Best of Utah 2010: Goods & Services | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City
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Best of Utah

Best of Utah 2010: Goods & Services



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Best Cheap Gas
Sapp Bros.

Sure, one can save a few pennies per gallon by buying gas at a preferred-membership warehouse store. Or, you can save 20 cents a gallon by jumping of Interstate 215 at the California Avenue exit and visiting Sapp Bros. It’s easy to spot, thanks to the giant coffee pot sign. Truck stops need to be competitive, so their gas prices are a lot cheaper than other stations, including the one just across the street. Don’t ask why, just fill up and enjoy the savings. 1953 California Ave., Salt Lake City, 801-977-3900

Best Garbage Can
SLC’s Brown Waste Can

To reduce the amount of trash going to the landfill, Salt Lake City offers residents a brown bin in which to recycle grass clippings, leaves and branches. The yard waste gets repurposed into wood chips and compost. Between this bin and the blue recycling bin, even a lackadaisical family can reduce their weekly trash output to one or two small bags.

Best Japanese Acupuncture
Longevity Acupuncture Clinic

For just about as long as needles have been around, acupuncture has been a means of fixing what ails you by cultivating and directing the qi, or life force, in the body. While Chinese acupuncture is by far the most well-known method, the good folks at Longevity Acupuncture Clinic have got the finer points of Japanese acupuncture down. The needles used in the Hari method are lighter than those used in traditional Chinese acupuncture, are pain-free and are left in no longer than five or 10 minutes before being redirected to best engage your energies and give your qi the tuneup it needs. 1901 Prospector Ave., Suite 30, Park City, 435-655-1578,

Best Damaged Goods
The NPS Store

It’s likely that anything you’re looking for eventually may be found at the NPS Store. Everything stocked here was somehow damaged during shipping and is discounted because of it. More often than not, the damage—especially on tools or sporting goods—is superficial. But don’t expect to come in and find exactly what you need; shopping here takes perseverance and patience. Oh, and for the really brave, NPS auctions off pallets of stuff twice a week, but it’s unpredictable what will actually be on the pallet. 1600 S. Empire Road, Salt Lake City, 801-972-4133,

Best Old-School Mechanic
Gary Miller Foreign Car Service

He doesn’t talk much, the waitlist for a repair appointment can run into weeks, and his repair shop doesn’t offer any frills like front-counter service or coffee machines. But Gary Miller knows cars, and he won’t rip you off by pushing a bunch of unnecessary extras. In fact, his bills for some repairs are often far lower than other mechanics, especially national chains. He’s the kind of mechanic your father and grandfather had: a grumpy wizard who owns his own shop—a way of business that is sadly going the way of doctors who make house calls. 630 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-364-6792

Best Kitchenware Purveyor
Spoons ’n Spice

Looking for a particular, hard-to-find gadget for your kitchen? If Spoons ‘n Spice doesn’t have it, it probably doesn’t exist. This small store is stocked with more than 17,000 kitchenware items, and the savvy staff at Spoons ’n Spice is extremely helpful, whether you’re looking for a mother-of-pearl caviar spoon, a rubber garlic peeler, or a big-ticket item like a complete set of All-Clad copper cookware. Wanna be a great chef? Spoons ‘n Spice is a good starting place. 4700 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-263-1898; 788 E. 9400 South, Suite 32, Sandy, 801-553-1988,

Best Flower Shop

Got flowers? At Pam Ostermiller and Lindsay Vieta-Vest’s Trifecta, you’ll find fabulous flower arrangements that are creative, innovative and individually tailored to your needs. Incorporating the use of interesting fabrics, exotic textiles and a gorgeous color palette, Trifecta’s flowers and unique gifts are, really, one-of-a-kind works of art. If you’ve been buying your flowers at the supermarket, it’s time to invest in quality with a visit to Trifecta. 1940 S. 1100 East, 801-364-4606,


