We here at the Jackson Free Press like to keep our focus on local: local people, local business, local food—you get the idea. There's nothing to us more local than Best of Jackson. We're officially in our 18th annual award season.
Here is who you voted as the best local people, places, food and more.
Best Animal Shelter: Community Animal Rescue & Adoption
(960 N. Flag Chapel Road, 601-922-7575, carams.org)
The Community Animal Rescue & Adoption is a no-kill animal shelter that prides itself on placing cats and dogs into loving homes, supporting spay and neuter programs, and promoting responsible pet ownership. Private donations support the shelter that the Better Business Bureau recognizes as an accredited charity.
Anyone who is on the fence about adopting can try CARA's Adopt A Leash program, which allows people to take a pet out for a day. People can also help by donating money and supplies or volunteering at the shelter. Those looking to adopt can find available pets in the shelter or on CARA's website, which is updated daily. When you've found the one, you'll end up on CARA's Happy Tails page, where photos of recently adopted pets appear. For more information, visit carams.org. — Alyssa Bass
Finalists: Animal Rescue Fund of Mississippi (395 Mayes St., 769-216-3414, arfms.org) / Cheshire Abbey (cheshireabbey.com) / Mississippi Animal Rescue League (5221 Greenway Drive, 601-969-1631, msarl.org) / Webster Animal Shelter (525 Post Oak Road, Madison, 601-605-4729) / Rescue Revolution of Mississippi (rrofms.org)
Best Barber Shop: Fondren Barber Shop
(2939 Old Canton Road, 601-826-0707)
Fondren Barber Shop owners Eddie Outlaw and Justin McPherson opened the business in 2013, and have received the award for Best Barber shop for the sixth year in a row. Fondren Barber Shop offers men's haircuts and various other services. The shop shares a space with the William Wallace Salon. The full team is dedicated to excellent customer service and providing a place where men can feel comfortable talking about their grooming needs. For more information, call 601-826-0707 or find Fondren Barber Shop on Facebook. — Dustin Cardon
Finalists: ACEY Custom Hair Design (3015 N. State St., 601-362-0326) / The Barbershop at Great Scott (4400 Old Canton Road, Suite 100, 601-984-3500, greatscott.net/the-barber-shop) / Custom Cuts & Styles (2445 Terry Road, 601-321-9292) / Maurice's Barber Shop (1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 360, 601-362-2343; 398 Highway 51, Suite 60, Ridgeland, 601-856-2856) / Noble Barber (1065 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-856-6665; noblebarber.com)
Best Fitness Center/Gym: Baptist Healthplex
(717 Manship St., 601-968-1766, mbhs.org; 102 Clinton Parkway, Clinton, 601-925-7900, healthplexclinton.com; Healthplex Performance Center, 501 Baptist Drive, Madison, 601-856-7757, healthplexperformance.com)
Baptist Hospital first opened the Baptist Healthplex in downtown Jackson in 1989. The facility offers body sculpting, abdominal classes, aquatic exercise, senior fitness, Pilates, yoga and dance fitness, an indoor track and heated pool, personal training, group exercise, small group training for three or more people and more.
"I'm excited for the opportunity we've been given to be honored in this way," Baptist Healthplex Director Tony James says about being nominated for a Best of Jackson award. "Everyone here is proud to represent the fitness industry here in Jackson. Our facility just recently underwent a remodel, and now we have expanded and improved locker rooms and flooring as well as a whole new, more modern look for the whole facility." For more information, call 601-968-1766 or visit mbhs.org. — Dustin Cardon
Finalists: The Club at St. Dominic's (970 Lakeland Drive, 601-200-4925, stdom.com) / Crossfit 601 (210 Industrial Cove, Ridgeland, 601-941-8904, crossfit601.com) / Fondren Fitness (2807 Old Canton Road, 601-540-0338, fondrenfitness.com) / Starke Fitness (109 Dees Drive, Madison, 601-856-9111, starkefitness.net) / Xplicit J3 Fitness (1625 E. County Line Road, 601-850-3425, xplicitj3fitness.com)
Best Car Dealer (Used or New): Patty Peck Honda
(555 Sunnybrook Road, Ridgeland, 601-957-3400, pattypeckhonda.com)
Again and again, Patty Peck Honda reassures customers that they are not alone when buying a new vehicle. They understand the gravity of the choice and extend a hand to guide the prospective buyer through the initially daunting process. Servicing the customer is a clear goal for the company. Their user-friendly approach extends online as well. One can shop for a new or used vehicle without leaving home and, if intrigued, schedule a test drive where the car awaits before you enter the dealership doors.
