2020 Readers' Choice spread

This is the third consecutive year of the Readers' Choice Awards. Cash Wise was the top vote recipient earning four awards: Favorite Bakery, Favorite Groceries, honorable mention in the Favorite Meat Market category and honorable mention in the Favorite Pharmacist category.

Opportunity often is born of difficult times. In Hutchinson, we've seen an uptick in curbside service from grocery stores to the public library. Meetings and appointments have gone virtual via Zoom, Skype or Google Meet and people are wearing masks and practicing social distancing.  

While business procedures may have changed, customer service continues to be important. According to the American Express Global Customer Service Barometer, an average of nine people will share good experiences, while nearly twice as many (16 people) will talk about bad ones. Social media makes it easy to post a review.

challenging year. Who would have thought this time last year that some of the favorites wouldn't be in business Americans say they tell an average of nine people about good experiences, and nearly twice as many (16 people) about poor ones – making every individual service interaction important for businesses.Aug 7, 2011

Customer service is alive and well in Hutchinson. It's one of those things that we read about in social media. Bad customer service is shared with nearly twice as many people as good experiences.

Customer service is important according to 

American Express Global Customer Service Barometer.

In August, Culver's was recognized for the second year in a row as a Great Place to Work. And now, it is recognized again as the winner in 10 categories in the Leader's 2019 Readers' Choice survey.

Culver's was voted No. 1 in the following categories:

  • Favorite Chicken and Where
  • Favorite Customer Service and Where
  • Favorite Employer
  • Favorite Fast Food Restaurant
  • Favorite French Fries and Where
  • Fastest Drive-Thru Service
  • Favorite Frozen Treat and Where
  • Favorite Hamburger and Where
  • Favorite Salad and Where and
  • Favorite Sandwich and Where

It's not easy to be No. 1 and it's not easy to stay No. 1, but Culver's continues to do it. This marks the second year, the company has won kudos from local readers. 

This is the fourth year the Hutchinson Leader has hosted the Readers' Choice survey. The first was in 2006. How were the winners selected? Leader readers — online and in print — were invited to vote for their favorites in more than 60 categories. All areas of commerce were featured ranging from naming your favorite auction service — winner Fahey Sales — to your favorite dance studio — winner Touch of Grace — and favorite dentist — winner Josh Campbell at Hutchinson Dental Center. A total of 21,768 votes were cast. 

New this year was the selection of the Hutchinson Arts and Crafts Festival as the Favorite Festival/Celebration.

The two-day event celebrated its 45th anniversary Sept. 13-14. According to Mary Hodson, president of the Hutchinson Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, it attracts 12,000 people to town. That's impressive. 

Hodson said the festival wouldn't happen without volunteers. It takes about 70 people to step up and make the event happen year after year. 

A returning favorite in the Readers' Choice survey is the State Theatre. It earned winner status in two categories: Favorite Date Place and Favorite Family Fun Spot.

This is fourth time the State Theatre has earned kudos as the Favorite Date Place. It won in 2006, 2017, 2018 and 2019. 

It's not surprising it was voted No. 1 as a Favorite Family Fun Spot. It's a bargain for families looking for an afternoon or evening out. What sets it apart? Friendly service, good prices and movies people want to see. 

The art-deco landmark has been a fixture in the downtown landscape since it opened on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 1937. It might have gone the way of the wrecking ball if not for the restoration efforts of Miles "Red" and Linda McGonagle, who took on the challenge of rehabilitating the marquee, building and apartments. The couple re-opened the State in September 2005. 

Another returning favorite is Crow River Golf Club. It has been named a winner in the Best Golf Course category for three years running. 

Some of the state’s best golfers played on the club's 18-hole championship golf course earlier this year when it hosted two of Minnesota Golf Association's top tournaments: the Mid-Players Championship and the Senior Players Championship, drawing top competition to the links.

The course traces its founding to the 1920s when a simple arrangement of long and short holes was laid out in the pasture at the Ingebretsen family farm about three miles east of Hutchinson. 

The club celebrated its 75th anniversary last year. At the time, Peter Kurvers, general manager and PGA professional, called it "part of the fabric of Hutchinson."

"You would be hard-pressed to find another freestanding business, there are a few, that has been in continual operation for 75 years or longer," he said. "Not only is it a business, it is a social epicenter, too, and has been part of the social fabric of Hutchinson for a long time. You don't find that."

The Readers' Choice Awards demonstrate the best of Hutchinson. Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2020 Readers' Choice Awards.

