Bryan County Favorites 2017

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Welcome to the 2017 issue of Bryan’s Faves Welcome to the 2017 issue of Bryan’s Faves. On these pages are the people, businesses, places and public servants chosen by the wonderful and wise people of Bryan County, all of whom know good things when they see it. In other words, the people have spoken. They picked their favorites by going to the Bryan County News website and registering to vote. And sure, it wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always fun, but they did it. And do you know why they did it? It wasn’t because they had to. They did it because it mattered to them who got named this community’s favorite (fill in the blank here). Think about that for a minute. For all the fun we like to have with this contest - and it is supposed to be fun, no matter what hassles online registration might’ve posed for some - the takeaway here is this is important stuff in a pretty profound way. Sure, it does provide some brag-

blank here), there has to be a reason. They must know what they’re doing, right? Right. So, I’ll take my business there. Go take a gander at some of the winners’ websites when you get a minute, or visit them on social media. Most will let you know they were chosen as a Bryan’s Fave because, well, it’s just good business. And they’re proud. And thankful to those who voted for them. But largely because they know the best advertising is a satisfied customer.

ging rights for those who win, no doubt. It’s scrapbook material for those who’ll look back in, say, 2027, and tell some upstart (fill in the blank here), “you may think you’re hot stuff, but back in 2017 I was this county’s favorite (fill in the blank here). And here’s the special section to prove it.” Note: They also get a certificate. On another level, winning Bryan’s Faves can be - and is - used by businesses and professionals in a number of fields as a way to promote their business. After all, put yourself in the shoes of someone out there looking for the best (fill in the blank here) in Bryan County where to get (fill in the blank here) done. Then you find out (fill in the blank here) was voted Bryan’s Favorite (fill in the blank here) five times running. That tells you something. It tells you that if that many people think (fill in the blank here) is Bryan County’s favorite (fill in the

Thank you - Favorite Coffee Shop Ways Station

Here’s something else worth noting. Many of the businesses and people you’ll see here give back to the community, whether it’s through donating percentages of their proceeds to worthwhile causes or sponsoring events and organizations that make our community a better place to call home. That’s worth applauding. It’s a good reason to support (fill in the blank here), too.

Thank you

And then there’s this. Getting chosen as the best or favorite in anything is a validating thing. It means you did something right. Who can’t be happy about that. Even if you don’t win, just getting nominated as one of the “faves” is pretty dang awesome, in our book. Unless, of course, it’s Bryan’s Favorite Worst Driver, or something along those lines. And finally, with an eye cast back at our recent presidential election and the political divisiveness which we hope will soon be a thing of the past, we note the following: This vote was all about letting the people have their say. It was pure democracy. That’s what popularity contests are. The people chose the nominees. The people voted for their favorites, and that was that. The entry, be it a person, business or institution that got the most votes from our readers won the title of 2017 continues on 4

Voted Favorite Attorney Michelle Henderson and Favorite Law Firm

for voting The Ice Cream Stop Favorite Kid Friendly Restaurant!

13300 GA Highway 144 NE Richmond Hill, Georgia

(912) 727-3355

10950 Ford Ave Richmond Hill, GA

(912) 756-2631


Thank you for naming us your Favorite Financial Institution and Loan Company.

We are truly proud to call this wonderful community home and honored to have you as our neighbors. At South Bank, we know every great relationship starts with a conversation. Whether we’re helping you open a new checking account or with a loan1 for a new car or home — we begin by getting to know you first. Only then can we recommend the right products and services for you. Let us help you plan for tomorrow so you can focus on today. That’s relationship banking. That’s the South State Way.

2017 9971 Ford Avenue / (912) 756-4444 / 1. Subject to credit approval. Member FDIC.


the 2017 list.


(912) 756-8324 2465 US Highway 17 Richmond Hill, Georgia

Bryan’s Favorite:

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Heating and Air: Gerrald’s Heating and Air

Bryan’s Favorite (fill in the blank). There was no electoral college here with which to contend, no political parties vetting candidates and telling people who they can vote for, none of that jazz. That’s not our style. Instead, readers nominated their favorites, they were all put on our list and then we let readers decide by voting on And boy, did they ever.

Alignment: H&L Tire & Auto

One number in particular tells you just how big this thing is getting: More than 30 teachers were nominated for Bryan’s Favorite Teacher, and that category alone generated thousands of votes. It’s big, we tell you. Huge.

All Around Business: Richmond Hill Montessori Preschool: What can you say about Richmond Hill Montessori Preschool that hasn’t already been said? This is the 2016 Richmond Hill Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year. It’s won “Best of ...” competitions and Bryan’s Faves so many times in so many different categories over so many different years you could probably name a few categories after Richmond Hill Montessori Preschool and be done with it. That Richmond Hill Montessori

Now, without further ado, here’s

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Home-Town Approved Bryan’s Favorite All-Around Business Bryan’s Favorite Place to Work

Bryan’s Favorite Boss Bryan’s Favorite Teacher (Mrs. Anna Rentz)

Thank You! for voting us Best Computer/ Electronics Service!

Come see why Tech Smart has been chosen Bryan's Favorites three years in a row!