Catering to the automotive needs of the Jackson community for 25 years means continuity and customer satisfaction. For example, all customers are eligible for a Powertrain Warranty on new purchases, entitling them to unlimited miles and nationwide coverage. Patty Peck customers receive a lifetime Powertrain warranty, complimentary car washes, vacuum services and 40-point inspections. Loans flow from a variety of lenders and offer greater flexibility on the proper financial option for their unique fiscal situation. Their finance and lease options extend to cars, trucks, minivans and sport utility vehicles. Visit pattypeckhonda.com. — Mike McDonald
Finalists: Bob Boyte Honda (2188 Highway 18, Brandon, 601-591-5000, bobboytehonda.com) / Gray-Daniels Auto Family (multiple locations, graydanielschevy.com) / Herrin-Gear Automotive Group (multiple locations, herringear.com) / Mac Haik Mississippi (multiple locations) / Paul Moak Automotive (Honda, 802 Harding St.; Subaru/Volvo, 740 Larson St., 601-300-6856, paulmoak.com)
Best Dance Studio: Dollhouse Dance Factory
(1410 Ellis Ave., 770-265-1111, dollhousedancefactory.com)
"Five, six, seven, eight." When dancers hear these numbers, they know it is time to perform. Dollhouse Dance Factory made its mark on Aug. 23, 2010, from the heart of Jackson. Jackson native, mentor and dancer Dianna Williams' studio had been in the limelight for some time but the studio's team, but the Dancing Dolls of Jackson, put this dance factory on the map.
The dance troupe has gained worldwide acclaim after it was featured on Lifetime's hit show "Bring IT!" for five consecutive years.
The Dollhouse offers a variety of classes for dancers ages 3 to 18 that cover styles such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, majorette and liturgical. To enroll as a student, one must fill out an application, with the registration process occurring once a year, so be sure to keep track of the deadline. The Dollhouse Factory has two more locations in Birmingham, Ala., and Stone Mountain, Ga. — Deja Davis
Finalists: Judah School of Performing Arts (731 S. Pear Orchard Road, Suite 30, Ridgeland, 769-257-0330, judahschool.com) / Salsa Mississippi Club & Studio (605 Duling Ave., 601-213-6355, salsamississippi.com) / Studio K (900 E. County Line Road, Suite 200A, Ridgeland, 601-316-5713, ) / Studio Sole Dance (2999B Highway 49, Florence, 601-845-3326, studiosoledance.com) / XPress Dance Company (2160 Main St., Suite D, Madison, 601-853-0826, xdance.net)
Best Beauty Shop/Salon: Watercolor Salon
(1220 E. Northside Drive, Suite 300, Jackson, 601-366-9343; 115 W. Jackson St., Suite 1-H, Ridgeland, 601-605-4448, watercolorsalon.com)
Christa and Todd Freeman opened their first Watercolor Salon location in Ridgeland more than 10 years ago. Its name is borrowed from the art world and much like artists, the owners see their guests as opportunities "to create something beautiful." Men and women can receive haircuts and color processes in a lovely space filled with modern furnishings and the most up-to-date equipment available. The salon also provides makeup, nail and waxing services. Whether guests have an appointment or just walk in, the salon has nearly 20 stylists on staff to give patrons a fresh new look.