FAVORITE ACCOUNTANT

Winner: Kody Schantzen, Schantzen & Schantzen

Honorable Mention: Terry Ditlefsen CPA

FAVORITE ANTIQUE STORE

Winner: Treasure Shed

Honorable Mention: Main Street Antiques/Wild Prairie Coin

FAVORITE ASIAN RESTAURANT

Winner: Tokyo Grill

Honorable Mention: Happy Panda

FAVORITE ASSISTED LIVING

Winner: Ecumen Oaks and Pines

Honorable Mention: Harmony River Living Center

FAVORITE AUTO BODY SHOP

Winner: Hutch Auto Body

Honorable Mention: Valley Chevrolet Buick Sales of Hutchinson

FAVORITE AUTO MECHANIC

Winner: Ryan Messner, IAMotive

Honorable Mention: Jordan Hoff, Hutchinson Co-op

FAVORITE BAKERY

Winner: Cash Wise Foods

Honorable Mention: McCormicks

FAVORITE BANK TELLER AND WHERE

Winner: Sheri Goldschmidt, Citizens Bank & Trust Co.

Honorable Mention: Ari Zaska, SouthPoint

FAVORITE BARTENDER AND WHERE

Winner: Amelia Becker, Birdies Bar & Grill at Crow River Golf Club

Honorable Mention: Ashley Briekreitz at Elks Lodge

FAVORITE BINGO PLACE

Winner: Elks Lodge

Honorable Mention: Hutchinson VFW

FAVORITE BOWL OF SOUP AND WHERE

Winner: Chicken Noodle at McCormicks

Honorable Mention: Wild Rice at Country Kitchen

FAVORITE BREAKFAST AND WHERE

Winner: Eggs Benedict at McCormicks

Honorable Mention: Country Fries, Steak & Eggs at Country Kitchen

FAVORITE BRIDAL SHOP

Winner: Aubony Bridal and Boutique

FAVORITE CABLE/INTERNET PROVIDER

Winner: Nuvera

Honorable Mention: Mediacom Communications Corp.

FAVORITE CAR WASH

Winner: Kwik Trip #316

Honorable Mention: Maytag Laundry Tanning & Carwash

FAVORITE CELEBRATION/FESTIVAL

Winner: McLeod County Fair

Honorable Mention: Hutchinson Arts & Crafts Festival

FAVORITE CHICKEN AND WHERE

Winner: Broasted Chicken at the Hutch Cafe

Honorable Mention: Pizza Ranch

FAVORITE CHILDCARE/PRESCHOOL

Winner: Little Lambs Christian Center

Honorable Mention: King's Kids Christian Preschool

FAVORITE CHIROPRACTOR

Winner: Beeler Chiropractic

Honorable Mention: All Family Chiropractic

FAVORITE CHURCH DINNER

Winner: St. Anastasia Catholic Church

Honorable Mention: Christ the King Lutheran Church

FAVORITE COFFEE SHOP

Winner: Caribou Coffee

Honorable Mention: Dunn Brothers Coffee

FAVORITE CONVENIENCE STORE

Winner: Kwik Trip #316

Honorable Mention: Holiday Stationstores

FAVORITE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND WHERE

Winner: Jimmy's Pizza, Hutchinson

Honorable Mention: Target

FAVORITE DANCE STUDIO

Winner: Touch of Grace Dance Studio

Honorable Mention: Kelly's Dance Academy

FAVORITE DATE PLACE

Winner: State Theatre

Honorable Mention: Jimmy's Pizza

FAVORITE DENTIST

Winner: Dr. Dave Mach, Hutchinson Family Dentistry

Honorable Mention: Drs. Gillard and Scheumacher, Echo Family Dental

FASTEST DRIVE-THRU SERVICE

Winner: McDonald's

Honorable Mention: Culver's

FAVORITE EMPLOYER

Winner: Jimmy's Pizza

Tie for Honorable Mention: 3M

FAVORITE EYE CARE PROVIDER

Winner: Regional Eye Care

Honorable Mention: Matt Hoppe, Primary Eyecare

FAVORITE FAMILY FUN SPOT

Winner: Hutch Bowl and Squeaky's Grill & Bar

Honorable Mention: State Theatre

FAVORITE FAST FOOD RESTAURANT

Winner: Qdoba

Honorable Mention: Culver's

FAVORITE FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Winner: John Sanken, Five Star Financial Resources

Honorable Mention: Lisa Hauer, New Era Financial Group Inc.

