office manager, commended the partners’ knowledge of the mechanical aspects of the trade and their ability to clearly explain problems to customers. Customers praise the company for staying on schedule and completing work by deadlines, she added. As contractors, they make integrity their highest priority. As leaders, the partners support their employees and their community. “Ted and Gary are always putting their employees first, and in turn, the employees work very hard,” Colette Curtius said. “Ted and Gary also give back to the community by working as volunteer coaches and providing service to a number of area nonprofits.”


1st Doug Morse, John L. Scott Real Estate 2nd Jared Hokanson, Hokanson Realty 3rd Clason Whitney, Coldwell Banker Pro West HONORABLE MENTION AnneTerese O’Gwin, Coldwell Banker Pro West; David Case, Windermere Real Estate

DOUG MORSE, JOHN L. SCOTT REAL ESTATE To be recognized from among the over 1,000 real estate agents in the area is very meaningful to Doug Morse. After 26 years working in real estate, he said the key for him is listening. Morse has achieved a high level of success by understanding what his clients’ needs are. A principal broker with John L Scott, Morse has closed 88 transactions in 2016 as of September, with a total of $36 million in home values. Both the quantity and dollar value puts Morse high on real estate leaderboards.




“The main reason he is so successful is that it doesn’t matter if he is selling a mobile home or a million-dollar property, he treats everyone with the same dedication and personal attention – you always get Doug,” said Leah Stelle, a licensed assistant in the brokerage. Morse credits his team of brokers and office staff for providing excellent customer service and creating customer loyalty.


1st Twin Creeks 2nd Rogue Valley Manor 3rd The Springs at Anna Maria HONORABLE MENTION Brookdale Medford, Horton Plaza




OCTOBER 23, 2016

Located in Central Point, Twin Creeks is a 120-apartment, independent retirement community that recently expanded by adding 19 cottages to the campus. “What sets Twin Creeks apart is our holistic approach to retirement,” said Cassandra Easton, the general manager. “Our philosophy is to nourish the mind,


body and spirit. We are not a cookiecutter operation. We believe in choices and freedom.” For example, Easton noted the daily menu, which has over 30 selections available all day rather than restricted to certain meal periods. For fitness, there are classes available in meditation, tai chi and more. A full-time fitness director is available to personalize fitness plans. Twin Creeks is currently installing a new indoor swimming pool. Other activities include a writers group and a theater group. “Being adjacent to a city park and with mountain views in all directions, Twin Creeks has a special feeling,” Easton said. “Our staff and residents are wonderful. Everyone is so welcoming.”


1st American Mercantile 2nd Main Antique Mall 3rd Collectors Market HONORABLE MENTION ACME Garage St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store

Continued on page 27



AMERICAN MERCANTILE Crista Singley and Jake Husel opened this popular vendor mall in Medford six years ago. American Mercantile provides sales space for 230 vendors to showcase their wares of antiques, furniture, collectibles and more. “Anything you can think of, you might find it here because it is an eclectic collection,” Singley said. “Our store is very clean and easy to navigate. Customers frequently tell us they are impressed with the staging our vendors do for their stalls.” Though there may be some finds in antiques (over 100 years old), Singley said there are more products that fit into the vintage (over 20 years old) category. Refinished vintage furniture is popular with customers, as are metal signs and home décor items. Low prices and helpful staff are what keep customers coming back, Singley added. She thanked Mail Tribune readers for voting for the store, saying it was a welcome recognition of their hard work.



1st Barnes & Noble Booksellers 2nd Village Books 3rd More Fun Comic Books



1st Garrison’s Home Furnishings


2nd Southern Oregon Nursery 3rd Lowe’s Home Improvement HONORABLE MENTION Fred Meyer, Home Depot

GRANGE CO-OP Founded by farmers in 1934, the Grange Co-op now has seven retail stores in Jackson, Josephine and Klamath counties. The Grange Co-op meets gardeners’ needs by stocking seeds, bulbs, plants, pots, soil, fertilizer, pest control and watering equipment. The Grange Co-op produces an exclusive line of Rogue Quality Fertilizers, which include conventional and organic fertilizers blended locally. Grange Co-op also features quality agricultural and farm products, consumer goods, men’s and women’s apparel and footwear, petroleum products, pet food and supplies, and wild bird products. Grange Co-op leadership said the company takes pride in serving the local community, including its Food Share Garden, which grows healthy produce to feed the hungry; support for 4H and FFA members; and a patron dividend program.