"(Christa and Todd) understand this business and what it takes to make it work," Howard Freeman, the salon's business manager and Christa's father, says. "We hire new graduates, and they learn our way." — Torsheta Jackson
Finalists: The Glossary Salon (109 E. Main St., Florence, 601-845-1111, glossaryhairsalon.com) / Molly Gee & Company (219 Garden Park Drive, Suite 200A, Madison, 601-853-0054, mollygeeandco.com) / Smoak Salon (622 Duling Ave., 601-982-5313, smoaksalon.com) / THairapy Garden (587 Highway 51, Suite M-1, Ridgeland, 601-832-5351) / William Wallace Salon (2939 Old Canton Road, 601-982-8300)
Best Veterinarian/Vet Clinic: Briarwood Animal Hospital
(1471 Canton Mart Road, 601-956-5030, briarwoodhospital.com)
Briarwood Animal Hospital has served Jackson almost 60 years since Hugh Ward founded the business in 1960. The clinic houses up-to-date pet-care technology with five experienced veterinarians on staff who regularly attend conferences and lectures across the country to ensure they are providing cutting-edge care. It offers surgical services, dental procedures, an X-ray system, an ultrasound unit, a bloodwork laboratory and boarding facilities.
The vet clinic's mission statement reads in part: "We strive to exceed our clients' expectations by treating owners and their pets with respect, honesty and compassion. We treat all animals as if they were our own pets. While treatment of the pet is a priority in our practice, we recognize the importance of emphasizing client education and communication." For information, visit briarwoodhospital.com. — Brianna Gibson
Finalists: All Creatures Animal Care Center (262 New Mannsdale Road, Madison, 601-856-5333, allcreaturesanimalcarecenter.com) / Crossgates Veterinary Clinic (5544 Highway 80, Pearl, 601-932-1245, crossgatesvet.com) / Hometown Veterinary Hospital (2001 Creek Cove, Brandon, 601-825-1697, hometownvethospital.com) / Mannsdale Animal Clinic (488 Mannsdale Road, Madison, 601-499-5200, themac.vet) / North State Animal & Bird Hospital (5208 N. State St., 601-982-8261, northstateanimalhospital.com)
Best Flower Shop: Greenbrook Flowers
(705 N. State St., 601-957-1951, greenbrookflowers.com)
Weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and funerals—all of these typically share a commonality: flowers. Whatever the occasion, perennial Best of Jackson winner Greenbrook Flowers has the means to provide. Founded in 1917 at Mynelle Gardens in west Jackson, the shop since relocated to where it now resides in downtown Jackson. Aside from the guaranteed fresh flowers, the business boasts an assortment of handcrafted arrangements, as well as same-day delivery.
Owned by brother-sister duo Daniel Jacobs and Gwen Dearman, Greenbrook Flowers offers a variety of select services, baskets and gifts that customers can order in person, online or over the phone. Each year Greenbrook celebrates "Good Neighbor Day," which originated in 1994, by giving out a dozen free roses to everyone who enters the shop while supplies last.
"We love Jackson, and we want to bring a sense of community back to our home. What better way to do that than with a flower," Dearman says. For more information, visit greenbrookflowers.com. — Kayla Sims
Finalists: A Daisy A Day (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 194, 601-982-4438, adaisyadayjackson.com) / Green Oak Florist & Garden Center (5009 Old Canton Road; 1067 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite E, Ridgeland; 601-956-5017, greenoakflorist.com) / Mostly Martha's Florist and Gifts (353 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-956-1474, mostlymarthasflorist.com) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com) / Whitley's Flowers (740 Lakeland Drive, 601-362-8844, whitleysflowers.com)
Best Bank or Credit Union: BankPlus
(multiple locations, bankplus.net)
BankPlus originally opened in Belzoni, Miss., as Citizens Bank & Trust Company in 1909 and changed to BankPlus in September 1994 following the merger of Southeast Mississippi Bank in Quitman and CB&T.
In Jackson, the bank offers personal checking and savings accounts, personal, auto and real estate loans, home equity credit lines, treasury services, mobile banking and more.