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continues to win is a testament to the business and those who work at it. But don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few reviews we found on Google – where RHMP is earning a 4.9 out of 5 stars over 39 reviews. Even Donald Trump doesn’t rate that high in Richmond Hill. “It is truly the best place in the area for little ones.” “The curriculum is strong, the teachers are kind and the building is amazing.” “The teachers are by far and away our favorite part. Every person on the faculty makes a point of getting to know each and every student, and it constantly amazes me when faculty members that I’ve never met know my daughter, or sometimes even me, by name!” When folks use exclamation points, they’re either excited, or mad, or work in public relations. Our guess is in this case they’re pretty excited. But let’s keep moving, shall we. Not only did Richmond Hill Montessori Preschool win as Bryan’s Favorite business, but owner Audrey Singleton, one of this community’s most civic-minded residents, won “Favorite Boss;” and RHMP won “Favorite Childcare,” – no surprise there – “Favorite Place to Work,” “Favorite School,” and RHMP lead pre-K teacher Anna Rentz was voted “Favorite Teacher.” Any business, any school, any human endeavor, is only as good as the people who are make it happen. About Singleton, we’ll say this: She’s a true Southern lady with a warm smile and gracious manner, and what’s she’s done with RHMP, a school she built from the ground up, is admirable. About Rentz, a University of Georgia grad, well, we’ll let her do

the talking. “I am extremely passionate about children and their educational, emotional and physiological growth and well being. I believe that each student has the potential to break stereotypes, to challenge their own and others’ expectations of them, and to be an incredibility successful individual.” She’ll go far, that young lady. Just like her boss. All Around Restaurant: Fish Tales Here’s something else our readers really, really like — Fish Tales restaurant and Fort McAllister Marina. Owners Butch and Sherri Broome have built something of an institution down at Fort McAllister. With its laid-back Caribbean vibe, friendly staff and excellent food, Fish Tales has become one of the Georgia coast’s most popular places to eat, unwind and hang out. It doesn’t hurt that it’s on the water, of course, and has Fort McAllister Marina under its umbrella; but the restaurant’s popularity is also a testament to the vision, savvy and personal charm of the Broomes, who manage to make it a place where you can take the kids and have a family outing and go have a cold beer after a day on the water. No wonder Fish Tales has been a part of Bryans Faves for years. Even better, Fish Tales is a place that gives back and gets involved, and is a corporate sponsor of the Ogeechee Riverkeeper, the Bark Park and a number of other good causes, while Fort McAllister Marina also continues to serves as a launching point for more good times and fishing tournaments than anybody can probably count. And while we’re on the subject, Fish Tales is another multiple award winner. Readers voted it “Favorite Pet Friendly Restaurant,” “Favorite Seafood Restaurant,” “Favorite Best Restaurant View,” “Favorite Marina – Fort McAllister Marina,” “Favorite Nightlife” and bartender Taylor Mor2017 continues on 6


Thank You For Voting Morgan Carter Your Favorite Bartender At Fish Tales

3203 Fort McAlister Rd, Richmond Hill, GA


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gan was “Favorite Bartender.” If this were the Oscars, the Broomes would be worn out going up to pick up all their trophies. Favorite Apparel: KTM Sew Much Baggage Here’s another winner of more than one category, KTM Sew Much Baggage, which also was chosen by readers as Bryan’s “Favorite Jewelry Store.” Here’s another winner with local roots that run pretty deep. Owners Mindy Galbreath and Kelli George are both from Richmond Hill, which gives them insight into what “the Hill” is about. There’s also a Southern authenticity about KTM that’s refreshing. Because while any business owner will tell you it is not always easy to run a business, it’s clear these best friends are doing what they love. That’s reflected in these comments we found on Facebook, where KTM is earning an average of 4.8 stars out of 5 over a span of 253 reviews. That’s amazing, considering that on any given day most of us won’t make 50 percent of the people we’re dealing with happy. Here’s a sampling: “Stopped by KTM’s last week and was over-the-top pleased with the customer service and my purchases.” “The staff is so helpful and positive and bright … So happy to have another small business that knows customer service is everything.” “Best boutique in the Savannah area! The employees and owners are the nicest people I have ever met!” Remember what we said earlier about when writers use exclamation points? You’re either in PR, or really mad, or really happy? We’re thinking this guy was really happy when he posted this.

There’s one more thing about KTM Baggage and its owners we’d like you to know. They’re invested in the community. They give back to such worthy cases as the SD Gunner Fund, an effort to provide service dogs to veterans and disabled children. Asian food: Asian Asian Attorney: Michelle Henderson, Henderson Law Firm Auto parts: Auto Zone Auto repair: H&L Tire & Auto Barbecue: Smokin’ Pig Barber shop: My Grandfather’s Place Beauty salon: Lavender Hill Best coffee fix: Ways Station Coffee Café Body shop: Ward’s Breakfast: Omellette Café Buffet: Southern Image Burger: Melody’s Coastal Café Cable/Internet provider: CenturyLink Camping: Fort McAllister


Because of your support, we are changing lives through the power of work. 5,101 PEOPLE served in our employment centers

1,404 PEOPLE placed

into sustainable employment

7,020 HOURS spent mentoring young people

14,000,000 POUNDS

diverted from local landlls

Car wash: Royal Oaks

Donate and Shop

Cellular: Verizon Charity: Bryan County Family Connection Chiropractor: Palmer Chiropractic Church: St. Anne’s Cleaning services: Capital Carpet 2017 continues on 7

9701 Ford Avenue

(at Hwy 17)

