Best Of Utah 2014: Goods & Services | Best of Utah | Salt Lake City

Best Of Utah 2014: Goods & Services 

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Graywhale Entertainment

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Best Record/CD Shop
Graywhale Entertainment
Yeah, we can’t lie; digital downloads are certainly convenient. But clicking a button just can’t measure up to the waves of nostalgia that’ll hit you when you’re idly flipping through a row of used CDs at Graywhale and come across that life-changing Fiona Apple CD you loaned to your jerk high school boyfriend and never saw again because he was a jerk and you were too broke to replace it. Even leaving trips down memory lane aside, Graywhale is a pretty awesome shopping experience; in addition to used (and new) CDs, the local chain stocks toys, audio equipment from headphones to record players, DVDs, video games, LPs and more. With locations all over the Wasatch Front, it’s nice to know that you’re never far away from endless entertainment options.
Multiple locations,
2. Randy’s Record Shop
3. Raunch Records

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Best Bike Repairs
Bingham Cyclery
Before the dawn of designated bike lanes and long before a carbon-fiber road bike was more expensive than a used car, Bingham Cyclery was selling new bikes and fixing used ones. And while the mechanics at Bingham have developed a stellar reputation as the finest gearheads in the valley, their prices have remained more than fair. A basic tune-up costs $60, but if you just need some new shifting cables and an expert’s eye with a derailleur adjustment, you could be on the way to smooth riding for as little as $20. For more than 50 years, the shop has withstood the whims of fashion, always recognizing that hordes of people—out of necessity, recreation or pure joy—continue to ride, and that on occasion, even the best bike needs the healing hands of a true mechanic.
Multiple locations,
2. The Bike Guy
3. Contender Bicycles

Best Postcard Treasure Trove
Ken Sanders Rare Books

As a shrine to the written word, Ken Sanders Rare Books is unmatched in its devotion to preserving rare and historical books. On mazes of shelves, in stacks on the floor and even lining the stairs to the employees-only section, so many books fill owner Ken Sanders’ hallowed walls that a book lover could die happily here, their finger stuck in a book marking a favorite passage. But nearly hidden in the northeast corner of the store is another type of history waiting to be discovered: hundreds and hundreds of vintage postcards, many complete with their original postage. Hours could be pleasantly whiled away reading snippets of faded, spidery handwriting, which entreat the past recipient to please visit soon or have a happy holiday. Purchasing one of these poignant postcards for a special person and scribbling your own message next to the old one continues a magical chain of human connection.
268 S. 200 East, Salt Lake City, 801-521-3819,

Best Place to Tame Wild Animals
Animal Art Taxidermy Utah

“Hey, is that a live bear in your living room?!” Nope, it’s just Animal Art Taxidermy Utah with another realistic mount. Since 1998, owner Bruce Capes has stuffed and mounted just about every beast that roams the Wasatch Front: bears, moose, bison, even raccoons and wolverines. Whatever the creature, Capes can lovingly gut and skin it, taking your trophy room to the next level.
8496 S. Harrison St., Suite 105, Midvale, 801-566-5858,

Best Temple Decorations
Koi Piercing Studio

Your body is a temple, and discerning souls know that only the finest jewelry deserves to adorn their mortal forms. When that drab hunk of metal just isn’t doing you justice anymore, the jewelry at Koi is made in all sizes from quality metals and organic materials, with designs that range from modest to full-blown fabulous. If you’re considering going under the needle for the first time, Koi’s experienced (and patient!) piercers work with precision, expertise and care, whether you want to add a touch of sparkle to a spot like the nose—or to somewhere a little more risqué.
1301 S. 900 East, Salt Lake City, 801-463-7070,

Best Cook-spiration
For Your Kitchen

This giant store is arranged simply—rows upon rows of gadgets and dishes for mixing, baking, braising, slicing, grating and everything else you could do in a kitchen. Whether you’re a master chef, getting started in the kitchen or just enchanted by gadgets—ooh, a cute ceramic cow that keeps butter soft!—this shop has what you need, plus cooking classes and knife-sharpening services.
772 E. 700 South, Clearfield, 801-866-1111,

Best Gifts for Nature Lovers
Backyard Birds

Filled from floor to ceiling with wind chimes, garden ornaments, bird feeders, statuary and more, Backyard Birds has everything you need to create a beautiful sanctuary, whether you have a full yard or tiny balcony garden. A visit to the store itself is a treat for the senses, as delicate whirligigs sparkle in the sunlight that slants through the many windows, tiny bells tinkle and figurines of animals and gnomes peek out from the shelves. And if you’re looking to give the feathered friends in your yard some much-appreciated victuals, the staff is more than happy to help you pick out the perfect birdfeeder and accompanying seed, depending on the types of birds that live in your area.
2698 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-467-7222