BankPlus launched its Affordable Housing Program in early 2002 to help local residents become homeowners and also to assist nonprofit organizations that provide affordable housing. It also operates an Adopt-a-School program that provides resources for local schools and takes part in the American Bankers Association Education Foundation's annual National Teach Children to Save Day. Visit bankplus.net. — Dustin Cardon
Finalists: Community Bank (multiple locations, communitybank.net) / Hope Credit Union (multiple locations, hopecu.org) / Magnolia Federal Credit Union (240 Briarwood Drive, 601-977-8300, magfedcu.org) / Mississippi Federal Credit Union (2500 N. State St.; 350 W. Woodrow Wilson Drive; 500 Clinton Center Drive, Clinton; 601-351-9200, msfcu.us) / Trustmark (multiple locations, trustmark.com)
Best Local Women's Clothing Store: Material Girls
(734 McKenzie Lane, Flowood, 601-992-4533; 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 7005, 601-605-1605; shopmaterialgirls.com)
From a classy night out to a county fair, customers can find the right outfit for a number of occasions at a local boutique called Material Girls, founded in 2004.Winning again for Best Local Women's Clothing Store, Material Girls offers a variety of fashionable shoes, clothing, jewelry, accessories and gifts for girls and women of every age, size and style preference, from brands like AGOLDE, Karlie and My Girl.
Staff members are trained to help customers style outfits that suit their personal tastes, for both formal and casual events. Visit shopmaterialgirls.com. — Kayla Sims
Finalists: Libby Story (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 5003, Ridgeland, 601-717-3300, libbystory.com) / Maison Weiss (4500 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-981-4621, maisonweiss.com) / Pink Possum Boutique and Gifts (105 Lexington Drive, Gluckstadt, 601-898-1844, pinkpossumboutique.com) / Red Square Clothing Company (4500 Interstate 55 N., Exit 100, Suite 188, 601-398-3403; 1000 Highway Colony Parkway, Suite 9004, Ridgeland, 601-853-8960, redsquareclothingco.com)
Best Nail Salon: The Nail Lounge
(4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 1038, 601-398-4451, thenailloungehv.com)
Whenever you are having a rough day (we all have those) or simply need a day of relaxation and pampering, or even just some quality "me time," you may want to stop by The Nail Lounge. Sonny Nguyen and his family opened the business two and a half years ago.
The Nail Lounge is a full-service nail salon and spa in Highland Village that provides countless nail-care services and focuses on giving their clients the most relaxing experience while receiving their desired service.
The salon offers the usual manicures and pedicures, which includes nail enhancements, dip powders and regular or gel acrylics, but the salon also offers lash and eyebrow tinting, waxing, spray tanning, kids' services and other additional services as well—including alcoholic beverages for the adult clients. The Nail Lounge allows takes walk-ins, appointments and gift cards. Plus, all prices are listed under the
services tab on their website, thenailloungehv.com. — Deja Davis
Finalists: Cuticles Nail Studio (2947 Old Canton Road, 601-366-6999, cuticlesnailstudio.com) / Monaco Nails (1450 W. Government St., Brandon, 601-824-1441) / Rouge Nails Lash Wax (5352 Lakeland Drive, Flowood, 769-572-4747) / Serenity Nail Spa (101 Lexington Drive, Suite D, Madison, 601-707-7430) / ZaZa Nails and Spa (1053 Highway 49 S., Richland, 769-447-5959)
Best Local Jeweler/Jewelry Store: Carter Jewelers
(711 High St., 601-352-3549, carterdiamonds.com)
Many of us at one point or another find ourselves browsing jewelry options for important events including engagements, anniversaries, birthdays, holidays and more. Jacksonians looking for jewelry for a loved one or those who want to treat themselves to something nice often look to Carter Jewelers. The business has been in the Jackson area for more than 160 years, and claims the mantle as the third-oldest jeweler in the United States. The store serves as a trusted source for brilliant diamonds, fine jewelry, high-end watches, custom work and jewelry repairs.
