Best Of Gwinnett

It’s here — Best of Gwinnett season is underway! Businesses across the county are asking for your vote — vying to earn the coveted Best of Gwinnett ribbon as one of your favorites. Vote, share, talk among yourselves, and show some love for our great local businesses!  

You might eat lunch at a bakery that makes the best pastries in town. Or visit an art gallery that carries the most extraordinary oil paintings. The competition is ceaseless, which is why sometimes, the gems of our community that truly deserve to shine get hidden in the throngs of other businesses vying for attention. 

What if you could bring them to the surface and let them shine the way they deserve? 

What if you could have a hand in helping these businesses grow and thrive? 

What if you could get on a large platform and help them gain the limelight they deserve in front of thousands of people? 

Get ready for everything you love: Best of Gwinnett. 

Helping businesses gain wings 

You see them every day. Online ads, radio ads, ads on your favorite apps. They’re great for getting your name out there to the masses of customers who would otherwise never even know you exist. But what carries even greater weight is when a friend, neighbor or even a complete stranger filling out an online review recommends a business—because, as consumers, we trust the words and experiences of other fellow customers. That’s why Best of Gwinnett wields great power when it comes to getting the word out there about extraordinary businesses. Because real people who have tried and tested places around the county are giving you the 411 on companies and brands whose names they feel confident enough to stand behind. It’s a no-brainer, then, why presence in our Best of Gwinnett publication can change the trajectory and build the credibility of any business. 

But how exactly does it all work? Well, we’re glad you asked. Because it starts with voters just like you!

“We were floored. We won Best Steakhouse first in 2016 without any advertising—it was outstanding!”

Raye Baldwin, Operations Manager, Bare Bones Steakhouse

The faces behind the votes 

We believe in fairness in all things (like not paying extra for ketchup when you’ve just dished out $10 for a meal!). That’s why everyone gets a shot at having a say in selecting our Best of Gwinnett candidates. Our nominees are chosen by people just like you—readers and editors around town. So we’re not some sort of a scientific market research study that any old scientist can sway with theories and predictions. We rely on the opinions of thousands of consumers from the very streets of Gwinnett.  

At the same time, we know these votes carry weight for businesses, so we take them seriously, making sure each one is fully credible. For instance, once the results of our polls come in, we vet our top candidates through reputable sources, like the Better Business Bureau, to ensure they’re solid contenders. We also look at voting pattern analysis to make sure nothing hokey is going on (double votes, anyone?!). Once we get through this vetting process is when we finally feel confident enough to select our Best of Gwinnett winners. 

Cast your favorite businesses in the limelight!

One million. That’s what the population of Gwinnett is approaching. Then think of all the businesses in the 437 miles this county covers and you’ll see why an award in a publication like BOG can go a long way.  

But there’s more in it for you too. When we work together to promote the best businesses in the community, we’re boosting our county standards. This means the cream of the crop will thrive and survive—and attract other competent businesses. And when businesses prosper, so does the community, creating a better quality of life for everyone. 

Don’t vote all at once!

You can submit your vote in a jiffy. All you have to do is visit the Best of Gwinnett website and complete a nomination form. You’ll be asked for basic information like your name, email address, the category you’d like to nominate a business for and the name of the business. After completing some questions, voila! You’ll be done. A few moments of your time can foster immeasurable greatness in Gwinnett—because Gwinnett is great and deserves to stay that way! 

Choosing the best of the best

Each year since the inception of the Best of Gwinnett, we’ve watched delightedly as tens of thousands of voters have cast their votes on businesses that have made the greatest impact on them. 

We’ve created more than 20 business and community categories that businesses all over the county are selected for. These include Arts & Entertainment, Beauty & Spa, College & Specialized Training and many others. Depending on the size of these market sectors, typically within each category, we include three segments: “Best,” “Among the Best,” and “Ones to Watch”—all to help as many businesses take center stage as we possibly can. 

  • Best of Gwinnett: This is the highest designation given to the businesses that rake in the greatest number of votes for their category.
  • Among the best: Some businesses have an honorable number of votes, but not quite enough to be named the “Best.” Instead of leaving them at the wayside, we created this category to make sure they get the recognition they deserve. 
  • Ones to watch: Of course, there are always those businesses worthy of your attention, except they don’t quite make the cut when it comes to votes. Through this category, we give them a chance to be visible and claim a spot in the limelight so they, too, can be kept at the forefront of consumers’ minds as they consider new businesses to try out.   

We know finding the best of the best takes time, so our polls stay open for a ten-month period as voters step up to the plate and place their votes for each category. Once the ten months are up, we begin our vetting process and finally, announce our annual winners by publishing them in our Best of Gwinnett issue! 

Success stories to make you sing

Hundreds of contenders have made it into our Best of Gwinnett spotlight since we started the program. And many of them have gone on to win the designation for multiple years, back to back. The most rewarding part is that Best of Gwinnett has made a world of difference for these businesses in ways they hadn’t ever imagined possible.  

Take Bare Bones Steakhouse, for example. A classic steakhouse located in the thriving city of Buford, it has an old-town feel to it, sporting hints of the saddlery and harness-making shops that once were in its place. 

With their incredible food and that envious at-home ambience restaurants strive for, it opened in 2015 and secured the Best of Gwinnett award in 2016, 2017 and 2018!

We asked operations manager Raye Baldwin what the restaurant’s reaction was to winning the award the very first time. “We were floored,” she says. “We won Best Steakhouse first in 2016 without any advertising—it was outstanding!”

From a business operation’s standpoint, Baldwin states that the Best of Gwinnett is seen as a positive upside for the restaurant. “As we’ve grown, we’ve started to advertise more and more,” she says. “But the Best of Gwinnett distinction has really been an added bonus for us.”

Case in point, visit their website, and you’ll notice the Best of Gwinnett designation as one of the first things you spot on their home page—proudly flaunted! That’s not unlike the other contenders who’ve won the Best of Gwinnett award at some point during their tenure, Fenski Automotive Center included. 

Being a winner makes a difference. Customers are put at ease knowing we’re regarded highly in the community.

Joe Fenski, Owner, Fenski Automotive Center

This shop, located in Sugar Hill, has been on a streak, winning the Best of Gwinnett award for more than ten years!

Owners Joe and Lori Fenski say they’re touched and excited to continuously earn the votes of local patrons and satisfied customers. “Being a winner makes a difference,” says Joe Fenski. “Customers are put at ease knowing we’re regarded highly in the community.”

When asked what value they perceive the designation to hold, the pair agree that it makes a difference for both customers and businesses alike.  “Best of Gwinnett helps our customers make an important decision about where to have their vehicle serviced. Receiving this award helps us stand out among the several repair shops in our area, and we feel honored to wear our Best of Gwinnett badge,” says Fenski. 

Like Fenski, many of our annual winners continue to tout this award everywhere possible, like websites, print ads and business cards—because achieving it means something to them, and it’s a title they’re proud of bagging. 

To make a difference for a business and help local consumers direct their dollars to local shops that have earned their stake, go online and get started. Your vote could determine our next Best of Gwinnett businesses!