Best of Federal Way 2013 winners | PHOTOS

Cindy Ducich is a marketing consultant with the Federal Way Mirror. She was named top community volunteer in the Best of Federal Way 2013 awards. - Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror
Cindy Ducich is a marketing consultant with the Federal Way Mirror. She was named top community volunteer in the Best of Federal Way 2013 awards.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/Federal Way Mirror

Once again, we went about asking the residents of the Federal Way area who is the best at what they do.

This year is the 15th year of this program — a milestone to be sure, but one that wasn’t always paved with some of the most well thought out intentions.

Over the years we have had some classic categories. There are the omnipresent ones such as barbershop, bartender, waiter, waitress, hair salon, auto technician, photographer, nail salon, veterinarian, insurance, day care, fitness, place to work, tourist attraction, pet store, tire store and secondhand store, to name a few. These have been categories from the beginning.

Worth a deeper look, though, are the ones that were presented for a snapshot in time. Some of these fall within the "what were they thinking" realm such as best lingerie shop, best place to play darts, and best place to kiss. I can only imagine the responses — cheek, lips, backseat of the car, street corner — hopefully followed by the best place to propose or best place to break up.

Others were just downright out there such as best place to fish, best selection of CDs, donut shop, nutritional store, facial — really? How about a best place to take a bath or clip your nose hairs category? Best park, stereos, art gallery, video selection, film developing, cheesecake, popcorn, place to buy a hat, and place to meet a mate — other than perhaps Australia. These were all categories at one time or another.

Incidentally, McDonald’s won as the best place to break up and placed as best nutritional store. Seriously. Marino’s and Gene Juarez won as the best facial until someone wised up and replaced this with the even more bizarre categories for best people watching spot and best city bench. I wonder if the winning plaque is still tacked to that city bench? Undoubtedly, some of the voters for the best people watching spot are likely now incarcerated.

Anyhow, humor aside, the last 15 years would not have been possible without the support of you, the readers and voters. The businesses that place or win these awards take this very seriously. They want to be the best and go to great strides to ensure that they are.

We hope you enjoy the results along with the messages from the businesses and groups for which you voted.



Click here to see photos of the Best of Federal Way 2013 winners or scroll to the bottom of the list of winners for a slideshow.


Adult In-Home Care

First place: Comfort Keepers

Second: Home Instead Senior Care

Third: [tie] Emeritus at Federal Way and Just Like Home Adult Family Home, LLC



First place: Herman C. Brewer IV

Second: [tie] Gary Slater and Joe McGoran


Auto Body/Collision

First place: Blackstone's Collision

Second: Bob Bjorneby's CARSTAR Federal Way Collision

Third: Precision Collision Auto Body


Auto Repair Shop

First place: Sparks Car Care

Second: Bob Bjorneby's CARSTAR Federal Way Collision

Third: Northshore Automotive and R.V. Repair


Auto Technician

First place: Merle Pfeifer, Sparks Car Care

Second: Toby Gribble, Sparks Car Care

Third: Craig Richlen, Eagle Tire


Bank / Credit Union

First place: Heritage Bank

Second: HomeStreet Bank

Third: BECU



First place: Gents Fine Grooming for Men

Second: Twin Lakes Hair Salon

Third: SportClips



First place: Maria Kuehlthau, Marista’s

Second: Emma Gremer, Starbucks (320th)

Third: Julie Walkup, Starbucks (Dash Point)



