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The Bermudian

Award of Excellence: Lindo’s Group

Over the past half-century, what started out as a humble butcher shop has grown into one of the most successful grocery-store chains in Bermuda. Large selections of organic produce and products, fresh cuts of meats and local fish, international delights and more fill the spacious aisles within both Lindo’s stores. Superior customer service, cleanliness and a friendly family atmosphere provide a quality shopping experience. However, The Lindo’s Group does so much more than sell groceries. “Their community involvement is unbelievable,” said one of our judges about the impressive number of community activities they sponsor as well as their own events, such as the annual Lindo’s to Lindo’s Charity Walk and Run, which attracted 1,600 participants this year. Giorgio Zanol and the whole Lindo family have been on a quest to promote healthy living for many years. This year our judges were particularly impressed with the well-publicized 100-day Challenge that Lindo’s sponsored. With their help, over 2,300 participants ate healthier foods and exercised regularly, losing a collective 7,300 pounds in the process. Their combined activity equated to walking more than 200,000 miles—or around the earth eight times—a huge feat for our small community. “It has been the best campaign probably ever done,” stated one judge. “They rocked it out,” added another. It is just that commitment to excellence both in their stores and throughout the community that makes The Lindo’s Group worthy of the Award of Excellence.

Barber

No good deed goes unnoticed, and we feel no good deed should go unrewarded. When we heard that Michael Pierre of International Lines & Designs (20 North Shore Road, Flatts, 296-1362) left his busy barber chair on a Friday afternoon to volunteer to shave the heads of several Saltus students for the St. Baldrick’s Day charity, our judges were moved to vote him best barber.

Great Gifts

From coffee-table books to funky home ware, candles and even baby gear, our judges said, “You can always find something to suit any occasion” at Brown & Co (Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-3838). They bring in a wide selection of gifts before all major holidays, and the best part is, you can also purchase your wrapping paper, bows and cards there—making Brown & Co a convenient one-stop shop.

Best Music Store

“You walk in and you feel like you are in a New York City music store,” said one judge about Music World (Bermudiana Arcade, 27 Queen Street, Hamilton, 292-8785). With a great atmosphere, friendly staff, the latest CD playing and an intelligently considered layout, Music World is truly the best place to buy music. And if they don’t have that obscure artist you are looking for in stock, they will happily order it for you.

Bookstore

For a bibliophile, books are a passion, and there is no place in Bermuda more passionate about books than the Bermuda Book Store (3 Queen Street, Hamilton, 295-3698, and Clocktower Mall, Dockyard, 234-4065). When searching for the latest bestseller or an obscure treasure, the friendly staff, led by Hannah Willmott, are always there to help you find it or order it for you if it isn’t in stock.

Toy Store

Wide selection, great opening hours, price scanners and children’s play area all contributed to People’s Pharmacy (62 Victoria Street, Hamilton, 292-7527) once again taking top prize in the toy-store category. “Even if you are a last-minute shopper, you can get a great gift for a children’s party, plus the card and wrapping paper—even on a Sunday,” declared a judge.

Art Gallery

All the press surrounding their recent lease issues with the Corporation of Hamilton has put the Bermuda Society of Arts (Third Floor, City Hall, Hamilton, 292-3824) at the forefront of the arts news this year. Beyond their graceful handling of the situation, our judges felt the “people’s gallery” deserved this win for their constant efforts to create a welcoming space for artists of all ages and calibers to proudly show their work.

Greeting Cards

As they say, sometimes less is indeed more. While the selection may not be the biggest on the island, the variety of whimsical cards and superb staff garnered All Wrapped Up (Washington Mall, Lower Level, Hamilton, 295-1969) the win once again this year.

Fresh Flowers

Once again a hands-down winner, El Shaddai Florist (115 Middle Road, Warwick, 236-2469) has proven their multi-award-winning status since owner Sharmika Brown opened the doors in 2000. Contemporary arrangements, excellent personal service and regular deliveries of gorgeous fresh flowers have all contributed to El Shaddai’s continued success.

Gardening Gear

Starting from the soil up, everything you need to create a masterpiece of a garden is available at Aberfeldy Nurseries (Pomander Road, Paget, 236-2927). While they do have all the seeds, bulbs, pots and shovels you’ll ever need, it is the invaluable advice from the knowledgeable staff that really makes Aberfeldy the best place to purchase your gardening gear.