Carter Jewelers treats customer service as its raison d'etre both before and after the purchase. The professionals who work there understand that some items may need repaired, cleaned or modified, and they are ready to work with the specific needs of anyone who steps through the store's door. Visit carterdiamonds.com to find out more. — Richard Coupe
Finalists: Albriton's Jewelry (4500 Interstate 55 N., Suite 184, 601-982-4020, albritons.com) / Beckham Jewelry (120 District Blvd., Suite D110, 601-665-4642, beckhamjewelry.com) / Jackson Jewelers (253 Ridge Way, Flowood, 601-992-1700, jacksonjewelersinc.com) / Juniker Jewelry Co. (1485 Highland Colony Parkway, Madison, 601-366-3754, junikerjewelry.com) / Mike Wright Jewelers (1139 Old Fannin Road, Suite A, Brandon, 769-447-5193
Best Local Men's Clothing Store: The Rogue
(4450 Interstate 55 N. Frontage Road, 601-362-6383)
In 1967, William "Billy" Neville III founded The Rouge as a small ready-to-wear menswear store in Fondren. The store moved to its current location in the early 1970s and has continued to serve the Jackson community ever since. While Neville has recently passed away, his legacy continues. Today, the store offers an extensive menswear collection of formalwear, sportswear and casual options such as Peter Miller, Duck Head, Jack Victor and many others. Known in the community for its personalized service and wardrobe consultation, The Rogue also employs in-house tailors to provide any needed alterations. For information on current sales and other information on products and the company, visit therogue.com. — Richard Coupe
Finalists: Great Scott (4400 Old Canton Road, Suite 101, 601-984-3500, greatscott.net) / Kinkade's Fine Clothing
(120 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601-898-0513, kinkadesfc.com) / Mozingo Clothiers (3100 N. State St., Suite 101, 601-713-7848) / Offbeat (151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com) / Red Square Clothing Company (4500 Interstate 55 N., Exit 100, Suite 188, 601-398-3403; 1000 Highway Colony Parkway, Suite 9004, Ridgeland, 601-853-8960, redsquareclothingco.com)
Best Day Spa: AQUA the Day Spa
(1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 8001, Ridgeland, 601-898-9123, aquathedayspa.com)
Aqua the Day Spa is serious about bringing tranquility to the metro area. Upon entering, guests are invited to the relaxation room and provided a robe and slippers before their personalized session. Inside private spa rooms, highly trained staff members offer specialized services such as the signature "Aqua Body Polish" body treatment and "Relaxenergy Body Massage." Guests can experience "hot stone" and "paraffin" treatments in the luxury spa manicure and pedicure area. Aqua also has services designed for men, expectant mothers, teens and preteens. There are also spa packages for those who want to sample everything.
Once guests have had their stress washed away, they can retire to the on-site steam room, which comes with hot tea, cucumber lemon water and snacks. Staff members may even arrange an add-on spa lunch from a nearby restaurant if a customer's path to relaxation lasts more than a couple hours. Whether you need a full day or simply a quick getaway, Aqua has you covered. — Torsheta Jackson
Finalists: Drench Day Spa and Lash Lounge (118 W. Jackson St., Suite 2B, Ridgeland, 601-707-5656, drenchdayspa.com) / Massage Envy (multiple locations, massageenvy.com) / The Skin District (2629 Courthouse Circle, Suite B, Flowood, 601-981-7546, theskindistrict.com) / Soul Spa (Westin Jackson, 407 S. Congress St., 769-235-8401, soulspajackson.com) / The Wellness Spa (5419 Highway 25, Suite R, Flowood, 601-479-5392, thewellnessspa.center)
Best Place for Unique Gifts: O! How Cute Boutique & Gifts
(304 E. Government St., Suite 2, Brandon; 158 Promenade Blvd., Flowood; 200 Riverwind E., Suite 106, Pearl, shopohc.com)
O! How Cute Boutique & Gifts is the place to go if you are looking to give someone a gift with a local touch. The shop has locations around the Jackson metro area—including in Brandon, Pearl and Flowood.