Monday - Thursday 9 am - 8 pm Friday- Saturday 9 am - 9 pm Sunday 11 am - 7 pm

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Cleaning Clothing alterations: Richmond Hill Best Cleaners Computer repairs, service: Tech Smart Tech Smart is a two-time Bryan’s Fave winner and has won other publication’s “Best of…” awards as well. This is for a number of reasons, not least of which is these folks know what they’re doing. But for Mike Styer and his family, it’s clearly also about being versatile, since Tech Smart does more than just fix what’s ailing computers. They work on phones, they fix TVs and DVDs and tablets. They troubleshoot networks. They convert videos to DVD. They fix video game consoles. And, just in case you’re in the market for a copy or a fax, they also do printing. Mostly, however, they make customers happy. Tech Smart is actually one of those rarities in the world of business: They average 5 out of 5 stars in online ratings. Here’s one from Yelp that could explain why: “We lived in Richmond Hill for 3 years and know Mike personally and professionally. While we were there he helped on numerous occasions. He is always pleasant and helpful. After moving with the military to a small town we had trouble getting a fair estimate for damage done to two laptops. We opted to send the laptops to Mike at TechSmart. Mike’s estimate and professionalism allowed us to finally get a fair offer from the moving company. He is our go to guy regardless of where we live!” The review was posted by a customer in Missouri. Here’s something a little more local. “Thank you again Mike for helping me out. My iPad works fine again with your suggestion of

deleting the app and reloading. You are one of the kindest, smartest men that I know. Excellent place to do business. Thanks again.” Convenience store: Parkers Customer service: Publix Dentist: Richmond Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, Dr. Wallace Dermatologist: Georgia Skin & Cancer Clinic


Thanks, Bryan County! For naming Kristina Johnson, M.D., your Favorite Family Physician.

Discount store: Dollar Tree Dry cleaning: Richmond Hill Dry Cleaning Electrician: Burkett Electrical Family physician: Dr. Seibert, Southcoast Fast food: Zaxby’s Festival: Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival Financial Institute/Loan Company: South State Bank Here’s another company with multiple wins, since “Bryan’s Favorite Teller” is none other than South State Bank mortgage loan officer Carla Estep. Estep, who moved to Richmond Hill in 2002 with her husband, a retired Army pilot, has been actively involved in the Richmond Hill business community ever since, serving on the Bryan County Homebuilders Association board of directors, the Homebuilders Association of Greater Savannah, and the Sales and Marketing Council of Greater Savannah. She’s also apparently pretty good at what she does, which is to help people realize their dream of home ownership. When the bank announced her hiring in a 2014 press release, South State Bank noted Estep was honored three years in a 2017 continues on 8

Kristina Johnson, M.D. (left) and Danielle DonDiego, D.O. Dr. Johnson and Danielle DonDiego, D.O., care for every member of your family by providing complete healthcare, from well-child checkups to immunizations to chronic disease management and more. Dr. Johnson and her team at Richmond Hill Family Medicine appreciate your support. Call today for an appointment and discover why she’s “Bryan’s Favorite.” Richmond Hill Family Medicine 3776 Highway 17 Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324 912-350-7020


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row with the Summit Award, “which recognizes loan production of over $10 million.” As for South State Bank, the South Carolina-based regional bank has been growing at a pretty fast clip for the past several years and has branches - and ATMs - in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. South State Bank came to Bryan County in 2014 after a 2013 purchase of the Savannah company that owned Bryan Bank and Trust. But the bank, which prides itself on integrity, trust, service and relationships, kept folks like former Bryan Bank president Jimmy Burnsed on board and, also important, got out there and started supporting worthwhile causes. Among them was a $50,000 gift to help get the YMCA into its new home in Richmond Hill and, just a few weeks ago, South State Bank donated $10,000 to Second Harvest. Financial planning consultant: Brad Brookshire, Ameris Bank Brad Brookshire is so well known, liked and respected in Richmond Hill it’s really no surprise he was named to Bryan’s Faves. Here’s a local man who graduated from Richmond Brookshire Hill High School back in the day, went on to Georgia to get a degree from the Terry School of Business and then came back to help his town grow while also going on to get a graduate degree from LSU’s prestigious Graduate School of Banking. He’s involved in charitable and civic activities, is city president of Ameris Bank’s Richmond Hill branch, and Brookshire was recently elected to the Bryan County Commission. Did we leave anything out? Probably. Brookshire is in the Rotary

O ur hometown. Y our paper.

Club, he’s been chairman of the Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce and he’s been on more state and local boards than you can count. And when we say back in the day, that really wasn’t all that long ago. Brookshire’s he’s not even 40 yet. Fitness: YMCA

Florist: Richmond Hill Florist British novelist Iris Murdoch once wrote “People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us,” which is perhaps the most beautiful things ever said about flowers, and there have been plenty of beautiful things said about flowers. But then, few things in life are as wonderful as flowers. That’s why we adorn our homes with them, fill our gardens with them, celebrate special occasions with them, give them to those we love, those we mourn and those we mourn with. It’s why flowers are such an indelible and enduring symbol of man’s love of beauty and peace and all that is good in the world. All of which is why one should never underestimate the importance of a good florist. Florists are a part of the fabric of our community, and always will be, because they’re the ones who make sure we have flowers for special days and important events. They’re who we call. Richmond Hill Florist has been taking those calls for 31 years. Here are a few reviews we found on Facebook, where they average 4.5 stars out of 5. “Best ever.” “Ordered flowers from here many times for my wife and she has been happy every time. Bought an arrangement today for our anniversary and she was beside herself. 5 stars and 2 thumbs up.” 2017 continues on 10

Thank you!

Favorite Reporter -

Jeff Whitten


For valentines we have

EXTRA SWEET HOURS 2/13/17 MONDAY 1pm - 8pm. Crepe side closed. Will reopen on Tuesday

10471 Ford Ave Richmond Hill, Georgia 31324



Home owners association: Buckhead

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Home security: ADT

Hey, if you can get a guy to give a florist 5 stars and 2 thumbs up ….