First place: Jason Bosshart, R-Jay's Scoreboard

Second: Tawna Gogolin, Salty's

Third: Ryan Gray, Time Out Ale House



First place: Wolf Chiropractic Center

Second: Federal Way Chiropractic Center

Third: Life and Health Chiropractic and Massage Centre



First place: St. Francis Hospital

Second: Virginia Mason Medical Center

Third: Jade River Acupuncture


Day Care

First place: Spring Valley Montessori School

Second: La Petite Academy

Third: KinderCare Learning Centers


Day Spa

First place: Twin Lakes Hair Salon

Second: 8th Day Spa

Third: MeMe & Company



First place: Dr. Kenneth Brossel, DDS

Second: Dr. Stacy R. Kanda, DDS

Third: Dr. Stephen Pong, DDS


Financial Advisor

First place: Chad Stalder

Second: Dan Altmayer

Third: Doug Legg


Fitness Facility

First place: LA Fitness

Second: Federal Way Community Center

Third: 24 Hour Fitness


Hair Salon

First place: Twin Lakes Hair Salon

Second: MeMe & Company

Third: The Hair Joint


Healthcare Professionals

First place: Jade River Acupuncture

Second: Virginia Mason Medical Center

Third: Group Health Federal Way Medical Center


Insurance Agent

First place: Jeff Burnett, Allstate

Second: Karl Kuntz, American Family Insurance

Third: Carrie Kuhel, State Farm


Massage Therapist

First place: Jasmine Burtner, Natural Health Center

Second: Friday Uth, Wolf Chiropractic Center

Third: Eudora Ballou, 8th Day Spa


Nail Salon

First place: Twin Lakes Hair Salon

Second: Eden Nails

Third: 8th Day Spa


Pet Groomer

First place: Simply Paws

Second: Biscuits Federal Way

Third: Designs in Fur


Portrait Studio/Photographer

First place: Ed Streit Images

Second: MB photography

Third: Photography by Chris Leavitt


Real Estate Agent

First place: Jackie King, Better Properties

Second: Lori DeVore, John L Scott

Third: Debi Braulik, Keller Williams


Senior Living Facility

First place: Village Green Retirement Campus

Second: Foundation House of Federal Way

Third: Emeritus at Federal Way



First place: Sylvan Learning of Federal Way

Second: Treehouse

Third: Kumon Learning Centers



First place: Sacajawea Healthcare for Pets

Second: Cascade Veterinary Hospital

Third: Twin Lakes Veterinary Hospital



First place: Sonny Roberts, Black Bear Diner

Second: Dustin Vistante, Puerto Vallarta

Third: Tristan Gamble, Billy McHale's



First place: Naomi Simpson, Black Bear Diner

Second: Nicole Masseth, Puerto Vallarta

Third: [tie] Nikki Bailey, Time Out Ale House; Renee Kochler, Black Bear Diner




Auto Parts

First place: AutoZone Auto Parts

Second: O'Reilly Auto Parts

Third: G&M Honest Performance


Beer Store

First place: 99 Bottles

Second: Fred Meyer

Third: Costco Wholesale


Clothing Store

First place: Macy's

Second: Ross Dress for Less

Third: Sears


Discount Store

First place: Walmart

Second: Costco Wholesale

Third: Target


Grocery Store

First place: WinCo Foods

Second: Fred Meyer

Third: Trader Joe's


Hardware/Lumber Store

First place: Home Depot

Second: New Lumber & Hardware Co.

Third: Lowe's


Jewelry Store

First place: Jeffrey’s Jewelers

Second: Fred Meyer

Third: Federal Way Custom Jewelers


Nursery and Garden Center

First place: Branches Garden Center

Second: Lowe's

Third: Home Depot


Pet Store

First place: Simply Paws

Second: Mud Bay

Third: Petsmart


Secondhand Store

First place: Goodwill

Second: Deseret Industries

Third: Pawn Pros


Tire Store

First place: Les Schwab

Second: Discount Tire

Third: [tie] Sparks Car Care and Eagle Tire


Wine Store

First place: Costco Wholesale

Second: Trader Joe's

Third: Fred Meyer





First place: Indochine Seafood and Satay Bar

Second: Garden Korean Cuisine

Third: Grand Peking Restaurant



First place: Great Harvest Bread Co.

Second: Panera Bread

Third: Wild Wheat Bakery Café & Restaurant



First place: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse

Second: Billy McHale's

Third: Pitmaster's BBQ



First place: Salty’s

Second: Black Bear Diner

Third: IHOP



First place: Salty’s

Second: East India Grill

Third: Old Country Buffet


Coffee Shop

First place: Cafe Pacific

Second: Poverty Bay Coffee Company

Third: Marista’s



First place: Joe's Deli

Second: Subway

Third: Panera Bread



First place: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse

Second: Red Robin

Third: Black Bear Diner



First place: Red Robin

Second: Han's Burgers

Third: Burger Express


Ice Cream

First place: Sub Zero

Second: Menchie's Frozen Yogurt

Third: Baskin Robbins



First place: East India Grill

Second: Lotus Grill

Third: Indochine Seafood and Satay Bar



First place: Vince’s

Second: Olive Garden

Third: Verrazanos Italian Restaurant



First place: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse

Second: Salty’s

Third: Black Bear Diner



First place: Azteca

Second: El Toreo Restaurant

Third: Puerto Vallarta Family Mexican Restaurants



First place: Round Table Pizza

Second: Papa Murphy's

Third: The Rock



First place: Salty’s

Second: McGrath’s

Third: Red Lobster



First place: Outback Steakhouse

Second: Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse

Third: Black Angus Steakhouse




Best Cop

First place: Andy Hwang

Second: Brian Wilson

Third: Chad Branco


Best Firefighter

First place: Al Church

Second: Gordie Olson

Third: Barry Hassell


City Leader

First place: Skip Priest

Second: Jim Ferrell

Third: Susan Honda


Community Volunteer

First place: Cindy Ducich

Second: Janice Siebenaler

Third: Bob Wroblewski


Educational Facility

First place: Sylvan Learning of Federal Way

Second: Highline Community College

Third: Treehouse


Kid's Activity

First place: Wild Waves Theme Park

Second: Federal Way Community Center

Third: Federal Way Way Boys & Girls Club


Local Charity/Non-Profit

First place: Multi-Service Center

Second: Communities in Schools



Place to Work

First place: Wild Waves Theme Park

Second: Federal Way Community Center

Third: Heritage Bank


Teacher/Elementary School

First place: Cheryl Stark, Panther Lake Elementary

Second: [tie] Maggie King, Panther Lake Elementary; Suzi Friedlander, Rainier View Elementary and Sequoyah Middle School; Vicki Mattern, Sherwood Forest Elementary


Teacher/Middle School

First place: Chris Tarling, Federal Way Public Academy

Second: [tie] Kay Walls, Lakota Middle School; Alexis Beard, Federal Way Public Academy; Kathy Whisenhunt, Federal Way Public Academy


Teacher/High School

First place: Luke Thompson, Decatur High School

Second: [tie] Mike Bressler, Decatur High School; Mike Grady, Thomas Jefferson High School


Tourist Attraction

First place: Federal Way Farmers Market

Second: Wild Waves Theme Park

Third: Dash Point State Park





First place: Muckleshoot Casino

Second: R-Jay's Scoreboard

Third: Time Out Ale House



First place: Muckleshoot Casino

Second: Emerald Queen Casino

Third: Iron Horse Casino


Local Arts Group

First place: Centerstage Theatre

Second: Federal Way Symphony

Third: Rosebud Children's Theatre Conservatory


Movie Theatre

First place: Gateway Movies 8

Second: Century 16 Movie Theatre

Third: Regal Auburn Stadium 17


We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

Read the Nov 27
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates