Leaving town without your pet but prefer in-home treatment to boarding your four-legged friend in unfamiliar kennel-like surroundings? Waggin’ Critter is among the best in the local home pet sitting industry. The bonded, insured and owner-operated company is run by St. Pete resident Tracey Wells, a certified member of Tampa Bay Professional Pet Sitters Network whose ongoing animal education and years of petcare know-how paired with experience as a (now-retired) nurse not only backs up her competence on paper, but reflects a person accustomed to nurturing. She puts you at immediate ease with her genuine devotion to her critter clients — whom she comes out to meet prior to your trip — and her fair per-visit rates include feeding, walking, and handling any special medical needs your pet may have. She pays explicit attention to detail and logs each visit so you know exactly what went down while you were out. She’s discreet (the neighbors won’t even know you’re away), plans for all possibilities (hurricane evacuation, medical emergencies), serves pets of all types, and leaves the house just as it was when you left it. i727-687-4650, waggincritter.com.
Runners Up: Post Apartments, Lamdmark at Grand Palms
Who among us hasn’t knocked their coffee/water/wine onto their computer’s keypad and freaked out? Good news… there is a saint in our community, a savior of information who keeps us from slashing our wrists at the realization that we’ve been too lazy to back up our info for three months and that the project we’ve been slaving over is toast unless he works his miracles on our behalf. Steve Bush, at Screwbox, is the man for Macs. He epitomizes competence. Bless him. 3117 W. Columbus Drive, Tampa, 813-784-4178. thescrewbox.com.
Runner Up: Andrew Winchell of Mark Dalton, Inc.
Runners Up: Marpena Auto, Bill's Family Garage
Whether you’re looking to get a bun in the oven, already baking, or looking for post-bun delivery advice, Thank You Mama has you covered, from fertility and pre-natal acupuncture to massage, tinctures, teas and all that’s in between. There’s even a boutique of earth momma-friendly supplies. And the ladies that operate this network are incredibly connected goddesses, hip to the earthiest information on how to rear and raise in harmony with nature. 1511 4th St. N., St Petersburg, 727-289-7250. thankyou-mama.com.
Runners Up: Chase, Regions
Runners Up: H20, Gandy Barber Shop
It’s where you’ll find the best little box, best medium box, and best you-didn’t-know-you-needed-it-till-you-saw-it-in-The-Container-Store box — itself a big shiny white box whose ambience is so bright and playful, its employees so genuinely cheerful, that it may make you rethink your anti-big-box-store bias. But the best part is the merch, a dazzling range of items in a variety of price ranges to meet all kinds of storage needs, like the find we made on a recent visit: an ingenious drop-down spice rack that solves once and for all the problem of shuffling through all those little jars from Savory Spice Shop. 4720 W. Spruce St. (corner of Spruce and Westshore across from International Plaza), Tampa, 813-774-4060. containerstore.com.
Runners Up: Velo Champ, Chainwheel Drive