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express

Funeral home: Flanders Morrison Funeral Home. Golf course: Ford Plantation Hairstylist: Christine Wilson, Lavender Hill Happy hour: Flashback’s Health/organic food: Publix Homebuilder: Homes of Integrity Home cooked meal: Bubba’s Bistro Home improvement: Plantation Lumber

Insurance agency: Jay Kight State Farm Insurance agent: Jay Kight State Farm Kid friendly restaurant: The Ice Cream Stop Late night: Flashback’s Law firm: Henderson Law Landscaping: Elmgren’s Liquor store: Jeff’s Beverage Raise your hand if you like to party with an adult beverage on occasion. We thought so. Raise your hand if you voted Jeff’s Beverage in


Richmond Hill as your favorite place to get those beverages. We thought so. Owned by Richmond Hill native Jeff Nielson, who also does the community a good turn as a captain with Bryan County Emergency Services and president of the South Bryan Volunteer Firefighters Association, Jeff’s Beverage is where folks in the Richmond Hill area and beyond have been shopping since it opened 15 years ago. The store’s reputation for service and selection - especially selection - has made it a reader’s choice for Bryan’s Fave on multiple occasions. And remember when Hurricane Matthew came to town late that Friday night on Oct. 7? Well, Jeff’s Beverage stayed open the night before the storm roared in, just to make sure folks who stayed were covered and knew when to stock up, then closed with this Facebook post on Oct. 8: “Closed until further notice. Please check on your

2016 2015

neighbors but stay home. Emergency services and linemen are out working to restore services. Don’t go out and hinder their efforts.” They also opened back after Matthew went through, as this post on Oct. 9 noted: “OPEN today at 12:30 for your Sunday football supplies. Safe travels.” That’s dedication. That’s Richmond Hill. That’s Jeff’s Beverage. Marine dealership: Ogeechee Marine Massage: Lavender Hill Mexican: Jalepenos Nail shop: Lil Nail Shop Nurse: Alice Rogers Nursery: Tim & Dave’s Tim & Dave’s Nursery opened its

2017 2015

Thank You Favorite Real Estate Agency

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doors in 2000 and is now practically a Richmond Hill institution, famous for its palm trees and “paver showroom” on Highway 17. There’s also a fair chance Tim & Dave’s landscaped a yard near you, because in addition to being a nursery Tim & Dave’s also offers landscaping and design. It’s a full-service nursery, in other words, and it’s about as popular as you can get amongst those who take their nurseries seriously. Lest you doubt it, take a wander online and Google Tim & Dave’s and see what you find. Check out their website and see their work. It’s stunning. But then, this is a company that has been winning reader’s choice awards in a number of publications (not just ours) for a while now, so obviously they’re doing something right.

Here are some reviews we found on Facebook, where Tim & Dave’s average 4.5 stars out of 5 among its customers, and Google, where the nursery averages 4.9 stars. “We just had Tim & Dave’s plant 20 beautiful trees at our commercial property … and wow! What a great difference it’s made. Thanks again Tim for all the great advice.” “Great plants, great service, great pavers too!” “Absolutely the best in the business. I wouldn’t choose anyone else.”


Thank you for voting us

Favorite Liquor Store

OBGYN: Southside OBGYN Oil change: Savannah Tire Optometrist: Low Country Eye Care Orthopedics: Chatham Orthopedics:

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Favorite nail shop

2469 Highway 17 South Richmond Hill, GA 31324 (Corner of Hwy. 144 & 17 Way Station Plaza)

Call today for an appointment!

(912) 445-0228

10060 Ford Ave # N Richmond Hill, Ga 31324 912-459-2337

3745 Hwy 17 # 700 Richmond Hill, Ga 31324 912-756-7878


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Overall Utility: Coastal EMC This one is no surprise. For many in South Bryan, Coastal EMC is more than a power company, it’s a friendly neighbor and community booster. We tend to agree that Coastal EMC is all that – Coastal’s Bright Idea Grants have helped local teachers and their students work on projects ranging from the building of electric cars to establishing gardens for agricultural research. The company gives back to the community in ways both tangible donations for good causes are routine, and as an electric membership cooperative Coastal has routinely returned money to their members and intangible, such as supplying facilitators for government workshops where officials discuss issues the community is facing and will face. They even gave a certain reporter a balloon ride not so many years ago

as part of the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival. All that aside, they are, in the end, friends and neighbors, and that was nowhere more apparent than in October when Hurricane Matthew roared into coastal Georgia, as linemen from Coastal EMC were out on the case as soon as the storm passed. Here’s a post on Facebook from Coastal sent out on the morning of Oct. 8, after Matthew had passed through the night before. “Good morning friends. Our storm assessment teams are hitting the roads where they are passable and we’re ready to go to work rebuilding our system. There are 16,891 Members who are without power this morning. That’s about 93 percent of our entire system. I expect we will find many who will be temporarily homeless as well. We have the manpower, equipment and materials to rebuild. We only ask for your patience as we put things back together. Stay in touch with us here. We’ll be with you till everyone is

back on.” We in the media can assure you they also did a bang up job keeping us informed, even when we couldn’t do anything about it. Dozens of posts from Coastal on Facebook followed — many likely by our good friend Mark Bolton — before the company announced on Oct. 13 that power had been restored to 100 percent power. That effort didn’t go unappreciated. Here’s one of dozens of posts on Facebook from folks who took the time to say thanks: “Thank you for all you do! Never respected until needed, but know we love you for the hard work you do.” So do our readers. Painting company: Knight Painting Pastor/reverend/minister: Pastor John Howell Pawn shop: Low Country Pawn

coast Pediatrics Personal trainer: Sean Tanaka Marcolus Eleven years ago, Marcolus was living with his mother and brother in a shelter for victims of domestic violence known as Safe Shelter, while his mother attended nursing school. A few weeks ago, Marcolus cut the ribbon on No Limits Fitness, a private personal training facility on Ford Avenue in downtown Richmond Hill. In between his time in shelter and today, he became a soccer standout at Richmond Hill High School, earned a scholarship to play at Hiram College and then became one of this area’s most sought after personal fitness trainers. And as we all know, part of being a personal fitness trainer is to get others to realize their potential. It’s as much inspiring someone to do the work as it is showing them how to do the work. His story, as many have

Pediatrician: Dr. Seibert, South-

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Thank you for voting Richmond hill PhaRmacy

e t i r o Fav harmacy P

Thanks for voting us as your favorite pediatricians! It’s an honor to take care of your children.