1st Sherm’s Food 4 Less 2nd Fred Meyer 3rd Trader Joe’s HONORABLE MENTION Sherm’s Thunderbird Market, WinCo Foods

SHERM’S FOOD 4 LESS Sherm’s Food 4 Less has been locally owned and operated by the Olsrud family



1st Lowe’s Home Improvement 2nd Grover Electric & Plumbing Supply 3rd Home Depot HONORABLE MENTION Ashland General Hardware, Hubbard’s Hardware and Home Center

With products for house and garden, Lowe’s has items in stock and at the guaranteed lowest price, according to Rebekah Hicks, the store manager of the Medford location. Customers can find what they need for do-it-yourself projects or take advantage of the installation programs Lowe’s provides, including a professional interior designer. The company purpose is “Helping people love where they live.” “We want to make connections with our customers and community,” Hicks said. “In 2016, we worked with several nonprofits, including CASA of Jackson County. Some of the projects included donating to the rebuilding of the Butte Creek Mill, building shelves for The Children’s Advocacy Center, and replacing several sets of bleachers for Rogue River High School. We want to be a part of something bigger than just what is going on inside of our four walls.” Employees are motivated to assist customers, Hicks added. “It’s our goal to make someone’s day each and every day,” she said.

OCTOBER 23, 2016

La-Z-Boy Furniture, Rebelle Home, West Coast Appliance & Furniture

1st Grange Co-op



2nd Pretty in Paint 3rd Ashley Furniture HomeStore HONORABLE MENTION


for 50 years. The family and the employees thank the residents of the Rogue Valley for selecting their grocery as their favorite, said Bob Ames, the general manager. As a local icon, Sherm’s Food 4 Less supports other local businesses by buying and selling many locally produced products. Ames listed examples of local and regional suppliers, such as Umpqua Dairy, Salsa Hecho, Fry Family Farms, Bartels Farms, Hackett Family Foods, Whistling Duck Farms, Santiam Vegetables, RoxyAnn Winery, Del Rio Vineyards, Artisan Baking Company, Loafer’s Baking Company, Silly Zak’s, Organico’s Bakery, Poetential Farms, Wild Bee Honey Farm, Rising Sun Farms, Cary’s of Oregon and many more. “It is great to be in Southern Oregon, and we thank our customers for their loyalty,” Ames said.


Browsing through the books at the Medford location of the national retailer is an enjoyable pastime. Though stocked with books of every variety, the store also sells gifts, games, toys and more. The store also hosts a Starbucks Coffee, a cozy combination for bibliophiles. The store offers weekly story-time readings for children on Saturdays. Customers can check the schedule for the chance to meet local authors and attend book signings.

Located in Central Point, Garrison’s Home Furnishings is again a hit with Mail Tribune readers. When Brian Garrison started the business, there were three nonnegotiable core values he established: Sell quality furniture, show customers appreciation through exceptional customer service, and always give back to the community. The formula is still working 10 years later. “Receiving this award for several years in a row is a huge honor, not only for me, but for our employees and their families,” Garrison said. More than the awards, Garrison is most proud of what the company has been able to do in the community. “We’ve been part of some incredible things, including donating merchandise to the Dunn House, CASA of Jackson County and Hearts with a Mission,” he said.





1st Trader Joe’s 2nd Natural Grocers 3rd Sherm’s Food 4 Less HONORABLE MENTION Ashland Food Co-op, Medford Food Co-op

TRADER JOE’S Organic bananas are a customer favorite at Trader Joe’s, usually with the enticing price of 19 cents apiece. A grocery chain known for low prices, Trader Joe’s offers several organic options among fruits and vegetables. The grocery also doesn’t use rinses or sprays on its organic produce. With more than 450 locations in the U.S., the Medford Trader Joe’s opened in 2012. Alison Mochizuki, the company’s director of public relations, explained that customers vote with their dollars as to what stays on the individual store’s shelves. If a product isn’t popular, they discontinue it for something with stronger appeal. “It’s truly an honor to be selected as a top food destination by the Mail Tribune readers,” Mochizuki said.


