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Best In & Outside the Box
Mail Masters Utah
In this day and age, we all need a secretary, and Mail Masters Utah is the closest thing to having one. Locally owned and operated, Mail Masters accepts copying jobs, including high-quality, large-format printing up to 44 inches wide. There’s a digital-photo kiosk, and the helpful Mail Masters employees can make photo prints as well as photo DVDs and greeting cards. If you need to send a gift, they will sell you one, then pack and mail it. And, of course, they’ll rent you a mailbox so you’ll stop in and see them every few days. They’re even good guys when it comes to the environment—using a cardboard shredder and biodegradable packing materials. Pretty much the only thing they don’t do is take dictation.
3953 S. Wasatch Blvd., Holladay, 801-998-8670, MailMastersUtah.com
Best Local Salt Scrub
While raising eight children, Marcia whipped up a natural mineral exfoliant with her own recipe of salt and oils, thinking her salt scrub would make a nice holiday gift. After feeling the “magic,” her gift recipients came back asking where to buy more. Thus began her cottage business. She uses Redmond Real Salt (mined from a rock-salt deposit near Redmond, Utah), mineral oil, aloe, sweet almond oil, avocado oil, vitamin E and various fragrance oils to achieve the aroma of cucumber melon, lovespell, pearberry, mint and lavender. Use the magic and enjoy your glow.
Best Cheapo Depot
Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore Thrift Store
Utah’s network of Deseret Industries stores—along with shops like Savers, Value Village and Thrift Town—suggest Utahns are hell bent on a good deal on clothing and household goods. And now for the homebuilder and remodeler, there’s a thrift store selling everything from household items to furniture to appliances to quality used and surplus building materials. Proceeds help Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity build homes while reducing the amount of materials sent to the local landfill. Nationally, ReStores keep more than 950 tons of materials out of the landfill each year. To donate materials, volunteer time and/or become a customer, contact the store.
1276 S. 500 West, Salt Lake City, 801-263-0136, HabitatSaltLake.com
Best Hoarder Hangout
The NPS Store is a salvage and freight-recovery company that sells its products in two stores in Salt Lake City, and online via eBay and Amazon. It has two stores, one that sells grocery/household goods and another that sells industrial items. The grocery store is organized like a regular grocery store, but prices are shockingly low because of damage or upcoming expiration dates. NPS also has a decent fabric section and even a dollar store. The building with industrial products requires more time and patience for rummaging through items. But if you love to shop as much as you love low prices, your inner hoarder will be rewarded.
1600 S. Empire Road, Salt Lake City, 801-972-4133; Industrial Store: 1601 S. Empire Road, Salt Lake City, 801-886-8285, NPSStore.com
Best Cheap Book Fest
The Library Store Book Stand
Every year, the Salt Lake City Public Library’s supporters, the Friends of the City Library, organize two sales of the library’s surplus stock. The sales in April and October can start out as a fight to the death as everyone searches for quality goods. But when you consider the book stand outside the Library Store that the organization maintains, you wonder what’s the point of all that huffing and puffing. Along with remarkably cheap, contemporary books in excellent condition for sale, all sorts of curios can be found, be they a weighty Dickens tome or a Yasujiro Ozu DVD.
210 E. 400 South, Salt Lake City, 801-524-8238, SLCPL.org
Best Intelligent Designer Theory
It does seem a shame that when your bod is the hottest it will ever be—when you could actually rock designer styles with conviction—you may be the brokest you will ever be, working at an entry-level job, paying off your car and student loans. Hence, Name Droppers. Founder Tiffany Colaizzi’s goal is to bring savvy buyers and sellers together. At either of these consignment stores (the Parleys Way location is more of an outlet store), for almost half off original retail prices, you can buy gently used or never worn (and still with tags) designer shoes, clothes, handbags and accessories. Top brands, including Nanette Lepore, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Steve Madden, Free People, Juicy, St. John, Tibi, DVF, Guess, J Crew, Plenty and Milly, are waiting for you to take them out for a test drive and imagine the possibilities.
3355 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-486-1128; 2350 E. Parleys Way, Salt Lake City, 801-474-1644, ShopNameDroppers.com
Best Trim & a Shave
John DeCloe, Ray’s Barbershop
A smooth operator with the shears of steel, John DeCloe will not only line you up and trim your ’stache, he’ll also destroy you in sports knowledge. This is a necessary trait for any barber. While John holds down a Utah Jazz debate, he’ll also treat your dome to a perfect fade or classic straight-razor shave.
154 S. Main, Salt Lake City, 801-359-7297; 1328 S. 2100 East, Salt Lake City, 801-583-7297, RaysBarberShopSLC.com
Best Southern Secondhand Book Store
If it were simply that Cedar City’s largest secondhand bookstore had some of the best prices for used novels and nonfiction in the state, Braun Books would be worthy of celebration. But its spacious layout, friendly staff and adjacent coffee bar make it a haven in the generally caffeine-challenged streets of the LDS-dominated Cedar City. This quiet, browser-friendly store understands that the true pleasure of the reader is the hours dedicated to searching for just the right book to read.
25 N. Main, Cedar City, 435-586-8303, BraunBooks.com
Best Legal Beagle
Kent Hart works both as a federal court public defender and as executive director of the Utah Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. In the latter capacity, he is a dedicated advocate for defense attorneys and, by extension, the rights of the defendants his membership does battle for every day. At his best, he is a passionate advocate for our legal rights, whether speaking out for the rights of Ogden gang members to congregate or lambasting justice courts for what he’s called their “Wild Wild West” ethos. He has long proved an invaluable foil to the disproportionate power wielded by the prosecutorial system.
Best Inspirational Garage
Benji’s Auto Repair Inc.
If you’re looking for a garage to do your safety and emissions inspection, Benji’s Auto Repair offers a cheap and oddly inspiring spot on Redwood Road. The owner, Luis Delgado, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, writes his goals on a board in his reception area, citing the Book of Mormon in enthusiastic, even endearing terms for the non-LDS skeptic. It’s akin to being in the presence of a Utah Latino version of Dale Carnegie, and as you head out to pick up your car, you can’t help but smile at the upbeat work ethic Delgado promotes with such sincerity.
2747 S. Redwood Road, West Valley City, 801-638-0381
Best Book Binding
Rodent Bonz Bindery
Journal keepers and bibliophiles alike can find much to love from the unique works of Rodent Bonz Bindery’s Michel Rogerson. With more than 20 years of bookmaking experience, Rogerson can custom-bind books and journals for customers, from found art like vintage travel post cards to old Tarot cards.
Best Chic Beanies
Luxurious Handmade Headwear
Utah designer Tom Clark has taken on head fashion by revitalizing the design and craft of beanies and winter scarves. His passion for comfortable and fashionable head coverings has given the crochet enthusiast the moniker of the “Beanie Cap Guy” after word spread of his exceptional hats and scarves. Try beanies knit from fine cashmeres or more exotic fabrics like yak down or bison and alpaca down.
1121 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 801-467-6588, UnhingedSLC.com