10055 Ford Avenue Richmond Hill, GA 912.527.5352

RICHMOND HILL PHARMACY is the only independent pharmacy in Richmond Hill. With over 30 years of service to the community, we provide accurate, fast and friendly hometown service.

Monday-Friday 8am-5pm Walk-In Clinic Monday-Thursday 5p-7:30p Saturdays 9a-12pm

2409 US Highway 17 Richmond Hill, GA 31324 (912) 756.3331

Nelson Elam, MD

William Webb, MD

Keith Seibert, MD

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noted, is an amazing one, as is that of his mother, now a traveling registered nurse whose bond with her sons is evident in everything he does and in what he told a Safe Shelter representative at the ribbon cutting for No Limits Fitness. We’re stealing the quote off the Safe Shelter site. “I knew if I led a mediocre life, I would disappoint my mother. I saw how hard she worked and I could never let her down.” We like what the Safe Shelter representative who shared Marcolus’ story on social media had to say about that. “If there ever was a Safe Shelter success story, this is it!” It is, and you get the idea it’s just beginning for this personable and brave young man. Marcolus, after all, is the first of our Bryan’s Faves to average 5 out of 5 stars on Facebook. Here’s one that kind of sums it up: ”I trained with Sean outside of the gym

everyday for about a year or so. With limited equipment, I never felt like I was getting a less than workout. He was always motivating, inspiring and pushing me to do more than what I thought I could. He’s an amazing trainer and an amazing guy!” Pest control: Yates Astro Pet grooming: Pawparrazi Pharmacy: Richmond Hill Pharmacy


Thank you for choosing Sean Tanaka Marcolus as your Favorite Personal Trainer

Photography: Megan Myrick Photography Physical therapy: West Rehab Pizza: Stoner’s Pizza Plastic surgeon: Dr. Dascombe, Georgia Institute for Plastic Surgery Plumbing: Stafford Plumbing 2017 continues on 14

Favorite Pawn Shop 3801 US Highway 17, Ste 100 Richmond Hill, Georgia

(912) 756-5626


PUSH PAST YOUR LIMITS 9998 Ford Ave. Suite 1 Richmond Hill, Georgia, 31324


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Podiatrist: Dr. Valbuena, Georgia Foot & Ankle Public servant: Wendy Sims, Bryan County Family Connection Real estate agency: Randy Bocook Real Estate Team Thanks to Edself the Elf, probably more kids in Richmond Hill know the Randy Bocook Real Estate Team than any other in Coastal Georgia. It also charmed adults, and is also probably a big reason Edsel, we mean Bocook, and his team are such a big hit in the community. For the uninitiated, Edsel the Elf is a seasonal employee of the Randy Bocook Real Estate Team and over the holidays tends to show up around town at various events. If you spot him and post a photo of Facebook, you win a prize.

Edsel, named after the road on which the Randy Bocook Real Estate Team office is located, first started work in 2015, and came back in 2016 to help spread some cheer. Our guess is he’ll be back in 2017. But he wasn’t the only reason for the Randy Bocook Real Estate Team’s success, we suspect. This is a savvy group of real estate professionals who’ve been selling real estate and helping buyers find a home in the Richmond Hill and Savannah area for 19 years. They’re well liked, well respected

and get sterling reviews on Facebook and Zillow – the latter a website for homebuyers. Out of nearly 100 reviews, the Randy Bocook team is averaging 4.9 out of 5 stars. That’s almost unheard of in a sample of that size. Here’s a look at just a small bit of the praise lavished on Randy Bocook and his team: “The Randy Bocook Team helped my parents find a great little home in Richmond Hill area. We needed to find a vacant home ready to move into, time was of the essence. Randy

Voted the best Agent and Agency We’re honored to serve this community for 29 years. My staff and I look forward to many more with you. Thank you for your continued support and business. Get to a better State®. Get State Farm. CALL ME TODAY.

Jay Kight, Agent 10377 Ford Avenue, Suite 2 Richmond Hill, GA 31324 Bus: 912-756-2061

found us the perfect home in a short amount of time. He made a stressful situation less stressful and was always available for our questions! Great job guys! I would recommend you to everyone!! Thanks again and again!” “Worked with me through every step of the process even while I was training with the Army in another state!” “Randy and his team are brilliant. Their knowledge of the area is impeccable. They listened to our wish list and showed us that and more. They are the best agents I’ve had the pleasure of working with. As a service member not knowing the area was very daunting. Randy and his team took the extra time to not only show us houses but helped us become acclimated to the area. They helped us find contractors to remodel our house and went the extra mile to come see the work when it was finished. I will definitely be using his

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190 Thunderbird Drive

Richmond Hill 912.459.1414


Your Favorite Marine Dealership/Shop!