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Kirkham's Outdoor

Best American-Made Tent
Kirkham’s Outdoor

Products When packing your family into that two-person backpacking tent you bought in college sparks marital tension, there’s really no place better than Kirkham’s to turn. Sure, you could shop around for a six-man synthetic tent, but they’re damned near as pricey as the iconic Springbar tents that have been manufactured by Kirkham’s in Salt Lake City since 1969. Heavy, durable and comfortable, a Springbar will keep you, your family, the food, board games, pets and anything else you drag along dry and out of the wind on the worst of desert days. Oh, and if you manage to break the thing, you can drive it down to the shop and have them fix it—person to person, like the old days.
3125 S. State, Salt Lake City, 801-486-4161,

Best Mentor to Future Rock Stars

Junior high can be some of the most difficult years in a young person’s life, and finding your passion and someone who believes in you can make all the difference. For many local young folks, MusicGarage founder Steve Auerbach is that person. The music-education programs and private instruction available through MusicGarage are often a kid’s bridge from feeling like an outcast to working toward a common goal with likeminded musicians. The kids are challenged through group sessions, as well as playing at local shows and festivals. When they graduate, they do so equipped with the tools to make a career out of playing music—or at least to do what they love for life.
250 W. 1300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-577-2263,

Best Sweet Gifts
The Queen Bee

With a selection of hand-picked books, children’s toys, jewelry, plus fun whosits and whatsits for those hard-to-shop-for people in your life, this multifaceted little nook on Ogden’s 25th Street is the place to find the perfect gift—even the edible kind, as The Queen Bee carries a huge selection of fine chocolates. The shelves are stocked with locally made treats—beautiful boxed Bluebird chocolates from Logan, intriguingly spicy chocolate bars from Torrey’s Red Desert Candy, chocolate-covered honeycomb from Bountiful’s Ascot Royale—as well as exotic national and international varieties to satisfy any sweet tooth.
270 25th St., Ogden, 801-791-0241,

Best Technological Nostalgia
Worlds Game Store

Technology continues to march forward, but many shrewd gamers believe that the best games were released 10, 20 or even 30 years ago. Worlds Game Store ensures that those beloved vintage games are never lost and remain available for new generations of video-game fans to enjoy (and for collectors to treasure). From video games on the original Nintendo and Atari systems to rare computer games, Worlds Game Store has just the thing to satisfy your nostalgia (and they stock modern games, too). There’s also a repair service, if your old Sega Genesis received too much rough love in its heyday.
2815 S. Highland Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-486-1442,

Best Modest Prom Dresses On a Budget
Modest Prom Rentals

In Utah, that teen rite of passage of the school formal often collides with the realities of family budgets and their sense of appropriate attire. Mapleton-based Modest Prom Rentals tries to address both issues, providing a variety of dresses that avoid showing too much skin, while also circumventing the need to spend too much green. Dresses are available to preview online before you head in for a fitting, and if you have previously worn dresses clogging up the closets, they’ll be your consigner.
1682 N. 740 East, Mapleton, 801-489-9790,

Best Bootfitter
Mike Thorpe, Sports Den

Nothing can ruin a day on the slopes quicker than ill-fitting ski boots. Well, Sports Den managing partner Mike Thorpe is here to help. “I’m a little anal about feet,” he says as he grinds down a custom insole to make a customer’s feet happy. We’ve never met anyone who takes bootfitting so seriously, which is why Thorpe is our go-to guy for ski boots, and why many competitive skiers feel the same.
1350 S. Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, 801-582-5611,

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The Salty Dog Car & Dog

Best New Car & New Dog Smell
The Salty Dog Car & Dog

Wash Yes, there is a way to clean your vehicle and your dog at the same time that doesn’t involve driving around in the rain with your pooch tied to the roof ... because that would be horrible and wrong. Instead, stop by the Salty Dog, where you can use the automatic wash or a self-service bay complete with clear coat, spot-free rinse, tire cleaners, vacuums and even scented shampoo for your ride’s carpet. Inside, doggy-washing stations can accommodate animals as big as Saint Bernards. All the doggy detailing stations come with ramps so your pet won’t be subjected to the embarrassment of being lifted into the tub. It’s finally a way to efficiently pimp both your ride and your pooch.
2912 Glen Eagle Drive, West Valley City, 801-969-9889,

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Best Pet Store
The Dog’s Meow
It’s not a giant warehouse—and that’s a good thing. The Dog’s Meow carries only the most well-made and healthful products for cats and dogs, so you’ll know that no matter what you walk out with—gourmet kibble, a new toy, earth-friendly kitty litter, even an irresistible Halloween costume or glitzed-out leash—is worthy of your very best friend.
2047 E. 3300 South, Salt Lake City, 801-468-0700; 866 E. 12300 South, Draper, 801-501-0818,
2. Mark’s Ark
3. Ma & Paws

Best Utah Hemp Connection
SLC Hemp

It’s no secret that Brigham Young was a huge supporter of the versatile, industrial properties of hemp, and why shouldn’t he have been? You can make just about anything out of it. SLC Hemp owner Adam Wong understands this better than most and is continuing Utah’s hemp legacy with his Sugar House shop, which opened in August 2013. A hemp version of practically every necessity can be found here: men’s and women’s clothing, food, oils and even socks.
1117 E. 2100 South, Salt Lake City, 385-229-4197,

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