Place to Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Crammed full of a mouthwatering selection of classic and trendy sweets, Treats (Washington Mall, Lower Level, Hamilton, 296-1123) is the number-one stop for kids of all ages. It is the perfect place to pick up goodie bags for a birthday party, buy gifts for an upcoming holiday or satisfy that desperate craving for chocolate at 3:00 p.m.

Pharmacy

Continuous improvements and expansions, substantial parking, friendly staff and quality merchandise have helped People’s Pharmacy (62 Victoria Street, Hamilton, 295-7527) hold this category for nine straight years in a row. We were also impressed to hear that during this year’s International Race Week a pharmacist at People’s drew up a list of all prescription and over-the-counter medications that could potentially affect drug tests for the competing athletes.

Pet Pampering/Supplies

From fish food to hamster cages, everything you need for all of your four-legged, furry, scaled or feathered friends is available under one roof at Noah’s Ark (3 Marsh Lane, Middle Road, Devonshire, 236-1533). And where else are pets welcome in store and do the staff know the best way to wean a puppy or balance the pH in a fish tank?

Kid’s Camp

No cell phones, no Game Boys, no Internet. Camp Pequot (295-3670) is a seven-week overnight aquatic camp at Paget Island that parents love almost as much as the children who attend it. They unplug from our supertech world and learn how to kayak, snorkel, maneuver ropes courses, climb walls, play sports like football and volleyball, do arts and crafts, hold talent shows and more.

Grocery Store

Fresh (and often local) produce, organic selections, well-organized aisles and helpful butchers gave the Lindo’s stores (Family Foods, 128 Middle Road, Warwick, 236-1344, and Lindo’s Market, 4 Watlington Road East, Devonshire, 236-5623) the edge again this year with our judges. They were also lauded for their support of living healthy with the recent 100-day Challenge they so admirably sponsored.

Warehouse-Style Shopping

Family owned and operated, Hunts Food & Supply (5 Quarry Lane, Khyber Pass, Warwick, 236-6343) is the best place to buy in bulk say our judges. Whether it’s diapers you need or supplies for the family reunion, the friendly staff, great selections and reasonable prices make Hunt’s the best place to buy a ton without spending that much.

Sports Equipment

With fairly mild weather year round, Bermuda residents are lucky to be able to get out and play sports whenever they choose, but they can’t do much without the proper equipment. When it comes to cricket bats, basketball hoops, shin pads, timers—you name it, Sports ‘R’ Us carries it (61 Church Street, Hamilton, 292-1891).

Helpful Hardware Store

The general public is just catching on to what people in the construction and maintenance business have long known—that Smooth & Easy (1 Middle Road, Warwick, 236-5317) lives up to its name every time. With smooth service and easy to find quality tools and equipment, entrepreneur Gary Wolffe has created the most helpful hardware store carrying all the essentials for big construction companies and the DIYers amongst us.

Computer Sales

With a computer in nearly every home in Bermuda, buying one is serious business. Our judges couldn’t say enough about Complete Office (Kenwood Building, 17 Reid Street, Hamilton, 292-4333), citing their “ongoing effort to be competitive,” “computers always in stock” and “excellent knowledge of both PCs and MACs” as reasons they deserve the gold award for computer sales.

Computer Service

Their promise to repair your equipment under warranty “within two business days or you’ll receive a loner or replacement for no additional charge” gives Computer City (Magnolia Place, Lower First Floor, 45 Victoria Street, Hamilton 292-1774) the edge in this category. They also offer installation, repair and upgrade services by their qualified IT professionals.

Business Accessories

When it comes to the finest business accessories, the Complete Office (Kenwood Building, 17 Reid Street, Hamilton, 292-4333) has this category in the bag. From classic and contemporary laptop cases to essential desk accessories, the Complete Office offers the best selections and excellent customer service at competitive prices.

Kitchenware

You can get everything you need to outfit a new kitchen—from pans to blenders and chopping boards—at Gibbons Company’s basement kitchen shop (Lower level, Reid Street, Hamilton, 295-0022). With popular lines like Tag and Mikasa Glass as well as Cuisinart appliances and Oxo utensils, Gibbons Company has all the style and selection you could ever want whether you are starting from scratch or just looking to replace something old.

Furniture Store

Whether you are planning to completely redecorate your home or simply add a stylish lamp to a room, there is a world of fine furniture and accessories available for you to choose from at Furniture Walk (77 Reid Street, Hamilton, 202-5209). With first-class service and name brands like Broyhill, Thomasville and La-Z-Boy in stock, buyers can be confident they are making a solid choice.