1st Toys R Us 2nd Class E. Professor 3rd Target HONORABLE MENTION



OCTOBER 23, 2016

BeGeared, Kid to Kid, Scheffel’s Toys


TOYS R US An international toy and children’s products retailer, the Medford location of Toys R Us has served the Rogue Valley for over 20 years, according to Rob Dickson, the store manager.

“I believe that our unmatched assortment of toys and gifts combined with our service level has created a loyal customer base,” he said. “As part of our corporate mission statement, Toys “R” Us is striving to be the best toy and baby retail company in the world. My team and I are very pleased that our customers have recognized our contribution to that goal with this award. We look forward to bringing joy to children of all ages for a long time to come.”


1st Sherm’s Food 4 Less 2nd Natural Grocers 3rd Ashland Food Co-op HONORABLE MENTION Ashland’s Shop’n Kart, Medford Food Co-op

SHERM’S FOOD 4 LESS The Sherm’s team is very honored that the customers of Food 4 Less selected the store as the best place to find gluten-free products in the Rogue Valley, according to General Manager Bob Ames. Ames said the Natural and Specialty Foods sections have been the fastest growing categories in the store for many years, as the store leadership continually looks for ways to better meet customer needs. “In addition to the great selection of gluten-free items, we have a large selection of other special dietary foods and supplements,” he said. “We have a large selection of organic and locally grown produce, grass-fed beef and dairy products, nutritional supplements and natural personal-care products. If you have not been into Food 4 Less in awhile, you will be surprised by the large selection of natural and organic products we have added. We thank all of our customers for the many years of business.”


1st Seven Oaks Farm 2nd Rogue Valley Growers & Crafters Market 3rd Fred Meyer HONORABLE MENTION Medford Food Co-op, Safeway, Sherm’s Food 4 Less

SEVEN OAKS FARM A fourth-generation family farm in Central Point, Seven Oaks Farm sells

fresh-picked produce from mid-July through October. Co-owner Doreen Bradshaw said their super sweet bicolor corn and pumpkins are customer favorites. The farm store is open six days a week during the season. Other produce includes cucumbers, peppers, eggplants, tomatoes and melons. Though not organic, the farm does not use genetically-engineered seeds. Fall is a busy harvest season for the farm, including visits from school children and families who come for the u-pick pumpkin patch and hay rides. “We love what we do,” Bradshaw said.

S HOPPING “This farm has sustained our family for over 80 years, so we feel we’ve done a good job of caring for the soil. In farming, there are hard days, but also days when it feels successful – to start with a seed and see it grow until it goes out the door with a customer.”


1st Ulta Beauty 2nd Macy’s 3rd Target HONORABLE MENTION European Touch Day Spa

ULTA BEAUTY With more than 20,000 products from over 500 brands, Ulta Beauty is proud to be all things beauty in one place, according to Carolyn Sutphen of Ulta Beauty’s public relations. A chain with 900 retail locations, Ulta Beauty opened in Medford in 2012. Each Ulta Beauty location stocks skincare lines at many different price points for a variety of skin types. Popular skincare brands include Dermalogica, Mario Badescu, Yes To and Tony Moly. There is also a full-service salon in every store, with estheticians who can offer skin treatments to target every skin need and can help select the best products for skin type, Sutphen explained. Ulta Beauty also carries tools for at-home use such as cleansing brushes from Clarisonic and toning devices from NuFace. “We believe in creating a world of fun and exploration where women can choose beauty on their terms,” Sutphen said.


1st Costco 2nd Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage 3rd Healthway Nutrition Center HONORABLE MENTION GNC, Vitamin Shoppe




1st Costco 2nd Trader Joe’s 3rd Fred Meyer HONORABLE MENTION BeGeared, Kohl’s, Lone Pine Drug, Rebelle Home

COSTCO At the Costco membership club in Medford, the team of 329 employees works together to give their members a great shopping experience, according to Ron Cheek, the store manager. “There is no question that the most important factor in our success and our greatest strength is our people,” Cheek said. “Very simply, Costco’s accomplishments as a company are tied directly to our ability to attract, develop and retain the very best employees in the industry.”