912-445-0043 Get Connected





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team again when I sell my house.” That team, by the way, includes Ashley Buchanan, James Zarycki, Mike Renouf and Elizabeth Crapse. Take a bow, folks. Real Estate Agent: Randy Bocook It’s the year of the Bocook, apparently. As in Randy Bocook, the man for whom Bryan’s Favorite Real Estate Agency, The Randy Bocook Real Estate Team, is named after. Bocook is, as his website notes, a “father, son, husband, friend, team leader, real estate broker.” He’s worked in the industry for 18 years and “have never felt like I am at work.” He’s also won awards and best of competitions with the best of them. But never mind that. Because you get the feeling that here’s a guy who likes what he does, and when you like what you do, you never work a

day in your life. Except that you do. The real estate business is competitive. It’s tough. And it can be hard. Think back about to 2008 and 2009, when the real estate market here hit the skids and a lot of people had to get out of the business. Those who hung in there came out on the other end better for the experience. They showed staying power. And they aren’t complaining now. That’s probably why you don’t see Bocook mentioning the recession. This guy’s positive with a capital P, which you might expect from the father of Edsel the Elf. From his bio on his company website: “I am glad real estate was the path chosen for me and that I have worked very hard to be very good at it so that my clients fully benefit in the home buying or selling experience. I take pride in answering my phone and always being available. 2017 continues on 17

CONGRATULATIONS! Winners Located In Our Centers Christy Wilson Hairstylist Lavender Hill SpaSalon Beauty Salon

Happy Hour & Nightlife

Thank You BrYan CounTY for voting


Sandwich Shop

Pet Grooming

Nail Shop

Charlie Burkett Best Electrician

BURKETT ELECTRIC, INC. Commercial/Residential Richmond Hill, GA 912.756.8484 | 912.663.1968 |

Home Cooked Meal

Computer/ Electronics

Sean Tanaka Marcolus

Alice Rogers

Personal Trainer NO LIMIT FITNESS

Nurse Christopher Kuettner, MD


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Real estate really is a family business and I am very fortunate that my wife and kids support my career. It is always nice when they stop by the office or draw a picture of a real estate sign for me. If they did not support me I know that I would not be the agent that I am today. “I truly love this coastal community, after 18 years in this business I am still excited to see homes I have listed and sold as well as support the new neighborhoods and schools that we have. There is a lot to offer in this community that may not the biggest in size but it is packed with the right qualities that will make your next home here a home run!” See what we mean? There’s a guy having fun. Recreation facility: J.F. Gregory Park

Romantic restaurant: Marker 107 Sandwich shop: Uptown Deli Senior living: Magnolia Manor Steak: Marker 107 Supermarket: Kroger Sushi: Asia Asian Sweets: All Things Chocolate and More Chocolate was basically invented around 1000 B.C. in what is today known as Mexico, according to the website “Facts About Chocolate.” Later, beans from which it came were alternately used as currency, or in religious ceremonies or as medicine. Then it got to Europe, and by 1657 the first chocolate house opened in London, according to the website, which we had to stop reading because we got hungry. Suffice it to say 2017 continues on 18

Favorite Barber shop winner

405 Harris Trail – Suite D

Thank you for voting for us as your favorite florist! We are a full service florist proudly serving the Richmond Hill and South Bryan area for over 30 years. We can provide fresh flowers, balloons, and gift or fruit baskets for any occasion.

Valentines Day is Tuesday Feb 14th Call us…We can keep you out of the dog house.

Master Stream Power Clean Firefighter owned and operated 912-507-2738


2017 Continued from page 17

for our purposes that some 353 years later, All Things Chocolate and More came to Richmond Hill, and life in our fair community has never been quite the since. That was in 2010, by the way, and since then, owners Scott and Rosalie Riccelli have built their own place, to the delight of all who like chocolate in their life. But it’s not just chocolate, oh no. This place also offers lunch – folks rave about their Italian offerings – and will also cater to customers’ whims. And they cater. They even offer chocolate covered bacon, which should probably be illegal. The restaurant has since earned quite the reputation, with folks from all over the place raving about its food. Here’s a sampling of some of that raving from Google Reviews, where All Things Chocolate and More averages 4.8 out of 5 stars.

“A great place to just sit, eat and relax with friends!” “Can I add more than 5 stars??? We eat here at least 2 or 3 times a week. Food and candies are Wonderful as are all the employees.” “It’s hard to say no in this place.” And, finally, this one, which wins an award for getting straight to the point: “Chocolate.” Tactical: Plantation Lumber Tanning: Beach Babes Tanning Thrift Shop: Goodwill of Richmond Hill Goodwill is a lot of things, as the Goodwill of Southeast Georgia website is quick to point out. “We are a non-profit,” it says. “We are a retailer. We are a business solutions provider. But most importantly we are a leader in workforce development.” That’s done through helping folks looking for work find jobs, or, if they aren’t qualified, getting the skills to

find jobs. And a good portion of that is accomplished through the generosity of those who donate to Goodwill, either monetarily, or, more likely, through tax deductible donations goods such as clothes, shoes, books, old appliances, furniture, games, CDs and so on. Those donations are then sold at stores such as the one in Richmond Hill, which provides shoppers bargains – the writer of this blurb once forgot to wear a belt to work, and quickly found one at Goodwill, and has often bought books there – while being “the primary economic engine” for Goodwill’s mission, while also giving work experience to those looking for help. And oh yeah. Goodwill recycles. It’s a good thing, Goodwill. Here’s what some folks say about Bryan’s Favorite Thrift store online: “Best Goodwill store in the Low Country for gold and silver jewelry finds!! My advice is to get here early on Saturday morning as soon as they open. Found plenty of .925 silver

here.” “I Love the fact that you guys have a table to sit and read at over by the kids section for books.” “Very nice and clean store with a good selection of items that have been thoughtfully organized.” More than 5,000 people were served by Goodwill of Southeast Georgia in 2016, and it employed 850 people in its 16 centers. Tire Store: H&L Tire Used car: Express Auto Venue: Richmond Hill City Center There was a time when there wasn’t a Richmond Hill City Center, and it wasn’t that long ago. Finished in 2009, the City Center was originally not the most popular of places. Local businesses in the hospitality industry saw it as a competitor and a loud but apparently small minority of residents thought it a waste of tax2017 continues on 20