FAVORITE FISH FRY

Winner: Cedar Mills Gun Club

Honorable Mention: Knights of Columbus, Hutchinson

FAVORITE FITNESS CENTER

Winner: H Fit 360

Honorable Mention: JrrYoga

FAVORITE FLORIST

Winner: Crow River Floral & Gifts

Honorable Mention: Flowers by Michelle

FAVORITE FRENCH FRIES AND WHERE

Winner: McDonald's

Honorable Mention: Culver's

FAVORITE FROZEN TREAT AND WHERE

Winner: Below Zero Frozen Yogurt

Honorable Mention: Blizzard at Dairy Queen

FAVORITE GARDEN CENTER

Winner: Babe's Blossoms

Honorable Mention: Runnings

FAVORITE GOLF COURSE AND HOLE

Winner: Crow River Golf Club

Honorable Mention: Oakdale Golf Club

FAVORITE PET GROOMER

Winner: Data's Dog Spa & Boarding

Honorable Mention: Pet Smart

FAVORITE HAIR STYLIST/BARBER

Winner: Brittany Stoufer, Venus Salon & Spa

Honorable Mention: Denise Schramm, Fringe

FAVORITE HAMBURGER AND WHERE

Winner: Culver's Butter Burger

Honorable Mention: Muddy Cow's Flamin' Blu-Berry

FAVORITE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL

Winner: Dr. Jalayna Smith

Honorable Mention: Dr. Nicole VandenBerg

FAVORITE INSURANCE AGENT

Winner: William "Bo" Young, American Family Insurance

Honorable Mention: Steve Kropp, State Farm

FAVORITE LAW FIRM

Winner: Kraft Walser Law Office

Honorable Mention: McGraw-Mahon P.A., Daniel P. Mahon, attorney at law

FAVORITE MASSAGE THERAPIST AND WHERE

Winner: Kiley Kruggei, Much Kneaded Massage

Honorable Mention: Jamie Risner, Genesis Salon and Enso Spa

FAVORITE MEAT MARKET

Winner: Benny's Meat Market

Honorable Mention: Cash Wise Foods

FAVORITE MEXICAN RESTAURANT

Winner: El Loro Mexican Restaurant

Honorable Mention: Sonora's Mexican Restaurant

FAVORITE MOTOR SPORTS SHOP

Winner: B&B Sports & RV

Honorable Mention: Fun Sports of Hutchinson

FAVORITE NAIL SALON SPA

Winner: DaVi Nails

Honorable Mention: Nail Spa and Wax

FAVORITE PHARMACIST

Winner: CVS Pharmacy

Honorable Mention: Cash Wise Pharmacy

FAVORITE PIE AND WHERE

Winner: Banana Cream at McCormicks

Honorable Mention: Crumb Top Apple at Carlson's Orchard

FAVORITE PIZZA AND WHERE

Winner: Jimmy's Pizza

Honorable Mention: Sid's at Main Street Sports Bar

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY ARTS/GIFTS

Winner: Village Shop

Honorable Mention: Clay Coyote Gallery & Pottery

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY A VEHICLE

Winner: Valley Chevrolet Buick Sales of Hutchinson

Honorable Mention: Jay Malone Motors

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY APPLIANCES

Winner: The HomeSource Store Inc.

Honorable Mention: Sear's Hometown Store

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY FLOORING

Winner: Heintz Floor Covering

Honorable Mention: Menards

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY GROCERIES

Winner: Cash Wise Foods

Honorable Mention: Aldi

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY HARDWARE

Winner: Hutchinson Ace Hardware

Honorable Mention: Menards

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY HOME FURNISHINGS

Winner: Factory Direct Furniture

Honorable Mention: Ashley Home Store

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY JEWELRY

Winner: Hager Jewelry

Honorable Mention: Kock's Jewelry

FAVORITE PLACE TO BUY TIRES

Winner: Hutchinson Co-op

Honorable Mention: Brandon Tire

FAVORITE PLUMBER/HVAC

Winner: B&C Plumbing Inc.

Honorable Mention: Plumbing and Heating by Craig Inc.

FAVORITE REAL ESTATE AGENT AND WHERE

Winner: Danielle Betker, Edina Realty

Honorable Mention: Rachel Huls, ReMax

FAVORITE SALAD AND WHERE

Winner: Oriental Chicken at Applebees

Honorable Mention: Cashew Chicken at Culver's

FAVORITE SANDWICH AND WHERE

Winner: Stacker at Squeaky's Grill and Bar

Honorable Mention: Turkey Tom at Jimmy John's

FAVORITE SCHOOL BUS DRIVER

Winner: Emil Starke

Honorable Mention: Mark Starke

FAVORITE SPORTS BAR

Winner: Main Street Sports Bar

Honorable Mention: Buffalo Wild Wings

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