Gas Station

When you need to fill up either your car’s tank or yours in the early morning hours, the convenience of Esso City Tigermarket (37 Richmond Road, Hamilton, 295-3776) makes it a winner in our book. Known by most as simply 24/7, the Tigermarket’s fast, friendly service, store filled with essentials and late-night snacks give them an edge over the competition.

Electrical Services

Leading the way in top-quality electrical services is Universal Electric (4 Midsea Lane, Serpentine Road, Pembroke, 292-5372). Their 24-hour emergency service, energy-conservation services and general maintenance and repairs for commercial and residential properties make them tops in our book. Also notable is their involvement with the National Training Board’s electrical-trade apprenticeship programme.

Boat Repair

Especially in the summertime, Bermudians love to take to the ocean, but a boat with a leak is a problem indeed. To fix any boat issue, John Barker at Hole in the Wall Boat Shop (Building 15B, Dockyard, 234-3417) will get you back on the water in no time.

Plumber

Speaking of leaks, one never wants one in their kitchen or bathroom either. But how do you choose among the many plumbers listed in the Yellow Pages these days? Our judges recommend Hilton Brown Plumbing (335-0570). With over 30 years of experience, you can rest assured that your pipes are in good hands.

Landscaper

It takes more than the ability to cut grass and trim trees to be the best landscaper in Bermuda. The young Bermudian guys at Caisey’s Landscaping (32 Roberts Avenue, Devonshire, 296-7969 or 747-1000) won our judges’ praise not only for their skilled design and maintenance work but also for their exemplary attitudes.

Water-Trucking Service

People often ask us how the Best of Bermuda Gold Awards winners are chosen. Many things are taken into consideration, but exceptional service often clinches a win. Such was the case for Raymond Masters of Island Wide Service (293-0016), who took a load of water out of his own tank to rescue a desperate homeowner late one Friday night. Now that is award-worthy service!

Car Mechanic

We also heard some great things about Weir Enterprises (48 Victoria Street, Hamilton, 292-5963) from our judges. They hailed the mechanics there for their excellent work, fast turnaround and, often, same-day service. “They are the best at working on really old cars and actually tend to have the parts in stock,” said one judge, while another commented, “If you buy tires or batteries there they install them right away—for free!”

Bike Mechanic

One thing is for sure, the team at Cycle Care (49 Serpentine Road, Pembroke, 295-0003) is serious about motorcycles. Their superb repair service is complemented by their stunning showroom filled with a vast selection of quality bikes for every rider as well as all the accessories you’ll ever need.

Upholsterer

“The business is not big, definitely not very commercial, but those in the know take their stuff there,” stated one judge about Albert Lightbourne (Morgan’s Road, Warwick, 236-0222). He produces such exquisitely detailed upholstered furniture that even a furniture manufacturer would be convinced it was brand new.

Interior Designer

Interior design is about so much more than picking the perfect couch or the right desk for your new office. When you need professional help, our judges recommend Tamisha Greene, designer and owner of Ambiance Design Studio (238-6039, www.ambiancebermuda.com). Greene’s experience in commerical and residential interior design as well as her event design services makes her a top choice.

Health Club

The facilities—including two weight rooms, all the cardio machines you could ever need, a weight-loss programme, heated pool and even a huge children’s play area—are as impressive as the bodies that train at Magnum Powerforce Gym (70 Church Street East, Hamilton, 292-7007). With opening hours starting at 5:30 a.m. during the week, anyone can fit some fitness into their busy schedule.

Underwater Delight

Our judges brought back some old-school memories when they voted jumping off the rocks at Admiralty House as the best underwater delight. Come summer, kids of all ages enjoy the thrill of plunging feet first off the high rocks and into the deep, clear ocean at Spanish Point. It is one of those memories you never want to forget.

New Local Ad

Age Concern (238-7525) has been on a mission to improve the lives of local seniors for many years, and their recent Between the Cracks campaign and documentary—in partnership with The Family Centre—stood out for its classy production and thought-inducing message.

Local Website

An award-winning website not only has to be visually appealing, but it must also be highly functional and easy to navigate. Launched in 2006, the real-estate website my-bermuda-house.com took the market by storm with comprehensive home listings, reams of information on the whole buying-and-selling process and a well-laid-out format that is both functional and fun.

Fishing Charter

Captain Sinclair Lambe of Jamie C Charter Fishing (234-3081) has once again proven his sea worthiness with a win in this category for the second year in a row. A full day of deep-sea fishing with the entertaining captain on his beautiful, brand-new 43 foot Torres, Mega Bucks, is an experience not to be missed.