Thank you for voting us favorite HOA

Thank you - Favorite Painting Company











High School Juniors Join the Tour June 8-15


2017 Continued from page 18

payer money. One former city councilman, who shall remain nameless, even suggested it be turned into a library. That seems ancient history, these days. The Center has truly become a “center” of the community’s social life, and hosts events on a weekly basis ranging from social to business to government to civic. People even get married there. Folks even celebrate birthdays there. A sampling of some of the rave writeups we found on Facebook, where the City Center gets 4.5 out of 5 stars amongst reviews: “The Richmond Hill City Center is an incredible place to be with community and have lunch and so much more! I just learned it’s a completely green facility and I love going back and back.” “Great great atmosphere love was

all around you could feel the happiness.” “We have had many corporate and personal events at the Richmond Hill City Center and I can’t say enough about the experience. Always wonderful service, food and overall experience! I recommend that everyone looking for an event venue check out the City Center! They’re the best!” Our readers obviously agree. Maybe the critics were wrong after all. Veterinarian: Cedar Animal Hospital

ty News. Youth organization: YMCA Crossroads Center’s recognitions: Finally, here’s one final Bryan’s Fave that comes courtesy the owner of Crossroads Center, Gene Brogdon, who wanted to say congratulations to the tenant businesses that won Bryan’s Faves in their respective categories. We’ve already listed them once in the alphabetical order in which their category appears. Here’s a little bit more about each. They are, in no particular order:

Waitress: Lauren at Melody’s Coastal Café Walking/jogging trail: J.F. Gregory Park Wings: Snazzy’s Writer: Jeff Whitten, Bryan Coun-

Thank you for voting Lavender Hill SpaSalon Favorite Salon!

Happy hour/nightlife: Flashback Flashback bills itself as a “rock and roll bar with a sports attitude,” then poses the question — are they instead “a sports bar with a rock and roll attitude?” Ultimately, they let patrons decide for themselves. And mostly, it seems

the definition of Flashback’s is “popular” amongst locals and visitors alike. The establishment serves food, and drinks, and music — local and regional bands provide live entertainment — and there’s karaoke, and sports nights, and fundraisers, and, well, all the stuff you have to be 21 to legally enjoy, like happy hours and drink specials. We also hear their wing night is so good it probably shouldn’t be legal. We’d know, but that’s a deadline night and we don’t get off on time. Favorite beauty salon, hairstylist: Lavender Hill and Christine Wilson. There’s a reason Lavendar Hill, owned by Karen Guither, has been in Richmond Hill for a decade. For one thing, it has stylists like Christine Wilson, who is “passionate about Aveda, making people feel beautiful and happy, meeting new people not only as clients but as

2017 continues on 21

Thank you for voting!

Megan Myrick Photography Voted 2016 2017

Favorite Photographer for the second year!

Lavender Hill SpaSalon invites you to visit us and experience our full menu of salon and spa services designed with you in mind. We look forward to meeting you. Lavender Hill SpaSalon Crossroads Center 2709 Coastal Highway 17, Suite 1A

Richmond Hill, GA 31324 Phone: 912.459.2757 | 912.200.5284


2017 Continued from page 20

friends,” according to Lavender Hill’s sleek and posh website. As for the rest, we’ll let folks on social media take it from here. We don’t think the folks at Lavender Hill will mind. They’re getting a 98.1 percent approval rating based on more than 780 reviews posted online. Among the comments: “Excellent.” “Loved it. Dwight is a top notched professional!” “Great salon!” “A wonderful experience.” Favorite home cooked meal: Bubba’s Bistro. You expect a home cooked meal from a guy named Bubba. You don’t expect one at a bistro. But this isn’t any old bistro. This is a “new American restaurant.” This is Bubba’s Bistro, the culinary cross-pollination of Southern cooking and fancy “presentation.” It’s a hit in Richmond Hill and is drawing folks

from around the area. It’s a husband and wife gig, too, with Mark Thomas and Corie Thomas doing the honors. Here’s what folks are saying about their work on Facebook, where they averaged 4.7 out of 5 stars over more than 140 reviews. “Sunday brunch is AMAZING! Came with friends and my husband the first time and brought our own bloody marys and mimosas. (Loved being able to do that.) I brought my mom back for brunch the very next Sunday and we ate ourselves into a food coma! The food is SO fresh and the fried chicken is the best I’ve ever had! Our waitress was SO friendly and funny. Best mother/daughter date we’ve had in a long time. It’s so nice not to have to drive into Savannah, fight the crowds and fight for parking for brunch. Can’t wait to take clients for lunch during the week...And to eat more Sunday brunches there! You guys are the BEST!” “Made me like grits! That’s a lot for 2017 continues on 22

Thanks for all your support Bryan County!

Thank you •Favorite Tire Store

•Favorite Alignment •Favorite Auto repair

(912) 445-5340 60 Longwood Dr Richmond Hill, Georgia

3203 Fort McA Allister Rd, Rich hmond d Hill, GA


2017 Continued from page 21

a Northerner.” Wow. Computer/electronics: Tech Smart Mike Styer and his group at Tech Smart are part of the Crossroads Center’s family. We’ve written at length about his business on page 7. Suffice it to say he’s still Bryan’s Fave, even this far into the 2017 Bryan’s Faves special section. But it’s nice to be mentioned twice, we think. Nail shop: Lil Nail Shop Having never had his nails done, the writer of this section is somewhat at a loss as to how to go about saluting the Lil’ Nail Shop, our readers’ choice for best nail shop. But that’s never stopped him before. He’ll simply do what he’s done whenever he runs into something that he has no experience with: He’ll