Customers can find jewelry, clothes, candles, candies and more at O! How Cute, which won Best Place for Unique Gifts. Founded in 2005, the store offers a variety of home decor and goods, along with food. Jessica Phillips, the store's founder, says that O! How Cute prides itself on its customer service, which she describes as "second to none," as well as its variety of styles for all ages. "We treat customers like family and never let our success define us," Phillips adds.
For more information on O! How Cute Boutique & Gifts or to shop online, visit shopohc.com. — Kayla Sims
Finalists: Apple Annie's Gift Shop (106 Autumn Ridge Place, Suite 6, Brandon, 601-992-9925; 1896 Main St., Suite D, Madison, 601-853-8911, shopappleannies.com) / Beacon (3030 N. State St., 601-919-7477, unboundstudios.org) / Offbeat (151 Wesley Ave., 601-376-9404, offbeatjxn.com) / Pine Cone (500 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-713-1421) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com)
Best Place to Book a Party or Shower: Fairview Inn
(734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com)
One of the few historic houses left in Jackson, the Fairview Inn in Belhaven came about in 2000 when suites were renovated into the building to accommodate overnight guests, transforming it into a bed and breakfast, with a bar, restaurant and other amenities one may need for a fun getaway, a business meeting, a corporate event or other gatherings. The inn makes a great venue for an office party or bridal shower, among other types of get-togethers.
At 25,000 square feet, Fairview Inn has space for groups of between 10 and 450 persons, and the business provides an event manager to help organize and coordinate events for customers. The house, built in 1908, has both indoor and outdoor options for events, as well as luxury rooms and suites with fireplaces and Jacuzzis. Additionally, the inn has a spa and a couple dining options, including 1908 Provisions, which regularly hosts live music. For more information, visit fairviewinn.com. — Sarah Kate Pollard
Finalists: CAET (1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 9015, Ridgeland, 601-321-9169, caetseafood.com) / The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road, 601-366-5552) / Ice House (251 W. South St., 601-398-3200, icehousevenue.com) / Mississippi Children's Museum (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / The Prickly Hippie (500 Highway 51, Suite F, Ridgeland, 601-910-6730, pricklyhippie.com)
Best Place to Buy Antiques: The Flea Market, Mississippi's Trade Place
(1325 Flowood Drive, Flowood, 601-953-5914, flowoodantiquefleamarket.com)
Long-time Best Place to Buy Antiques winner The Flea Market, Mississippi's Trade Place, is full to the brim with anything you could think of for an entry fee of only $1. The 65,000-square-foot market features more than 220 vendor booths, plenty of antiques, collectibles and craft items, and a salvage market for larger items such as old wood, signs, doors and more. Visitors can find everything from furniture and old signs to comic books, baseball cards, coins, glassware, pottery, paintings, vintage video games and more.
The Flea Market is open Friday from
9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. For information, visit flowoodantiquefleamarket.com or find the business on Facebook. — Dustin Cardon
Finalists: Antique Aly (294 Commerce Park Drive, Ridgeland, 769-300-0262) / Antique Mall of the South (367 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-853-4000, antiquemallofthesouth.com) / Interiors Market (659 Duling Ave., 601-981-6020) / Old House Depot (639 Monroe St., 601-592-6200, oldhousedepot.com) / Repeat Street (242 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-605-9123, repeatstreet.net)
Best Place to Get Married: Bridlewood of Madison
(3024 Highway 22, Madison, 601-707-4024, thebarnatbridlewood.com)
The sweet sound of wedding bells and the intimate union of two partners comes with excitement, but choosing the best place to have your wedding vow ceremony can be challenging. Bridlewood of Madison, also known as The Barn at Bridlewood, has the whole package to make sure your special experience is cherished for a lifetime. Marcus Kirby and Tori and Nathan Banks created the privately owned elegant venue to assist couples in making their dream weddings come to life. They offer full-day access that includes two bars, a stage for band or DJ, a PA sound system, dressing rooms and more. In addition to weddings, The Barn is also available for birthdays, meetings, family reunions, proms and more. For those who are looking for venues, visit thebarnatbridlewood.com. — Deja Davis
Finalists: The Cedars (4145 Old Canton Road, 601-366-5552, fondren.org) / Fairview Inn (734 Fairview St., 601-948-3429, fairviewinn.com) / Ice House (251 W. South St., 601-398-3200, icehousevenue.com) / The Ivy (1170 Luckney Road, Flowood, 601-608-8891, theivyvenueflowood.com) / The South Warehouse (627 E. Silas Brown St., 601-939-4518)
Best Place to Buy Kid Clothes/Toys: Once Upon a Child
(1230 E. County Line Road, Ridgeland, 769-447-5150, onceuponachildridgeland.com)
Whether you are looking for something fast, easy and affordable to accommodate your rapidly growing child, or you want to give away unwanted kid clothes, toys and books, Once Upon a Child has you covered.