Private-Party Charter

One hundred feet of pure luxury best describes Bermuda’s perfect charter boat, the Venetian (295-3503). This stunning, fully self-contained yacht is designed for entertaining in high style and is available for any event—from a romantic sunset dinner for two or cocktails for up to 50 people.

Diligent Real-Estate Agent

Thinking outside the box is what makes an award-winning businesswoman. Tamika Todd of Platinum Realty (238-6037, www.platinumrealty.bm) has been noted for her excellent marketing strategies; she notifies neighbours of her recent home sales in their area and encourages them to contact her if they wish to buy or sell. Sounds like a winning idea to us.

Investment Advice

If you think portfolios are for artists and the market is where you buy your groceries, then an investment advisor is urgently needed to help you sort out your financial future. Bank of Bermuda’s Trevor Spinney (6 Front Street, Hamilton, 299-5900) is our judges’ choice for the best person to explain it all to you. The investments sales manager has just been awarded the President’s Award from HSBC contributing to his deserved win in this category.

Hair Salon

A relaxing atmosphere, extended hours, talented stylists and great products all added up to give Inner Sanctum Salon (Front Street West, Hamilton, 295-4808) a gold award for best hair salon. One judge went so far as to say it is the “equivalent of going and lying on someone’s couch—that’s how relaxing it is.”

Healthcare Professional

Her calming bedside manner had our judges singing the praises of Dr. Sharon Alakhani of the Family Practice (7 The Lane, Paget, 236-0001). With convenient opening hours, an easy appointment schedule and other women doctors available on staff in case of an emergency, it was an easy choice.

Government Service

We often hear the sirens wail but rarely do we think about the brave men and women that save the lives of road-traffic victims or fight the fires that threaten homes and their occupants. They are always first on the scene, offering assistance where needed, and for this—and so much more that goes unrecognized—our judges chose to honour the Bermuda Fire Services for their commitment to protecting and serving the people of Bermuda.

Caterer

When you are looking for good ol’ home-style cooking for your next party or event, our judges recommend Wilks Catering (39 Devon Springs Road, Devonshire, 236-3584). Specialising in Bermudian and Caribbean cuisine, the talented chefs at Wilks cater to any size event—be it dinner for two or a wedding reception for 500.

Best Place for a Mani/Pedi

Located discreetly behind Demco Florist, Gillian’s Face & Body Clinic (14 South Shore Road, Devonshire, 232-0496) is a hidden gem known mostly to their loyal customer base and through word-of-mouth advertising. Opened in 2002 by owner Gillian Edwards, the clinic offers a wide range of facials, massages and reflexology along with their popular manicures and pedicures at unbeatable prices.

Day Spa

When you have the time to lounge around all day in a luxurious robe while sipping lemon water before your facial, there is no better place to be than Willow Stream Spa (Fairmont Southampton, South Shore Road, Southampton, 239-6924). With 31,000 square feet chock full of treatment rooms, lounges, saunas, a fitness centre, a heated pool, Jacuzzis, a beauty salon and more, you’ll never want to leave.

Travel Agent

With the hurried lifestyles most people lead these days, a trip to the travel agent is not always possible. For those who want to quickly plan a trip overseas, our judges recommend quickertix.com. This C Travel service is straightforward enough for even Internet novices and comprehensive enough for those who love to find the best travel deal possible.

Taxi Driver

There are so many great taxi drivers to choose from, but only one gives you a ride with free entertainment. Comedian Nadanja Bailey, of Two Fools fame, is now driving a swanky new taxi and amusing his passengers as he shuttles them to their destination.

Friendliest Customer Service

Our hats are off to Just Shirts Launderers & Drycleaners (20 Bermudiana Road, Hamilton, 292-3063) after we heard the story of a young lady who had a full glass of red wine spilled on her fancy dress this past New Year’s Eve. She took the garment to Just Shirts, but when she picked it up the red wine had turned into a bleach stain. Mortified by the mistake, the launderers gave her a check for the value of the dress without question. Not only is it important to do your job well, it is important to keep your customers happy by acknowledging your mistakes. Well done!

THE JUDGES

Shauntia Steede, relationship manager, the Bank of Bermuda Limited, member HSBC Group

Jill Dill, owner/creative director, Dillwerx Graphic Design

Jennifer Ward, managing director, emedia Bermuda Limited

2008 Best of Bermuda

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