go to online reviews. There are certainly enough of them across the social media spectrum, from Yelp (4.4 stars out of 5 in 20 reviews) to Facebook (61 ratings, 4.9 out of 5 stars) or Google (4.4 stars out of 5, 10 reviews). But words might help. So, a few reviews: “This place was awesome. I got my nails done here yesterday, a classic pedi and just a gel color change. The service was great, they were efficient and thorough, and my nails came out great.” “In the area for business and needed a quick polish change. Used my yelp family reviews and chose this place. Wasn’t disappointed! Friendly, clean, quality work!” And finally, this review, which came from a young lady whose review made her sound a bit like the “Most Interesting Man in he World” from Dos Equis fame. “I don’t often get my nails done, but when I do, I have high expectations.” She gave Lil Nail shop 5 stars. Stay

manicured, my friends. Favorite nurse: Alice Rogers, Dr. Kuettner’s office Alice Rogers has been a nurse working with Dr. Chistopher Kuetnner since he started practicing in Richmond Hill in 1984. But she’s not just any nurse, and don’t get us wrong, we have the greatest respect for nurses. Rogers has for years been a family nurse practitioner, meaning she is what is known in the field as an advanced practice registered nurse. That means she essentially works on her own and in concert with doctors to diagnose illnesses, conduct exams and prescribe medication, according to www.discovernursing. com. In short, Rogers, like other family nurse practitioners, is a kind of super nurse. She’s also clearly respected, given her status as Bryan’s Favorite Nurse. Favorite personal trainer: Sean

Tanaka Marcolus In case you missed it, Marcolus’ story is on page 12. It’s certainly inspirational, not a bad quality to have when you’re a personal trainer. Get those muscles moving. Feel the burn. Favorite pet grooming: PawParazzi Pet Boutique We love our dogs. Yes, we do. We love our dogs, how about you? Chances are, if you take your pet to PawParrazi Pet Boutique, you’re one of those folks who refer to them as fur babies and dote on them to no end. That’s apparently what the owners of PawParrazi do — Jane and Alex Honnor and their fur babies, Jaffa and Yum Yum! “Your pet will be warmly welcomed to the spa and treated with the care, love and attention they need,” is the way it’s described on PawParrazi’s website, which displays a 2015 Bryan Favorite logo not far 2017 continues on 24

Favorite Happy Hour and Nightlife


Tim & Dave’s

Nurser y

Thank you Bryan County for once again voting us your favorite nursery and garden center. Locally owned and operated since 2000, Tim & Dave’s Nursery has a reputation as one of Southeast Georgia’s premier nursery and landscape companies. We are a full service nursery featuring: Plants, Palms, Pavers, & More

(912) 756-7258

Located on Hwy 17 next to Napa Auto Parts


2017 Continued from page 22

away. That’s proof folks have taken the Honnors, who are English, to heart. So are the 5-star reviews all over the place. And here’s some more heartfelt love, from happy customers. “Brought my fussy baby in today and she did great! She’s normally a monster about getting her nails done but her groomer handled her so well and she looks amazing!: Here’s one more we liked. This grooming location is awesome!!! Our pom got a great cut and the ladies were so good to him and I felt comfortable leaving while he got his cut. He was so happy after his spa day there, he pranced right into the car after! Doodle will be calling this salon for all future hair cuts!!! I recommend this place without a doubt. Great prices, Great service, and Kind staff!!!!” If Doodle liked his spa day, who are we to disagree?



Favorite sandwich shop: Uptown Deli Uptown Deli has won numerous “Best of...” honors over the years for its sandwiches, and it definitely packs in the lunch crowd, hungry for a whack at such fare as the “Bronx Bomber” or “South Philly” and “New Porker.” Uptown Deli offers salads as well, but you really, really should get a sandwich. You won’t be disappointed. This place is so well-reviewed if it was as movie it would get best picture. Seriously. Whether it’s on Yelp, Google or Facebook, the consensus is Uptown Deli is a Bryan’s Fave for a reason. “This is the best discovery I had here! Best deli ever you got to try them!” “Of all the sandwich places I frequented since arriving to the Savannah area, this hands down is the best.” So go have a Rockefeller or Godfather where “New York meets the South.” Tell them Bryan’s Faves sent you.

Thank you for voting KTM Sew Much Baggage favorite apparel and Jewelry.

Bryan’s Faves

Bryan’s Favorite All Around Business saluted law enforcement in 2016.

Gitft Shop · Clothing Store · Screen Printing & Embroidery

File photo

BRYAN’S FAVORITES, 2017 — 25 Ford Plantation’s golf course was voted Bryan’s Favorite in 2017. File photo


2016 2015

2017 2015

Thank You Favorite Realtor

26 — BRYAN’S FAVORITES, 2017 Kelli George and Mindy Galbreath of KTM Sew Much Baggage, a two-time Bryan’s Fave winner in 2017 File photo



154 Thunderbird Dr, Richmond Hill, GA 31324


Tech Smart’s Mike Styer, above, and All Things Chocolate and More’s Scott Riccelli are two masters of their crafts. They’re also two of Bryan’s Faves for 2017.

File photos



With over 13 years of banking experience, Ameris Bank City President Brad Brookshire leads our Richmond Hill team in executing an exceptional and successful banking experience. Brad takes pride in growing banking relationships with local businesses and municipalities throughout Bryan County. Brad (left) is pictured with All Things Chocolate and More Owners Scott Riccelli (center) and David Willis (right).

Congratulations, Brad!

Bryan’s Favorites Best Financial Planning Consultant in Richmond Hill Thank you for your dedication to our Richmond Hill community, customers and colleagues. You provide creative solutions and superior service, developing long-lasting relationships with businesses and individuals throughout our community. Congratulations on this well-deserved recognition.

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