1st Kelly’s Automotive Service 2nd Bob Thomas Automotive 3rd Keith Schulz Garage HONORABLE MENTION Hurley’s Automotive, Valley Auto Repair



1st Water World Boat & Powersport 2nd Willie Boats 3rd Pavati Marine HONORABLE MENTION Boulton Powerboats, Superior Marine

WATER WORLD BOAT & POWERSPORT One of the largest marine sales and service dealerships on the West Coast, Water World Boat & Powersport in Medford is known for always having a large selection of new and used boats, competitive pricing, a professional and honest sales team, and an award-winning parts and service department, said Ted Dole, the president and general manager. Since 1968, Water World has served Oregon and Northern California. Their top-selling boat brands include Bayliner and Malibu wake boats, Bennington and Sun Tracker pontoon boats, Kingfisher and Tracker aluminum fishing boats and Sea-Doo personal watercraft. “We take pride in our customer service,” Dole said. “Water World is one of only two marine dealerships in Oregon that has earned the prestigious Marine Industry 5-Star Certification for operational excellence. We have factory-trained and factory-certified technicians for every product line we carry.”


1st Star Body Works 2nd Lithia Body & Paint of Medford 3rd New Stage Collision HONORABLE MENTION Anderson Auto Body & Paint, Apland’s Auto Body

STAR BODY WORKS Serving the Rogue Valley since 1948, Star Body Works has grown to four locations in two counties. A collision repair service, their goal is to bring vehicles to pre-accident condition, said Mark Lamensdorf, the owner since 1989. Each

location is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment and staffed by I-CAR and ASE-certified technicians. Lamensdorf added that the company is certified by a variety of foreign and domestic manufacturers, as well as being a preferred provider for the majority of auto insurers. “Our customer service index is extremely high,” he said. “The quality of the work matters. If I run into customers at the grocery, I want to be able to look them in the eye and know we did their car right.” Being part of the community means giving back, said Lamensdorf, so Star Body Works invests in a variety of local nonprofits and causes. “Thank you, Southern Oregon,” he said.


1st Yellow Submarine Car Wash 2nd Wash N’ Go Depot 3rd Quench & Drench HONORABLE MENTION Crater Car Wash, Miracle Shield of Medford


SUBMARINE CAR WASH While visiting the area, Ben Tresser came across a defunct car wash business and decided to invest. He opened Yellow Submarine Car Wash in Medford in 2006. The facility has two lanes for exterior washes, free vacuums and an express detail option. “When someone comes to try our service, it’s my belief that they will never go anywhere else,” Tresser said. “I’m proud of the wash because, in my opinion, we are the best. We have the most vacuums; customers rarely have to wait to use one. We have competitive pricing and the best equipment available. We use the highest quality blend of environmentally safe soaps, waxes and protectants.” Tresser thanks his customers, who he described as very loyal, for voting for Yellow Submarine.


1st Lithia Toyota of Medford 2nd Butler Ford 3rd Airport Chevrolet HONORABLE MENTION Lithia Chrysler Jeep Dodge; Crater Lake Ford; Lithia Honda; Southern Oregon Subaru; Ashland TC Chevy

OCTOBER 23, 2016

In 2003, shop owners Dave and Lisa Kelly took over an existing auto repair and maintenance shop in Grants Pass and brought their own family values to their business. Two years later, they opened a second shop in Medford. According to Lisa McClease-Kelly, the company’s goal is to do the personal things that other shops might not in order to develop a relationship with clients and keep those relationships for years to come. She tipped her hat to their staff,

who she described as a group who share a “servant’s heart.” “We are in business to be a blessing to our communities,” McClease-Kelly said. “We do that through auto repair and community involvement. The fact that people notice and take the time to vote for us is amazing.”