Once Upon a Child is a one-stop-shop for toys, high chairs, strollers, books and name-brand kid clothes up to 70% less than the retail prices. Catering to children up to 12 years old, customers can buy, sell ,and trade unwanted or gently used children's items. Customers who sell their children's items are able to receive same-day pay or store credit. Urica Martin, owner of Once Upon a Child, says that these types of stores work in the community's favor. "We have a large selection and low prices," Martin says.
Once Upon a Child is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Appointments are not required to sell or donate goods. For more information, visit onceuponachildridgeland.com. — Kayla Sims
Finalists: Helen's Young Fashions (4750 Interstate 55 N., 601-362-0317) / Leap Frog Children's Consignment & More (104 Village Blvd., Madison, 601-898-0727, leapfrogmadison.com) / Mississippi Children's Museum (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / Nursery Rhymes (1200 Eastover Drive, Suite 180, 601-368-9997, shopnurseryrhymes.com) / Wee the People (119 Colony Crossing Way, Suite 640, Madison, 769-231-7496, wethepeoplems.com)
Best Place to Get Your Car Fixed: Capitol Body Shop
(multiple locations, capitolbodyshop.com)
Capitol Body Shop has been a mainstay for car repairs in Jackson since 1963. Chad White started the company in a leased building with only himself and two other employees. Within five years, they were recognized as the largest collision repair shop in Mississippi. Since they first opened their doors, they have expanded to operating in surrounding cities such as Flowood, Byram, Ridgeland and Gluckstadt. This was done under the guidance of Doug White, Chad's son, upon realizing the potential of growth after purchasing the company from his father in 1987.
The shop offers a wide variety of automotive services including 24-hour towing, body/collision repair, painting, full-service mechanical repair and automotive glass repair. "We love serving our customers; we thrive on making sure they leave satisfied with their services," says George Taylor, the appraisal representative at the Jackson location. "We can't thank them enough; without their support we wouldn't be here." Visit capitolbodyshop.com to learn more. — Malcolm Marrow
Finalists: Barnett's Body Shop (multiple locations, barnettsbodyshop.com) / Car Care Clinic (multiple locations, carcareclinicjetlube.com) / Freeman Auto Repair (847 S. State St., 601-948-3358, freemanautorepair.com) / Tony's Tire & Automotive (5138 N. State St., 601-981-2414)
Best Place to Work: University of Mississippi Medical Center
(2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu)
The University of Mississippi Medical Center keeps growing, a city within a city, drawing professionals from across the globe to Mississippi's capital. The state's only research hospital, hosting the state's sole children's hospital, UMMC accounts for roughly 10% of the metro area's economy. Somewhere in the realm of 20,000 people travel its campus daily. UMMC remains a foundational element of Jackson. In 2020 it celebrates its 65th year of operations, and its employees voted to keep it the defending champion as the city's Best Place to Work. — Nick Judin
Finalists: Baptist Medical Center (1225 N. State St., Jackson, 601-968-1000) / BB'S LIVE - Bonny Blair's (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-447-5788) / Cole Facial Clinic & Skin Care (204 E. Layfair Drive, Flowood, 601-896-0112, colefacialclinic.com) / Mississippi Children's Museum (2145 Museum Blvd., 601-981-5469, mschildrensmuseum.org) / St. Dominic Hospital (969 Lakeland Drive, 601-200-2000, stdom.com)
Best Tattoo/Piercing Parlor: Electric Dagger Tattoo
(2906 N. State St., 601-982-9437, electricdagger.com)
Electric Dagger features three tattoo artists—Jason Thomas, Mike Richardson and Mallory Kay Palmertree—who help those who walk in the door leave with body art that meets their expectations.