Best Eclectic Vintage Clothing
Misc. (pronounced Mis-sy) Boutique

Want to cultivate a unique wardrobe on a shoestring budget, without sorting through mountains of dingy T-shirts and hideous paisley prints? Look no farther than Misc. Boutique. Owner Missy Baber scours local racks for vintage clothing so you don’t have to. Her adorable shop shares a roof with The Green Ant, and both stores are bursting with tasteful retro flair. Baber frequently refreshes her selection of mostly women’s apparel, which runs from ’50s-era housedresses to modern tanks and dainty shoes. Everything is affordably priced; a lightweight floral skirt, for example, went for $12! Bonus: The coolest store dog ever will melt your heart. 272 S. 200 East, Salt Lake City, 801-364-6472

Best Green Clean
Five Step Carpet Care

If you got a stink or a stain on your rug that assaults your senses, why drop a chemical bomb on it when you can clean it green? That’s where local environmentally friendly Five Step Carpet Care Utah comes in with its miracle team and five-step process to lift the funk out of everything from carpet to vinyl, upholstery and stone—using no bleach, soap or enzymes. The process requires less water than regular cleaning services, and the cleaning solution is biodegradable, hypo-allergenic, colorless and odorless. Make your carpet and Mother Earth happy by thinking green next time you need a clean. 801-656-5259,

Best for Gods & Goddesses
Free Spirit Pagan

Do you want to let your freak flag fly, but are lacking some critical accessories? Missing a pentacle backpack, a celtic-knot yoga mat or some healing crystals for your arthritis? Lucky for you, all these charms, gifts and much more— from tarot decks to Nag Champa incense—can be found in one convenient online location at the Free Spirit Pagan. It’s your one-stop for everything delightfully counterculture you could think of.

Best Lip Whip
Stinky Ds

What some would call a lip balm, the mavens of Stinky Ds like to call a lip whip. Given that their name is also Stinky Ds, it should be clear they like to do things their way. But no matter what you call a lip whip, it doesn’t change the fantastic flavors these local lotion and balm purveyors provide—be it the chocolate-and-banana-flavored Funky Munky or the cheesecake-flavored Super Duper Strawberry. Whatever the concoction, you’ll be proud to be smacking your lips with all-natural whips of Stinky Ds.

Best Horrifying Crafts
Grimmleigh’s Fiends

Who could have guessed that these twisted little creations could have come from such a happy couple? Rachel Kade teamed her passion for crocheting with the artistic and creative skills of her husband, Leigh George, to create demented-yet-cuddly toys for kids and adults. They make everything from psychotic vegetables to ninja kitties to love-struck zombies, each with its own back story and personality traits. A major hit at Craft Lake City and now a frequent feature of the Craft Sabbath gatherings at Nobrow Coffee & Tea Company, these toys have become a local must-have. And, by the way ... they take requests!

Best Low-Down Photog
Patiri Photography

The majority of photographers across the state usually focus on their own projects and artwork in the medium, but this gal got right to work taking pictures of figures in the hip-hop community. Starting local and now going nationwide, Bethany Fisher used the camera to help her recuperate after a struggle with cancer and ended up making a career for herself in the process. Having snapped shots for small Websites all the way to major magazines like Vibe and The Source, Fisher has paid her dues the hard way and showed she can hang with the pros.

Best Who’s on First (Amendment)
Brian Barnard

For many lawyers, idealism gets lost in the filing cabinet a few years after graduating from law school—however, that can’t be said of Salt Lake City civil-rights attorney Brian Barnard. Case in point: He’s been working uncompensated for 18 years representing the embattled Navajo of southern Utah for alleged state mismanagement of the reservations’s oil royalties trust fund, moving the tribe toward a $33 million settlement. Barnard works on all manner of civil-rights cases, from advocating for a religious group like Summum to have its monuments displayed in a public park to representing an animal-rights advocate in Morgan. Barnard is not one to shy away from a fight or to back down when he feels he’s right. He’ll fight for decades if he has to, and he’d love for you to challenge him on that. 214 E. 500 South, Salt Lake City, 801-328-9531,