Costco is a membership warehouse club with hundreds of locations worldwide. The Medford location opened in 1991. The company’s operating philosophy, according to store manager Ron Cheek, is to continually provide members with quality goods and services at the lowest possible prices. Within the Vitamins, Herbals & Dietary Supplements section, Costco stocks 258

over-the-counter options. Of those, 62 items are Costco’s own Kirkland Signature brand, 90 percent of which are certified by the United States Pharmacopeia for meeting standards for purity and quality. “We pride ourselves in our Kirkland Signature products for being as good, if not better, than national leading brands,” Cheek said. “At our location, sales are incredibly strong in supplements for joint care and minerals.”



V E H I C L E D E A L E R S & S E RV I C E S

Continued on page 31 29




OCTOBER 23, 2016


Lithia Toyota of Medford has the two essential ingredients necessary to be a leading dealership: the best cars and the best people, according to Steve Philips, the General Manager. Lithia Toyota has won Toyota’s highest customer-satisfaction award for 17 years in a row, an accolade few in the country can claim, Philips noted. Receiving this local recognition is an honor, said Al Gunn, the general sales manager. “All of our team members focus on providing customers with an honest and simple new car-buying experience,” he said. “We give customers straightforward information so they can make confident decisions.” Philips also credits the consistency the dealership provides through the experience of many long-term employees. “Our motto is ‘Customers for Life,’” said Philips, who personally has 38 years with Lithia Toyota. “Our tremendous service department keeps people coming back because we take care of customers after the sale.”


1st Les Schwab Tire Center 2nd Advantage Tire 3rd Costco HONORABLE MENTION Ed’s Point S, Quality Tire Corp

maintenance or repairs for your current vehicle, looking for a rental car, or collision repair, Butler Ford will take care of you with honesty, compassion and kindness that have become our trademarks.”

1st Triple A RV Center 2nd All RV Needs 3rd Mike’s RV Service HONORABLE MENTION River City RV

TRIPLE A RV CENTER Sharing the love of the RV lifestyle with honesty and integrity is at the heart of the Triple A RV Center team. “You don’t have to travel far in an RV to relax and appreciate the beauty of a place like Southern Oregon,” said Tami Lewis, the co-owner and general manager. Triple A RV Center’s selection of the popular RV brands, their 10-bay service center, body and paint shop, and parts store offer the public a full-service dealership, according to Lewis. The dealership sells new, pre-owned and consignment vehicles, also offering financing and free insurance quotes. In business 40 years in Medford, Triple A RV is family-owned, with four generations actively working in the business. “We are professional, experienced, friendly, fair,” Lewis said. “We are eager to guide our customers through their entire buying process, making it fun and informational. And we are there for our customers after the sale. They’re part of the Triple A RV family.”


1st Butler Ford 2nd Airport Chevrolet 3rd Lithia Toyota HONORABLE MENTION JC Auto, Lithia Honda in Medford, Southern Oregon Subaru, The Used Car Factory


Best of the

BEST 2016

The Original Mail Tribune Readers’ Choice Awards

OCTOBER 23, 2016

Since Butler Ford first opened its doors in Southern Oregon over 40 years ago, the owners and employees have been dedicated to putting customers and community first. From the services provided at the Butler family of dealerships to the charitable efforts supported – it all begins and ends with Butler Ford’s employees, customers and neighbors.

Southern Oregon’s


Founded in Oregon by native Oregonian Les Schwab, the independent tire retailer now has more than 450 locations. Les Schwab Tire Centers have had a presence in Medford since 1971. Though known for specializing in tires, the three Medford locations also service brakes, alignments, shocks, batteries and more. “Every tire we sell is accompanied by our ‘Best Tire Value Promise,’ as we are committed to providing the best value for our customers,” said Troy Leeper, a Medford store manager for Les Schwab Tire Centers. “Our service is also secondto-none.” Leeper added that the Medford stores and their employees believe in giving back through sponsorships and involvement with nonprofits such as 4H and FFA. He believes customers appreciate and recognize the centers’ tight-knit community spirit.


“To know that our customers, the heart of everything we focus on at Butler, selected our company as Best of the Best means the world to us,” said Chuck Butler, the owner. “Whether you’re shopping for a new or used vehicle, seeking



“We sponsor activities, both large and small, that support youth programs, help families in need and raise funds for good causes,” he said.





OCTOBER 23, 2016

Southern Oregon's Best of the Best