"I saw something great in Jackson and wanted to make it a better place," Thomas said when asked about why he decided to open Electric Dagger. Thomas, who started his career in tattoo artistry in 1998, previously owned The Ink Spot Gallery & Black Diamond Tattoo in the area before opening Electric Dagger in 2013.
The artists on staff frequently study books and other sources on tattooing and drawing to polish their skills, and customers can browse a variety of designs in the shop, especially ones that embody the traditional American style. Patrons who bring in designs can have them realized in tattoo form as well. Visit electricdagger.com. — Brianna Gibson
Finalists: Black Lotus Tattoo Shop (420 N. Bierdeman St., Pearl, 601-933-1120) / Hard Rocs Tattoo (1149 Old Fannin Road, Brandon, 769-251-5363) / House of Pain Tattoo (30 Holiday Rambler Lane, Byram, 601-321-9040) / Inkk Junkies Tattoos (182 Raymond Road, 601-503-6030)
Best Thrift/Consignment Shop: Repeat Street
(242 Highway 51, Ridgeland, 601-605-9123, repeatstreet.net)
Jackson residents have named Repeat Street as the Best Thrift/Consignment Shop for a ninth consecutive year. The 17,000 square foot store offers shoes, apparel and accessories, knick-knacks and home decor items, salvaged items, and a regularly changing selection of furniture, artwork and jewelry. Repeat Street also has an outdoor area with garden and patio items and more.
The store has also partnered with Community Animal Rescue & Adoption, a no-kill animal shelter in Jackson, to raise funds for rescue animals through The
Pawlour at Repeat Street. Customers can donate furniture, home decor, seasonal clothing and other items in great condition to support The Pawlour Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Repeat Street also has a sister location, the Orange Peel, in Fondren. For more information, find the business on Facebook. — Dustin Cardon
Finalists: Leap Frog Children's Consignment & More (104 Village Blvd., Madison, 601-898-0727, leapfrogmadison.com) / N.U.T.S. (114 Millsaps Ave., 601-355-7458, followme2nuts.com) / Orange Peel (422 Mitchell Ave., 601-364-9977, orangepeelfondren.com) / Private Collection Consignment (1018 Village Blvd., Madison, 601-607-6004)
Best Yoga Studio: Soul Synergy Center
(5490 Castlewoods Court, Suite D, Flowood,
Soul Synergy Center won Best Yoga Studio for the second year in a row, and will celebrate its two-year anniversary in Flowood in February. Owners Jill and Daniel Clark opened Soul Synergy to bring holistic healing techniques to Mississippi. Jill, a native of south Jackson, says she and Daniel decided they needed to return to Mississippi after spending time elsewhere because more people have become open to holistic alternatives for healing. More than just a yoga studio, Soul Synergy offers massage, meditation, Mississippi's first salt cave and more.
Soul Synergy offers a number of yoga options, including all-ages yoga, chair yoga, flow yoga, restorative yoga, donations-based yoga and more. For more information, visit soulsynergycenter.com. — Brianna Gibson
Finalists: Butterfly Yoga (butterflyyoga.net) / Jenifer Simcox (Namaste at the Bar, namastejxn.com) / M Theory Yoga (118 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, 601-790-7402, mtheoryyoga.com) / StudiOm Yoga (665 Duling Ave., 601-209-6325, studiomyogaofms.com) / Tara Yoga (601-720-2337, tara-yoga.net)