In January 2016, Virginia Living magazine announced the fifth annual “Best of Virginia” contest to highlight businesses throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Readers of the magazine and the public were invited to participate in an online survey to submit write-in votes for their favorite businesses.
According to the publication, more than 40,000 people across the state’s five regions voted for businesses in 100 categories. Martinsville-Henry County falls into the Southwest Virginia region of the contest.
The May 2016 “Best of Virginia” issue lists the first, second and third place winners in each category. Forty-five Martinsville-Henry County area businesses won a total of 49 awards in the 2016 contest. 18 of the awards won were first place.
First place winners included: Pro Automotive, Nelson Automotive Group, Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair, Martinsville Smiles, Dr. Judith Szulecki, Edward Jones, Simply the Best Flowers and Gifts, Reflections Day Spa, Carlisle School, Gardner Barrow & Sharpe P.C., Grooming Tails Doggie Boarding & Daycare, Rives S. Brown, Dunham’s Sports, King’s Mountain Animal Clinic, Chopstix, Serendipity Coffee House & Bistro, Chatmoss Golf and Country Club and King’s Grant Retirement Community.
Several local businesses have had a consistent spot in the winner’s bracket. Martinsville Smiles has won best dental practice for Southwest Virginia five years in a row. This year they outranked dental practices in Abingdon and Roanoke. According to Dr. Mark Crabtree of Martinsville Smiles, “We are honored to be recognized by this award.” Crabtree noted that the practice tracks referrals and has received new patients due to the Best of Virginia recognition, some even traveling from outside the area to receive dental care in Martinsville.
A newcomer to the contest was Chain of Fools Bicycle Repair in Uptown Martinsville, owned by Matthew Huckfeldt. The sales and repair shop has only been open since March 2015 but outranked cycle shops in Blacksburg and Abingdon in the contest. According to Huckfeldt, “Being such a new business, it’s exciting to know that customers are aware of Chain of Fools and are pleased with service enough to vote for me.” He noted that customers have a choice in where to take their bikes for service in the region and that he finds it “flattering for out of town guests to drive 30 minutes to come see me when there are other options out there.” Huckfeldt added that he hopes his enthusiasm for cycling is contagious.
In addition to participating in a local winner’s photoshoot, sixteen of the winners had the opportunity to tell about their businesses during a live broadcast on Periscope. A video of the broadcast can be viewed at www.Twitter.com/MHCTourism.
The magazine is available on major newsstands and may also be ordered by calling 804.343.7539 or online at shop.VirginiaLiving.com.
Arts, Culture & Entertainment
Rooster Walk | Best Annual Charity Event | 2nd
Charity League of Martinsville and Henry County | Best Charity | 2nd
Grace Network of Martinsville and Henry County | Best Charity | 3rd
Rives Theatre | Best Music Venue | 2nd
Virginia Museum of Natural History | Best Museum | 3rd
Chatmoss Golf and Country Club | Best Special Event Venue | 3rd
Living & Recreation
Smith River Outfitters | Best Fishing Guide Company | 3rd
Chatmoss Golf and Country Club | Best Golf Course | 1st
Gym 24 | Best Gym | 2nd
Boxwood Hunt Club | Best Hunting Preserve | 2nd
Turkeycock Mountain | Best Hunting Preserve | 3rd
Smith River Outfitters | Best Outdoor Adventure | 3rd
King's Grant Retirement Community | Best Retirement Community | 1st