Best Asian Imports
Halus International

Translating Halus to English could be as simple as saying “refinement,” but what’s lost in translation is the idea of refining human character, a notion Halus International brings home to local Utahns with its exquisitely crafted Indonesian furnishings that are not only works of art but are fair traded by indigenous Indonesian craftsmen. Whether it’s a superb magistrate-style writing desk, an exotic Congo-style bed frame or Bali desk—you’ll find an array of imports that not only bring Eastern quality home to the West but do so while building a socially conscious bridge between two worlds that your patronage helps strengthen. 3003 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-486-0407,

Best Utah Plants
Great Basin Natives

Utah’s got a rugged and beautiful landscape that can vary from red desert rocks to rocky mountain peaks. If you’re looking for flora to decorate your home with to match a landscape as varied and beautiful as the state itself, you’ll want to invest in some choice Utah plants and shrubs at a great price from Great Basin Natives. A gallon bucket of Sulphur Buckwheat—a gorgeous yellow flower that often turns red in the winter—goes for about $9. Or, how about a gallon of gorgeous yellow, drought-tough Cliffrose shrubs for $9.50, or a gallon of evening primrose that will bloom all summer for about $10? If you can’t make it to Holden, Great Basin can ship you the shrub of your dreams. 75 W. 300 South, Holden, 435-795-2303,

Best Little China Town Near Liberty Park
900 South & 400 East

In a small shopping center along 900 South, one can find the raw ingredients for a homemade Asian dinner, get Chinese take-out (or eat-in), and Chinese pastries. The raw ingredients can be found at SouthEast Supermarket (422 E. 900 South), including many sauces and spices that have no English words on their labels. For the short-order cook, there is a jaw-dropping selection of ramen noodles. Next door, South China House (428 E. 900 South ) has the expected selection of Chinese stir-fries as well as delectable pho. On the other side of the market, a small Chinese bakery, Melewa (416 E. 900 South), offers a different, but tasty, take on pastries.

Best Foreign Film Rentals
Tower Theatre

The square footage on this rental shop may be small, but it’s packed tight with a neat collection of films curated by the Salt Lake Film Society. Despite its tiny stature, Tower Theatre’s rental library contains dozens more foreign titles than you’d find at a Blockbuster. 876 E. 900 South, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310,

Best Flicks that Click
Broadway Centre Cinemas

Seeing a movie at Broadway Centre Cinemas is always full of possibilities. Surrounded by a multitude of downtown food and drink options for pre- or post-film enjoyment, Broadway attracts crowds looking for interesting, provocative films you won’t find at a megaplex. That Salt Lake City can support six independent screens proves the art house is far from dead in Zion. 111 E. Broadway, Salt Lake City, 801-321-0310,

Best Customer Sound Service
Skull Candy

So you got some Skull Candy earphones or earbuds, and now you don’t like them, or they’re not sounding right. But the place where you purchased them won’t refund your money or exchange them for another pair. Not to worry. Skull Candy, with headquarters in Kimball Junction, takes great care of its customers. Even if you don’t have the receipt, the customer-service folks will quickly replace the product, often with a more expensive version. Need another set of rubber or foam pads for the earpiece? Just ask—you’ll get a bunch of ’em for free so you can get your sound in tune and head up to the slopes. 1441 W. Ute Blvd, Suite 250, Park City, 435-940-1545,


Best Qi With Your Tai Chi
Master Lu’s Health Center

Acupuncture points are placed along meridians on which qi, or “life energy,” flows. Poking these precious spots with filiform needles, the acupuncturist relieves pain and stresses. Anthropologists place this Chinese healing practice back to the Neolithic Age—now, that’s some history. Master Cheng Tsang Lu was one of the first certified acupuncturists in Utah, and continues to offer a wide variety of Chinese healings, such as acupuncture, Tai Chi and Chinese herbals. So, if you’re tired of traditional Western medicine and want to try something different—or you just like getting poked, check out Lu’s. 3220 S. State, South Salt Lake, 801-463-1101,